Creativity and Originality the Same Thing?

What is the difference between originality and creativity?

I answered this on Quora, but thought I’d post it again here.

So, before I answered the question, I looked up the definitions for both. Here they are from Google:

Creative: Relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

Original: Present or existing from the beginning; first or earliest.

Since the first relates to artists, and incorporates the second, on the surface, it’d appear that there is no difference. One just relates to artists; one does not.


Original is a base word, while creative is a derivative of create – a verb. Typically they go hand in hand, but they are two different things, and it comes down to a state of being (NOUN) versus action (VERB).

Another definition of creative from Merriam Webster states it like this:

“Marked by the power or ability to create…”


That if something is original, it’s unique or one-of-a-kind. But if something is creative it makes things that are original.

I’ll give you a few examples to illustrate my point:

Let’s suppose that you have this original idea, but do nothing with it. You just have it. It sits in your brain but you do nothing with it.

You have the original thought, but that doesn’t make it creative. But you, yourself, were creative enough to have come up with the thought.

In other words: You as a person are ORIGINAL (one of a kind), but that doesn’t make automatically CREATIVE. But if you ARE creative, you will create ORIGINAL ideas.

Now, let’s say that you do something with that idea, but you just do what everyone else does, or what is expected of you. You do nothing abnormal or unexpected or extraordinary with that idea. You don’t do anything creative with that idea.

But then let’s suppose that you have that idea, but don’t know what to do with it. You get the desire to do something with it.

This creates a problem that needs to be solved.

Now we’ll assume that this a problem that you’ve never faced before, so you have no immediate answer to solve this problem. You can’t rely on past successes in order to overcome this particular obstacle (again, this an original idea we’re dealing with).

But you can’t come up with a solution. You’re stumped.

How do you solve this problem?

You get creative. You create a solution.

  • Maybe you find pieces of information and stitch them together to create a solution.
  • Maybe you try a bunch of things (attrition, trial and error) until something works.
  • Maybe you transform a solution based on something that doesn’t have to do with the current issue, but worked for something else.

You are being creative by exploring options and making choices to do something different.

I guess the easiest way for me to sum this up would be to look at it this way:

Originality denotes a noun (person, place, thing, IDEA). Creativity is the use of those original ideas or actions to create original things as a result of ideas.

Now, of relating to objects (nouns).

Case in point: You could have an original object that invoked very little creativity.

For example: I could create a simple plate out of clay. Very basic, but the object was original, not mass produced. But the idea creating a plate, really isn’t an original idea, and the act of creating it invoked very little creativity.

That object might be one-of-a-kind, but took very little active brain power to come up with. I didn’t have to exercise problem-solving skills to make it unique.

It was original, but not very creative.


Creativity is simply marked as having the ability to create original things, and originality just means a state of being unique.

What Inspires you as an Artist?

What Inspires You as An Artist?

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT (currently unedited)

