Creativity Cannot Be Forced

I’ve been sat here for a considerable length of time trying to think of something creative and intelligent to write a post about but have come to the conclusion that creativity cannot be forced. There’s no point in scrolling through BBC News, PRWeek and Twitter trends trying to find something to write about when I know that soon enough something will catch my eye and a blog post topic will naturally come to me.

Although, ‘creativity’ is a topic that catches my eye. I am interested in understanding how limitations affect creativity and the expression of ones self. There are many factors that could influence someones approach to creativity such as educational limitations, social acceptance, and confidence of the self.

I first became interested in ‘creativity’ as a topic of discussion when I was studying Media at A-Level. My tutor Stephen Jones set up the objective of the lesson to identify how creativity can be capped and why someone would want to cap it. We focused on the educational limitations that students face when wanting to pursue a creative idea for an assignment and why the education system enforces strict guidelines to what a student can and cannot produce. I’ve seen this happen far too many times within modules at both college and university and has become a growing issue within educational institutions. Let me try and put my point across with an example:

In all honesty the college I went to was a ‘piece of cake’ so to say, where the work was spoon fed to you so it’s not much of a surprise that university hit me hard. I went from being told exactly what to write for an assignment to being given total (or should I say 90%) freedom. I say 90% because of course lessons need structure and courses need a guidance for what the students need to produce to make sure the work is A-Level or Degree standard, but there’s a key difference between flexible guidance and creative limitations. In my opinion it seems that educational institutions are more interested in ‘face’, by which I mean they care more about producing high end-of-year results than giving students the opportunities to be creative. They’re not fussed if the students feel like they’ve learnt anything from their time at the institution as the next year will bring a new cohort for them to try and gain high grades from. This issue is a HUGE problem in my eyes as this is generating students with no real aim or achievable aspirations to be creative and make a difference.

“Fringes of education… to being seen as a core aspect of educating” (Craft, 2005) This quote is identifying the need for creativity within education and I believe a higher focus should be given to teaching students how to expand and appreciate their own creativity.

Of course, educational ‘chains’ are not the only issues facing creativity and another factor is self limitations. Whether people feel confident in expressing themselves or even just have the aspirations to achieve something will affect how creatively open they are. Below is a video of artist Phil Hanson giving a speech about facing creativity and turning limitations into a driving force. I think his presentation gives a fresh take on being creative and sums up how creativity cannot be forced. Give it a watch!


Shaheen, R. 2010. Creativity and Education . [e-book] Scientific Research Publishing. [Accessed: 11th June 2013].