What is creative perception?

What is creative perception?
5 minutes read. May 8th, 2019.

Perception defined

Perception is a fundamental trait of the creative mind. It enables us to interpret ideas differently to others, offering insight into fresh perspectives and possibilities. You might have noticed how we referred to ‘the creative mind’, as opposed to sight or hearing (or any of the other senses, for that matter). That’s because perception is an action carried out by the brain in response to a stimulus. Neural signals from light, for example, are processed within the brain, allowing us to form a judgement or understanding based on our mental state of mind.

To highlight how perception is different from sense, let’s put things into practice: try observing an object in your field of vision. Now ask yourself: “What do I see?”, followed by “What are my perceptions about this item?”. How does the object make you feel? Does it make you think of something you experienced in the past? What else could it be used for other than its main purpose? Notice how perception requires much deeper insight. You experience things with your senses and perceive things with your mind.

Logic and perception

The ability to make decisions and solve problems in a creative manner relies on a combination of perception and logic. Whereas logic is a heavily proof-based concept which focuses on reasoning, perception relates to our ability to interpret what we experience. Since we all interpret things in our own individual way, perception can often make us vulnerable to bias, or in other words, ‘seeing what we want to see’. This could be viewed as both an advantage and a disadvantage – whilst those who are able to fully apply logical thinking may well be able to judge things dispassionately, creativity isn’t always about ignoring the emotions.

It all goes to show that, in terms of creativity, no single approach is necessarily the correct one, and each is based on our individual personalities which are, in turn, shaped by our experiences and emotional state. When we perceive, we make links between ideas and concepts based on our prior knowledge and beliefs. As a result, everyone perceives things in their own unique way – it’s not a case of right or wrong.

Pablo Picasso perception quote

Becoming more perceptive

Like any activity that we hope to master, increasing our ability to perceive is a matter of practice. So, what are some key aspects we can work on?

  • Pay attention – Focus on trying to find things that you hadn’t noticed before. Try listening to your favourite song, for example. Close your eyes, concentrate, and see if you can identify something new (perhaps an instrument that you hadn’t heard before). You might find yourself surprised by what your mind has filtered out in the past.
  • Question things more often (and talk to yourself whilst doing so) – Becoming more inquisitive can be a great way of broadening your thought process. Don’t just ask what is, but question what is not. Find the missing link. Think ‘would’, ‘could’ and ‘should’, and you’ll be exploring alternative possibilities within no time.
  • Play games – Brain-training puzzles, optical illusions and even video games can improve the way in which you interpret things intuitively. Whilst we’d steer clear of spending the whole day playing Fortnite, a little virtual problem solving mixed with escapism is not always a bad thing.
  • Travel – Experiencing other cultures and surroundings is the perfect way to gain a fresh sense of perspective. Embrace new environments, broaden your mind and expose yourself to different experiences – it might completely change the way you perceive things.
  • Become a bookworm – We’ve spoken at length (LINK) about how reading can boost creativity. Just one line from a book can change how you perceive the world around you – try reading something you wouldn’t normally opt for and open yourself up to fresh insights.
  • Challenge your own beliefs – Being introspective can directly affect how you perceive things. Try looking at your own principles, values and assumptions. You don’t necessarily have to change what you believe, but considering how others see the world differently to you can help you appreciate the concept of perception more.


The beauty of perception lies in its individuality – every one of us is able to interpret things differently to the next person. Equally positive is the multitude of ways by which we can practice improving our ability to perceive, something which can mean only good things for creativity levels in the long run. Best get to it, then – practice makes perceptive, after all...

Every creative process begins with perception, and forming ideas within your mind is the purest, most basic form of creativity. There’s a great deal of power in perceptiveness – speak to our team today to start harnessing it.

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What is creative perception?

Paul Hough

Creative Director

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