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We can define creativity as innovation, particularly in artistic endeavours and writing. Much praised in principle, much derided in fact, creativity serves as a refuge for the outsider with imagination. Some of the ambivalent attitude to creativity may stem from seeing the creative process as parallelling or suggesting the ingesting of drugs, or simply viewing it as eccentric behavior that is outside of the mainstream.

The word "creativity" bears an implication of constructing a novelty without constituent components ex nihilo, as opposed to (say) alternative theories of artistic inspiration which posit the generation of visions from divine sources such as the Muses.

Compare invention.

Creativity is not limited to the art and design realm, however. Problem solving in general may require a creative mind. Lawyers, accountants, people in sales, and others are often more highly valued if they are able to use a creative approach to their work.

See also: Design, Visual arts and design, Fine art