In the book Making is Creating the author, David Gauntlett, seems to use the word "creativity" to refer to the act of creating anything. The example is given that it is creative to make one's own gloves instead of buy them. This sounded strange to me as I would not normally think a person fashioning a pair of gloves for themselves would be creative.

I consulted some dictionaries and google has the following definition for creativity:

the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

This seems to not include fashioning one's own gloves as it doesn't include imagination or an original idea. Does this mean that all arguments in the book are wrong as it contains an invalid premise? Or is there no problem as this is just an operational definition?

When is it that operational definitions become necessary? In words such as "creativity" there is a well agreed upon meaning already. Is it that dictionaries only contain the most basic understanding of words and word usages are often stretched?

Quote from page 19

Whilst they struggle with ‘real’ issues such as government regulation of broadcasting, or something to do with political parties, I am enthusing about everyday people making nice objects or clever little videos, which may be pleasant but is an irrelevance in terms of political or social concerns. If it’s any kind of issue at all, it’s a ‘cultural’ one: and who cares really if people watch silly entertainment on television, or if they make their own silly entertainment; if they grow their own fl owers, make their own toys or gloves, or buy them from a supermarket; or if people write their own songs, or buy someone else’s.

He doesn't explicitly say making gloves is creative however the focus of the section is on the definition of creativity and it seems that he includes gloves as an example.

  • Words have more than one meaning, the first definition in a dictionary is usually the most common but that doesn't mean an author has to limit himself to that one. I can make myself a pair of gloves, or I can be "creative" and add embellishments that will make my gloves look more appealing and stylish.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 13, 2015 at 8:18
  • Could you please cite the exact phrase used by the author, please?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 13, 2015 at 8:20
  • @Mari-LouA would you like the exact phrase used by the author regarding the definition of creativity or the example of making one's own gloves?
    – Celeritas
    Jan 13, 2015 at 8:25
  • I believe your question is based on the second example,is it not?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 13, 2015 at 8:27
  • @Mari-LouA it was in chapter one but I can't find it right now. I'll post the quote when I do find it.
    – Celeritas
    Jan 13, 2015 at 9:16

2 Answers 2


Creative, especially when applied to people who are not professional artists, implies a combination of cleverness, resourcefulness, problem-solving intelligence, frugality, and the ability to use common everyday simple tools, to make useful things from readily available materials and components that can be salvaged from the trash.

The Instructables website is a good example of this kind of creativity.


This issue was adressed latter on in the book

Now, the sensibly sceptical reader might at this point be wondering if I am trying to replace a well-established definition of ‘creativity’ with my own inauthentic version, like someone sneakily changing the rules in order to win an argument. But I would suggest that my description of creativity lines up well with regular usage.

(page 77)

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