There are many people who don’t see the value in creativity. More people associate being an artist as being broke – hence the term, “starving artist.” But what they don’t know, is that creativity throughout childhood and teen years have an enormous influence on innovation in adulthood. These are the inventors, business owners, and developers of our times. These are very successful people in fact, and they have one thing in common: more exposure to the arts throughout their childhood compared to the general public.


A recent study done by Michigan State University found that “childhood participation in the arts and crafts leads to innovation, patents, and increases the odds of starting a business as an adult.” The study showed that people who owned businesses or patents actually received eight times more exposure to creativity at a young age.


All the pivotal innovators and thinkers had sources of creative outlets. Steve Jobs is known to have leaned towards creativity and design. He quit college to take creative courses and developed a liking to calligraphy. Albert Einstein also played the violin.


Creativity opens the brain to thinking outside of the box according to study researchers. This out-of-the-box thinking is what allows people to tap into new ideas and solutions that may not already be.


In another study, looking at a group of MSU Honors College graduates from 1990 to 1995, majoring in science, technology, engineering/math, or STEM. Interestingly, they found that 93% of the STEM graduates had musical training at some point in their lives, in comparison to 34% of average adults. They were also involved in visual arts, acting, dance, and creative writing. Those exposed to metalworking and electronics at a young age were 42% more likely to own a patent. Those involved in forms of architecture were 87.5% more likely to start a company. Those who learned photography as children were 30% more likely to have a patent.


Art is very valuable in childhood development with continual benefits when continued through adulthood. Art enhances the way we process and problem solve. When we’re able to take something apart and put it back together, we’re able to see how we could put it together in a better way. Therefore, improving it innovatively.


We should expose our children to the arts and get their creative juices flowing. Children are the leaders of tomorrow, let’s make sure we develop innovative leaders. So when someone devalues art, tell them child creativity develops into innovation.