Creativity is a product of the human mind. Along with consciousness, reason, and love, it is among the highest order of functions of the human mind does. In order to understand creativity then, we have to say a little bit about the mind, and the paradox that the mind brings with it.
Each of us lives in two worlds. There is the world behind our eyes—our inner world of thoughts and day dreams—our private consciousness. We can call this the subjective world. Then there is the outer world—the real world. When we create something, we bring it from our inner world to the outer world. There is no art within the mind. But any work of creativity must have its origins in the inner world. When we create, I believe that our true task is to produce something that will illicit in others an experience that will approach what we experienced in our inner world. We must create because there is no other way to go about sharing our inner world. So all works of art, and all instances of creativity arise from our private mind, but manifest in the outer world where they can be shared.
The creative process, therefore, bridges these two worlds. It begins in the inner world and ends in the outer world as a piece of creative work. You cannot be creative in a vacuum. You cannot be creative only in your own mind. To be sure, there are things akin to creativity that go on in the mind. We can have thoughts that are original, novel, strange, freakish, and amusing. But as long as these remain only mental activity, they are not yet creativity. For this reason I will use the words imaginative and imagination to refer to the part of the creative process that takes place within the mind. When we say that a writer is imaginative, we mean that his creative works surely come from a quite imaginative mind.
One cannot be creative without being imaginative. But imagination is necessary but not sufficient to be creative. The Creative process relies on both the imagination to produce a design and then skill to bring that design to life, thereby filling a piece of the void.