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Why Knowledge Leads to Creativity

The power of knowledge lies in its ability to provide us with the tools to create. Knowledge empowers us by providing insight into how things work and what can be done. When we understand something, it becomes much easier for our creative juices to flow.

The Difference Between Knowledge and Creativity

We’re born with the curiosity to learn, and from what we learn we create.

You’re reading this article because you have a certain question, and after a few lines your mind will “form an opinion” from what you’ve read. What you read is “knowledge” and what your mind “creates” is an opinion.

Creativity and knowledge are two different things.

An original idea comes from making connections. It’s about recognizing the relationships between things. We do this when we tell stories, make jokes, or make connections between seemingly unrelated concepts.

Knowledge is simply the information, facts, and skills we’ve acquired through experience or education.

New Knowledge Is Important for Creativity

Without knowledge sharing, no new ideas would emerge.

Knowledge is the basis for creative thinking skills.

Innovation occurs when certain ideas are combined and built upon applicable existing knowledge that can be translated into a tangible product or service.


A house has a foundation, walls, and a roof. The house is the product, while creativity is the process of building the foundation, walls, and roof. Existing knowledge is the foundation of creativity because it’s needed to build upon. The foundation and the walls are provided by knowledge. The roof, on the other hand, is created by creativity.

Knowledge is needed to build the house, while creativity is needed to design it.

Creativity is the process by which something new and potentially useful is created. It’s a process that can be encouraged, supported, or inhibited.

Knowledge is important for us to improve our creative potential.

You’re More Creative Than You Think

Humans are constantly learning, taking in information, and creating activities, thoughts, and actions from it. The scientific term for this is “cognition.” The modern view is that our cognitive abilities develop with learning.

The Balance Between Knowledge and Creativity

At first glance, it seems like creativity and knowledge should go hand in hand.

To be creative, you need to have lots of ideas, and if you’ve lots of ideas, you’re most likely to have lots of knowledge.

Can knowledge get in the way of creativity?

That’s true to some extent, but you can also drown in so much knowledge that it becomes impossible to see anything creatively.

The French saying goes, “Trop d’information tue l’information” (too much knowledge kills knowledge).

Hundreds of years ago, this was just about knowledge management in our brains, which is relatively easy to do, but how does this fit in with today’s world where we’re bombarded with information from screens and social media?

The idea that too much knowledge management could be a bad thing seems ridiculous, but the more you think about it, the more you realize that perhaps knowledge can sometimes stifle creativity.

What if a creative genius like Albert Einstein had known everything we know today? Would he have come up with the theory of relativity?

Knowledge comes from experience, but too much experience can cause the mind to become set in its ways. When that happens, it becomes difficult to find new ways of thinking.

From experience, I’d say that: “if you try to create something with limited knowledge, your creation will probably be bad. If you focus too much on knowledge management, you leave too little room for imagination.“

Creativity Without Knowledge

In art, there’s always a question, “Can you be creative without knowledge?

And the answer is quite simple: NO.

Because even if you lock yourself in a room, you’re still learning something.

As long as you’re breathing, you’re acquiring knowledge. Some of us more than others. And as long as you have the knowledge, you have the power to be creative.

Necessary Knowledge for Creativity

Facts (descriptive knowledge), objects (acquaintance knowledge), and skills (procedural knowledge) are the most common types of knowledge. However, we can also talk about another type of knowledge – “knowledge about a particular subject.” This is the information that makes you a guru on wine, biology, or whatever else you know.

Knowledge is a basic prerequisite for creativity.

It forms the basis for an idea or is the catalyst for creativity.

Without facts, skills, and objects, there’s no knowledge.

For knowledge to lead to creativity, it must be put in the right place: first as an asset for creativity, second as a prerequisite for it, and finally, as something that supports its growth.

Five Ways to Acquire Knowledge to Be More Creative

1. Be Open-Minded

When you’re open-minded, you automatically gain more experience, and with experience comes knowledge. Being open-minded can alert us to some of the opportunities that are right in front of us, and it allows us to explore more ideas and possibilities that can help us grow professionally and personally.

2. Try New Things

It’s also important to try new things. If you always do the same things, your mind won’t generate new ideas or thoughts. It not only stimulates your imagination but also changes your perception and brings forth new concepts.

3. Learning About Others

It’s much more interesting to learn about the world around you than to study yourself. If you want to learn something new today, observe someone else doing an everyday activity. Learn about their situation and how they do things. This may start with extrinsic motivation but it will teach you a lot about your own abilities and may even give you new creative ideas for creative problem-solving.

4. Test Your Creative Thinking Skills

Experimenting is a way to gain more knowledge because we learn more from our own mistakes than from our successes. With each failure, you learn what not to do or what not to repeat.

Author and creative thinker Sir Ken Robinson said that

Creativity requires an atmosphere where risk-taking and experimentation are encouraged rather than stifled.


5. Read/Watch Movies

Stories are powerful. They teach us about ourselves and our world, and they provide an escape from the everyday. They can change the way we think about our own lives and give us ideas for new possibilities in our future. They can also be an incredibly powerful teaching tool, giving us the opportunity to share complex ideas with others in an easy-to-understand way.

