photo of woman in front of painting

Creativity Hobbies

On creativity, happiness, and creative hobbies.

Creativity is intelligence having fun.

Commonly attributed to Albert Einstein, though unconfirmed.

You reached this page, either because you perceive yourself as a creative person and are looking for a creative outlet; or because you want to become a more creative person and introduce more creativity to your life. If you are here for the first reason, you might want to go ahead and jump to our creative hobbies catalog. If it is for the second reason, however, you might need a little more encouragement. Consider reading through our introduction to creative hobbies.

Being creative makes you happier

If you got this far, you probably acknowledge that creativity is beneficial, and can have a positive effect on your life. But sometimes personal belief isn’t enough for us. We might need reinforcement, such as scientific findings. We’re here for you.

A study titled “Being Creative Makes You Happier: The Positive Effect of Creativity on Subjective Well-Being” concludes:

Both creativity and well-being are essential to humankind. The present research not only replicates the positive relationship between creativity and well-being but also demonstrates that creativity is beneficial to subjective well-being.

Being Creative Makes You Happier: The Positive Effect of Creativity on Subjective Well-Being

This study, for example, further supports this:

[…] everyday creativity—creative actions that are common among ordinary people in daily life, such as drawing, making recipes, writing, and any activity done with the purpose of being creative—both fosters and reflects psychological health.

Everyday creativity in daily life: An experience-sampling study of “little c” creativity

And this one, as well:

Overall, these findings support the emerging emphasis on everyday creativity as a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning.

Everyday creative activity as a path to flourishing

This covers factual scientific encouragement, but you might have some more hindrance towards adopting a creative hobby.

a paper clip on a sticky note

How many uses can you think of for a paper clip?

Are you born creative or can it be learned?

One mental obstacle to adopting creative hobbies is the perception of creativity as a born gift – you either have it or not. And most likely – you feel you don’t.

So, are some people born creative? Science has a fascinating answer: Yes, some people are born creative. In fact, according to George Land’s findings, 98% of us were born creative, so most likely you were too. And we are talking about genius-level creativity.

George Land designed his creativity test to measure the ability to come up with new and different ideas for a given problem. The test is simple: the participants are asked to come up with as many uses for a paper clip as they can. Land used this test to select innovative engineers and scientists for NASA.

Land later applied the test to children and found that 98% of them scored as creative geniuses at age five. Their creativity scores declined dramatically as they grew older. At the age of 10, 30% of the same kids scored as creative geniuses, and by the time they reached 15 – only 12%. This specific study was then stopped, but over a million adults were tested and the results are staggering: Only 2% of adults at the average age of 31 scored as creative geniuses.

Yes, Land’s findings show that 98% of kids are creative geniuses, but only 2% of adults. Mind-blowing, isn’t it?

Don’t believe us? Take it from George Land himself:

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TEDxTucson George Land The Failure Of Success

Land’s findings show that 98% of kids are creative geniuses, but only 2% of adults.

All you need to do is to unlearn to be uncreative

Land concluded that non-creative behavior is learned through education, and socialization that discourage divergent thinking and originality.

So, it seems that the question is not whether you were born creative or not – since you probably were – but rather what happened since. Starting a new creative hobby isn’t about learning to be creative, it is about unlearning to be uncreative.

All children are artists. The problem is how to stay an artist when the child grows up.

Pablo Picasso, Quoted in Peter’s Quotations: Ideas for Our Time. Laurence J. Peter. Bantam Books, New York NY, USA. 1977/1979. Page 25.

yellow paper clip on blue background

Most people can come up with 10-15 uses for a paper clip. A good divergent thinker can come up with about 200 uses.

Even if you are one of the 2% who wouldn’t have scored as creatively as a kid, don’t be discouraged. First, you would still probably have scored high for creativity as a kid even if you are not a genius. Second, there is no scientific proof that creativity can’t be learned and improved, so there is no reason to assume that. Third, it doesn’t matter.

You don’t need to worry about the science behind creativity unless you want to be the next Van Gogh. And, while the concept of formally being taught to be creative might feel daunting, elusive, and maybe even contradictory, introducing creative activities to your every day can be much more natural. A creative hobby can be a way to discover and nurture the child’s creativity inside you.

How many animals can you name in a minute?

creative hobbies come in many forms

How many animals can you manage to name in a minute? That is called a category-fluency task, or verbal-fluency task – the ability to produce as many unique words as possible in a fixed amount of time, according to a given criterion.

Most of us, when asked to name as many items under a certain category, struggle. We start with the easiest ones, but then we get stuck and run out of ideas. Our output rate usually declines as time goes on, and we repeat similar words by meaning or sound.

This might be another setback when trying to come up with creative hobbies. By yourself, you might only come up with a few generic ones. Maybe painting, creative writing, and playing a musical instrument. In reality, creativity is a part of many wonderful hobbies.

Our catalog of creative hobbies will help you explore options beyond the obvious, and find the right creative hobby for you.

Explore all hobbies →