Difference between Imagination and Creativity

Key Difference: The word, ‘imagination’ refers to the act of imagining things, i.e. the ability to form new images and sensations in the mind that are not perceived through senses such as sight, hearing, or other senses. Creativity, on the other hand, is the ability to create something.

The words imagination and creativity are often confused, mainly due to the fact that they have similar meanings. So similar that they are in fact mistaken as synonyms and are commonly used interchangeably. However, there is a reason that they are two words instead of just one, and this is due to the fact that they refer to different things, no matter how subtle the difference actually is.

The word, ‘imagination’ refers to the act of imagining things, i.e. the ability to form new images and sensations in the mind that are not perceived through senses such as sight, hearing, or other senses. Basically, imagination refers to ability to think of something that is not currently happening around you.

Having an imagination is essential. Imagination helps make knowledge applicable in solving problems, hence allowing one to come up with innovative solutions. It also helps one integrate experience with the learning process, hence assisting in the furthering of ideas.

Creativity, on the other hand, is the ability to create something. This could be anything, such as an idea, a joke, a literary work, painting or musical composition, a solution, an invention, etc. Creativity allows one to be inspired from things around them and then use the inspiration to create something.

Basically, the main difference between Imagination and Creativity is that fact that imagination is the act of imagining, or thinking things that don’t exist, whereas, creativity is the act of using the imagination to create something. For example: you start to image something, a vacation, a story, a daydream, etc. However, this gives you an idea, and then you use this idea to create something, let’s say to write a story or a novel. Hence, you used your imagination to facilitate your creativity.

Comparison between Imagination and Creativity:

 

Imagination

Creativity

Definition (Merriam-Webster)

  • The ability to imagine things that are not real : the ability to form a picture in your mind of something that you have not seen or experienced
  • The ability to think of new things
  • Something that only exists or happens in your mind
  • The ability to make new things or think of new ideas

Description

The ability to imagine that may or may not exist

The ability to use imagination to create something

Examples

  • You can find a solution if you use a little imagination.
  • Is it just my imagination, or is the weather getting colder?
  • Use your imagination, and get us out of here.
  • He's a competent writer, but he lacks imagination.
  • The author does not tell us what happens to the characters. We have to use our imagination.
  • This job requires imagination.
  • The child is imagining the monsters in his room.
  • The arts and crafts fair showed the remarkable creativity of local artists and artisans.
  • We need to foster creativity in the workplace.
  • The author shows great talent, but lacks creativity.
  • Reading stimulated his creativity.
  • The artist is renounced for his creativity.
  • The author has a tedious creative process.

Image Courtesy: theintuitivelife.com, cauldronsandcupcakes.wordpress.com

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