Five Ways to Improve Your Creative Process

Creativity is the process of coming up with original ideas. It often involves thinking outside the box or divergent thinking.

Improve your creativity as you acquire knowledge.

1. Be Willing to Be Wrong

Have you ever been told that “wrong” is really a way of being right? Because to be a creative person, you must first break out of your comfort zone. Try doing things differently than you normally do, and encourage others to do the same.

2. Keep Your Mind Open to New Ideas

Don’t hesitate to ask questions and be willing to learn from others, no matter how old they’re or how much experience they’ve. Learn from failures as well as successes, as this will help you improve your imagination in the future.

3. Listen to the Ideas and Suggestions of Others With an Open Mind

Whether you agree with them or not, especially if it’s another creative person with authority over you. Even if you don’t agree, you should consider what she or he’s saying; sometimes it can spark original thoughts!

4. Take Risks

Take risks by trying a new creative way. It may not lead to the creative solution you’re looking for but it will lead you to a new path of creativity research.

5. Do Research

Fact-checking can help you avoid making major mistakes. This is especially important when you’re trying to express a new creative thought because it’s much harder to be objective about something unusual.

Knowledge vs. Intelligence

The difference between knowledge and intelligence is that knowledge can be acquired from books or through experience, while intelligence is usually a part of a creative thinker’s personality trait.

Intelligence is referred to as a person’s ability to learn and adapt, while knowledge is referred to as the gathering of facts.

Intelligence is usually considered more important than knowledge because a knowledge base is relatively easy to obtain.

However, intelligence, which enables a person to acquire new knowledge, cannot be acquired simply by reading a book or listening to someone talk about it.

The only way to acquire intelligence is through personal experience and self-reflection. Ultimately, intelligence and knowledge are both very important for fostering creativity.

Do Creative People Have a Higher Intellect?

Creative people tend to be more intelligent than average, but intelligence alone isn’t enough to produce creative work. There are also different types of intelligence (spatial, verbal, interpersonal, etc.). The type of intelligence you’ve may help you in a certain area, but it may not help you in other areas.

Telling a good joke requires a high level of verbal intelligence while writing or composing music requires a high level of musical intelligence. Someone who’s good at both can be considered highly intelligent overall.

However, if you ask someone with high verbal intelligence to design an instrument to measure gravitational energy, they’ll have great difficulty doing so.

This is because high intelligence manifests itself in one kind of creative activity and has nothing to do with the other.

The Eight Types of Intelligence

1. Spatial Intelligence

People with high spatial intelligence can imagine things easily. This makes it much easier for them to design products, plan events, and work creatively. They’re able to immediately grasp creative ideas and concepts that are difficult for others to understand.

For example, they can imagine the design of a room before any furniture is in it.

2. Physical-Kinesthetic intelligence

Known as BK, is your ability to use your body and physical movements to do a task well. This includes a range of skills such as dancing, gymnastics, sports, or martial arts.

3. Musical Intelligence

Musical intelligence is the ability to perceive, create, or respond appropriately to music. People with high musical intelligence are very talented and have the potential to make a living from their ability to perceive and play music.

4. Linguistic intelligence

Everyone has high linguistic intelligence, which enables us to excel in writing, reading, and learning. The greatest writers and readers – including Shakespeare, Tolstoy, and Hegel – are considered to have high linguistic intelligence.

Linguistic intelligence is the ability to produce, understand, and enjoy language (both written and spoken).

5. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

The ability to analyze problems logically, perform mathematical operations, and investigate questions scientifically.

People with this intelligence, such as Albert Einstein and Bill Gates, are adept at developing equations and proofs and solving abstract problems.

6. Interpersonal Intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to interact effectively with other people.

Those with high interpersonal intelligence are good at assessing other people’s motivation and feelings, and dealing with them is often easy and straightforward.

7. Intrapersonal Intelligence

Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to recognize what’s going on inside oneself and then plan, prioritize, understand, and strategize so that one acts not only as effectively as possible but also in accordance with one’s goal.

It’s the ability to understand and be aware of one’s own limitations, strengths, fears, and desires.

8. Naturalistic Intelligence

Naturalistic intelligence is most commonly used in biology but applied to the natural world.

It primarily involves understanding the structure and behavior of living things and their relationship to each other and their environment.

How to Become More Intelligent, Knowledgeable, and Creative

Everyone has their own definition of intelligence, individual creativity, and knowledge.

What one person considers intelligent, another may find quite boring.

That’s because being intelligent, creative, and knowledgeable means something different to everyone.

It takes intelligence to become more intelligent, knowledge to become more knowledgeable, and innovation to become more creative.

Improving your overall intelligence and knowledge is similar to playing sports to improve your physical fitness. Both involve constantly practicing a skill, whether it’s lifting weights or reading.

A creative mind opens up many possibilities that require critical thinking, intrinsic motivation, and creative endeavor such as problem-solving, innovation, and inventing new and better systems.

Related links:

New York Times: How to get your mind to read

Science Direct: Torrance Test

Creativity Research journal: Creative knowledge environments

Cambridge University Press: Handbook of intelligence

Stormz: Convergent Thinking and Divergent Thinking

Video of Tim Leunig: Why real creativity is based on knowledge