hey guys go to here and in this video I just want to talk to you about like what inspires me to paint some people are gonna be like I really don’t care what’s in it for me but really the reason I’m making this video is because I want to help people where like if you don’t know why you’re painting you just kind of do or you know you want to be inspired maybe I can tell you what inspires me and and maybe that will help you and you know we’ll just kind of talk about that and hopefully this video will help maybe I won’t so let me talk about first off what inspired me to paint overall so obviously Jackson Pollock is a huge thing for me I’m into them many times but seeing that he you know kind of disrupted a whole art movement and that he is still famous I mean there’s a lot of abstract painters that were famous but he’s still one of the founding people of modern art and the most famous and some of his things were the most expensive paintings to buy from like these galleries and museums and stuff like that and I watched the movie Pollock and I just was so fascinated with them and he’s really the reason I started painting so that inspires me so him as an artist like there’s a few artists that inspire me Pollock is one of them because of you know just the fact that he was able to do what he did and people mock that painting but he’s also still one of the most I guess he’s the most like popular and if you think about like the idea that there’s no bad publicity because bad publicity is good publicity like people still mock him and they and they joke and they say all anybody can do it but that also keeps him famous so if you really think about it like that’s just cool to me that he was able to do the stuff that he did like you know something like that and be famous and I just think that that’s cool but it inspires me because the thing I like about that style of painting is that you can look at that painting over and over and over again and you can’t remember exactly what it looks like I mean I’ve tried maybe someone else can but the painting above my desk which I’ve shown in other videos monochrome I’m just going to show more time I just love them I I don’t know why but I just one of my favorite things I’ve ever done but anyway you look at a painting like this and you you see it over and over and over and no matter how many times you see it you kind of you kind of have an idea of what it looks like but you can’t remember the exact look of them and I just I don’t know I’m just fascinated with the fact that he made these paintings and he was so famous for another thing that like another artist that inspires me is is gerard richter and this is where i started getting into like this great painting like this one or like this and it’s because that style of painting i don’t know why it’s just the colors I think it’s the the fact that like it doesn’t mean anything and some people are like oh painting has to mean something or you have to find a meaning to be honest like half the pains I do they don’t have a meaning I just I see a picture in my head and I make it and that’s that’s my piece and I can you know I won’t pretend to be an elitist and everything has like this oh my god this represents life and blah blah no I don’t do that I make my pieces because I see the colors or the design of my head and I try to put that into reality and it’s very similar to writing because I have written I’ve written actual books I just kind of like deleted them and took them off Amazon stuff because I hated them but anyway but it’s it’s the same thing like I’ve realized that writing a book having a story trapped in your head and putting it to words is the same thing as seeing a picture in your mind for painting and trying to put that on canvas and sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t but anyway Gerard Richter just really inspires me because again he’s like the most famous living painter right now and he even even admits like a lot of the modern art that’s out there is garbage and I agree with that but still people buy it and some people are drawn to it and I don’t know why I like a certain piece I just do and I can look at a piece that I’ve made and I either hate it or like it doesn’t matter if I’ve made it like or if someone else has like that inspires me that you can make something that someone else doesn’t like and you like it even if it’s something simple the last like artist that inspires me is Suarez and his real name was a head and he if you look up Suarez like SWA are easy I give him a lot of shoutouts and I mention him a lot because he’s kind of an unofficial mentor to me I don’t know if I’ll ever see this video probably not but he’s really he really inspires me to to continue painting he’s actually you know when I started getting into gloss enamel I learned that he uses it he uses a lot better than I do he’s a professional he’s very good but he’s an unofficial mentor to me and I really appreciate him for all the work that he’s done and just the way he carries himself in business and you know I’ve learned a lot from like this splash work that you see is because I I wanted to try and break the that single just doing the same one over and over like just a Pollock style or just you know the this modern abstract or just the poured painting this splash thing is because I I saw him kind of make something with this like splash effect and it just I wanted to do it and I made this one and I made you know this one over here this modern royalty piece you know that really inspired me and so he inspires me because he’s still he does is professionally and he uses gloss enamel and I’m like if he can do it I can do right and he just has amazing work he he’s just an awesome guy he’s super nice and even like talks to me on social media sometimes the guys is awesome so you know those as artists inspire me now what inspires me to keep going is the fact that like I’m never satisfied I no matter how many pieces I make or how many Styles I do I’m always pushing but what really inspires me is the fact that I can make something out of nothing you know that’s kind of me as a person like I enjoy you know using my hands to make something and I guess for me this is a physical representation of something I put my heart and soul into and it became something that other people appreciate you know when I used to write I used to feel like I was going nowhere because I’d spend how writing all these words and it’s just on this little document on your computer and yeah once you’re done you can show that to other people but when you’re writing you don’t like to show people because then it kind of changes how you write and but this like I can make it and I can show it to people and I could sell it and it’s unique you know there will never be another painting like this even if I followed the same footsteps this painting was different than any other painting I’ve made and there’s paintings I have that are similar that with the same colors same technique but they are not the same but anyways really what inspires me to keep going even though I don’t sell a lot of paintings or as many as I’d like to what inspires me to keep going is just the fact that like I never I’ve never content with staying with one thing and I just I just want to keep pushing the barriers and really just having people appreciate the work that I do and buying it especially really just encourages me to keep going so I’m not sure what inspires you what inspired you to start or what inspires you to keep going but I would challenge you to just just keep pushing you know what I mean if you’re in a rut where you’re stuck like with a specific technique or you you don’t like everything you do look I hate a lot of the work I do to be honest with you there’s only certain pieces like I thought I’d like that and now I don’t like that one I really like this for now this one I’ve never liked you know there’s other ones over there that I’d really do like you know you you like some pieces you hate a lot of other ones at least you’re being honest with yourself but that’s pretty much it so I just I guess my question I’d like to end on a question like what inspires you like even if you don’t paint if you if you do something else what inspires you as a person you know what inspired you to start doing and what inspires you to keep going and which is overall what inspires you kind of in the middle like what what was the thing that made you want to do it so yeah you started and you know what keeps you going but like what inspires you all the time you know what I mean recurring so I’m actually just curious but if you like this video please you know check out my other videos check out my links you know like and subscribe and all that cool stuff and and I’ll catch you guys in another video okay take care