Creativity: “Big C” or Little?

What do you think of first when you hear the word Creativity?  I think of painters like Monet or famous Jazz artists like Charlie Parker.  These artists who represent the “high” arts” we typically associate with creativity. This is what the creativity experts call “big-C creativity” and they define it as, “the ability to produce work that is novel (i.e., original, unexpected), high in quality, and meets some level of social recognition (Sternberg, Lubart, Kaufman, & Pretz, 2005).

There is another kind of “everyday creativity” termed “little-c” or “mini-c” (Kaufman and Beghetto, 2008).  You might refer to this kind of creativity as inventiveness, problem solving or innovation.  An example of “Little-c” creativity would be my son’s wooden derby car that he and his grandpa fashioned for the scout derby race.  Although you might not think of it in these terms, “little-c” creativity may be as simple as combining recipes in new ways to invent something unique. While “mini-c” creativity is not well defined, experts agree that it involves a personally meaningful or novel expression.

We are all creative beings who need encouragement to explore our creative potential. Lynne and I want to invite you to express your creativity with us on October 11, 1:00 – 3:00 pm at ArtWorks.

Sternberg, R. J., Kaufman, J. C., & Pretz, J. E. (2002). The creativity conundrum. New York: Psychology Press.
 Beghetto, R.A, and Kaufman, J (2008). toward a broader conception of creativity: a case for “mini-c” creativity,  Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts by the American Psychological Association 2007, Vol. 1, No. 2, 73–79



One thought on “Creativity: “Big C” or Little?

  1. Lynne Scheible September 23, 2013 / 3:03 pm

    I for one did not think of myself as creative in any way. When I was about 35 I had the chance to go to the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI). Indeed it was a life-changer. Strangely enough my training in creativity has made me more compassionate (to myself and of course to others). One of the primary pieces of training is around judgement. It is a creativity killer. Not that you don’t have judgement ever (it can save your life), but there is a time to use that judgement and of course the awareness of the judgement. This little bit of knowledge and some experience opened me up to a new way of looking at the world. And I have not been the same since. Looking forward to sharing more at the Creative FireStarter Workshop in October. Join us. Here is the link for registration

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