Surveys Reveal What The World Thinks About Creativity

The Global Creativity Gap

Today, creativity is a very hot topic. Creativity, which can be defined as the ability to come up with novel and useful ideas, is acknowledged to be a major source of innovation. But what do people across the globe think about creativity today? Do people consider themselves creative, or is creativity a skill for the happy few? Without knowing of each other’s initiatives, Adobe and eYeka have recently conducted almost identical surveys about creativity across the globe. Taken together, the results of both surveys tell a complementary story about the state of creativity.

Surveys Reveal what the World Thinks about Creativity

Adobe is probably the most famous software company among creative people; their product line includes well-know creation tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign or After Effects. eYeka is the global market leader in online co-creation, connecting brands to creative individuals to help them solve marketing and innovation challenges (check out this video from one of eYeka’s creators). A lot of eYeka community members are using Adobe software, therefore you’ll easily understand who the two companies have the same interest in creativity. It happens that both companies have recently conducted research about the state of creativity across the globe, almost at the same time and without knowing from each other’s endeavor: Adobe’s State of Create study has surveyed 5,000 adults across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan; and eYeka’s Creativity Survey has asked 2,000 consumers across the United Kingdom, United States and France what they thought about creativity.

Check out this neat infographic about Adobe’s results:

Surveys Reveal what the World Thinks about Creativity

Adobe’s results depict a “global creativity gap”, which means that people feel that they are not as creative as they would like. For example, 75% of respondents sais that time pressure at work hinders them to express themselves creatively. According to Adobe, “lack of time is seen as the biggest barrier to creativity“. At eYeka, we found exactly the same result. On average, 40,7% of the surveyed individuals from the United Kingdom, United States and France said that they would like to spend more time on creative activities. When we asked “Why?”, the lack of time came up as the primary reason for not living up to one’s willingness to be creative (47,2% in the United States, 52,2% in the United Kingdom, and up to 60,9% in France). Creativity takes time.

Another point that is made by Adobe is that relatively few people consider themselves as creative: 39% globally and 52% in the United States. Again, it happens that we asked a similar question, and we found that globally 68,4% of people consider themselves as creative (61,7% in France, 66,7% in the United Kingdom and even 78,5% in the United States). The difference in results is probably due to the way the question got asked: while Adobe counted the number of people who ticked the word “creative” in a list of words that would describe them, the respondent’s to eYeka’s survey had to respond Yes or No to the question “Generally speaking, do you consider yourself a creative person?“.

Surveys Reveal what the World Thinks about Creativity“One of the myths of creativity is that very few people are really creative” -Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D.

The purposes of these studies about creativity are different. Adobe finished its press release with results about the role of technology and creative tools in fostering creative activity: “creative tools are perceived as the biggest driver to increase creativity [and] technology is recognized for its ability to help individuals overcome creative limitations and provide inspiration“. As an editor of creative software, Adobe want to show that good software can help people being creative (which is definitely true)! eYeka’s survey incorporates questions about peoples’ motivations to be creative and their willingness to collaborate with brands. We found that the most important motivation to be creative is pleasure and fulfillment (the item “When I create something, it’s a real pleasure that fulfills me” was the primary motivator, to which 70,3% of all respondents agreed). Would they be willing to use their creative talent to collaborate with brands?

Surveys Reveal what the World Thinks about CreativityThe results indicate that overall, a staggering 72,1% of respondents would be willing to co-create with brands if they had the chance to do it. Recently, Forrester Research found that 61% of all US online adults are willing co-creators, which is very close to what we found in our survey. What about you, are you willing to engage in online co-creation? For a recent overview on the subject, check out eYeka’s last whitepaper Online Co-Creation to Accelerate Marketing & Innovation.

To see the press releases of the aforementioned surveys: Adobe & eYeka. This post was originally published on eYeka’s corporate blog.

image credit: embraceordinary & adobe

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Yannig RothYannig Roth graduated in marketing and is currently Research Fellow at eYeka and PhD student at University Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris (France). His main research interests are creative crowdsourcing and community co-creation. Yannig regularly blogs at

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3 Responses to Surveys Reveal What The World Thinks About Creativity

  1. Pingback: Articles of Interest 5/25/2012 « National Creativity Network

  2. [..Japan is seen as the most creative country..] is one of the findings. I doubt it for the reason that their big companies (think Sony or Toshiba or Panasonic) have been facing difficult time to launch innovative products.

    Apple and Samsung (Korea) are much more creative that those companies.

    Beside that, I don’t see any creative/innovative products (amazing products) have been developed by Japanese people over the last three years.

  3. Pingback: We’re sharing the eYeka Creativity Survey Dataset [OPEN ACCESS] | eYeka Co-creation Blog

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