Creativity and artistic inventiveness are often connected for us. Creativity is not limited to professional groups such as artists, designers or musicians. Rather, creativity is a part of our everyday life. Without realizing it, we make creative decisions every day that determine our lives. But of course there are differences between the creativity of an artist and our creativity in everyday life.


The 4-C model of creativity (C=Creativity) also addresses these differences. Studies of creativity are traditionally divided into two directions. On the one hand, one focuses on the special creativity of an artist, the so-called Big-C Creativity. Second, it looks at the everyday creativity of the average person in daily life, which is Little-C Creativity. To specify this subdivision, U.S. psychologist James C. Kaufman and Ronald A. Beghetto developed the "4-C Model of Creativity". They added to the two categories a Mini-C and a Pro-C Level added.

In this model the Creativity can be understood as a life cycle. It starts at the Mini-C level and can grow to the Big-C level through further development. This path is illustrated by the example of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
But how exactly can these levels be distinguished from each other?


Mini-C Level:
This is the personal level of creativity. Every time we solve a task for the first time or learn a new skill, it is a part of Mini-C Creativity. It is not revolutionary, but it has great significance for ourselves and our personal development.
e.g. Mozart plays the piano for the first time.


Little-C Level:
The Little-C approach deals with the everyday creativity of a normal person. We find creative solutions to everyday problems thanks to experience and feedback. In contrast to the Mini-C level, our created work can also have a certain value for others.
e.g. Mozart writes his own music, which his friends like.


Pro-C Level:
After years of practicing and gaining experience, we can now reach a professional level of creativity. We are now talking about the Pro-C level of creativity. People at this level can partly earn their living with their creativity.
e.g. Mozart is a recognized musician of his time. His music spreads, is played in many places and appreciated by many people.


Big-C Level:
The Big C approach requires an outstanding creative contribution with socio-cultural impact. Creative achievements at this level continue to be of great importance for years to come and have relevance for posterity.
e.g. Centuries after his death, Mozart is still considered a musical genius who had a decisive influence on music. Operas like "The Magic Flute" are world famous and are played in concert halls worldwide.


Creativity cannot only be applied to artistic activities, yet this creative form is very familiar to us. In music in particular, we can recognize the creative potential of an individual or an entire band. Anyone who makes music must definitely be a creative person, there's no question about that. But how exactly are music and creativity related for musicians?

We asked two professional musicians from Ulm.


The 54-year-old jazz trumpeter from Ulm is known far beyond the borders of his hometown. Among other awards, Joo Kraus received the Echo Jazz as best German trumpeter and 6 German Jazz Awards in gold. Kraus has also managed to achieve musical renown internationally.


Why do you make music?
I simply believe that it is good for people when music is made. So in practical terms: I practice, play a concert and after the concert I believe that people are better off than before the concert.


What does creativity mean to you?
The moment I am creative, somewhere in my heart or brain the doors open and something comes into me. My creativity always has to do with inspiration from outside. What I make of it depends on myself.


Where do you feel creativity the most in music?
Of course, when improvising in jazz - there the creative moment is madness. I play over a certain form, but in the chorus I can do what I want, so to speak. Improvising is nothing other than composing in the moment, only without writing it down.


Can you feel when you have creative potential?
Definitely. My musical ideas never come when I just have time for them. Creativity has a life of its own - like a cat. It comes when you don't think about it, when you disregard it.
Quote: "Music is my world of creativity. Creativity for me is liveliness."


Peter Laib also began his musical career as a trumpet player before switching to the tuba four years later. The 37-year-old is a founding member of the hip-hop brass band Moop Mama and permanent member of the wind orchestra "Ernst Hutter & the Egerländer Musikanten - The Original".


Why do you make music?
My greatest motivation is the love of music. On the one hand, I want to make people happy with it. On the other hand, music also touches me myself and gives me goose bumps.


What does creativity mean to you?For me, creativity has a lot to do with experience. All my experiences are in a pot and then I let something new arise from it. Whether in music or in everyday situations.


Where do you feel creativity the most in music?
When composing, of course, but also when practicing. When I practice, I try to engage creatively with the piece. I sing certain passages, pay attention to my breathing or divide the piece into individual bars.


Can you feel when you have creative potential?
I know exactly when I can be most creative. That works best in moments with a lot of peace and relaxation, like when I'm walking in the woods. When I need musical ideas, for example, I whistle to myself. If a new melody comes up that I don't know, I record it directly with my cell phone.
Quote: "Music is the most beautiful and understandable language in the world, which makes not only the eardrum vibrate, but the whole body."


"I'm not creative enough to do that." We've probably all said this sentence at one time or another, and we've also heard it from friends. But there is enough creative potential slumbering in all of us that we just need to unfold. Everyone unfolds this potential in a different way. But we can also learn to be creative in everyday life. For all those who still doubt their own creativity, here are a few tips to boost your own creativity. After all, we can't be born as Big-C talent. Have fun trying them out!

Write a poem

Experiment in the kitchen with new recipes

Draw a picture

Rearrange the furniture in your room

Break routine habits and redesign your everyday life

Make a mind map for your next destination

30-circles exercise: draw 30 circles on a sheet and try to fill all circles differently in 3 minutes

Go for a walk in nature

Authors: Maximilian Stegmaier, Maximilian Wegele