Blogfriend Dan of tdaxp clearly thinks so:
I’ve talked about creativity before, in the context of the OODA loop, purposeful practice (a form of metacognition that is the opposite of “flow”), and mental illness. Another part of creativity is being recognized as useful by the field of a domain. If you invent a new type of hot water heater, that is being creative. If you’re chess technique allows you to rise in international chess competitions, that’s creativity. If you cure cancer but don’t tell anyone, that’s just wasting your time.
So this article is somewhat off-base:
Why Do Men Share Their Creative Work Online More Than Women? | Scientific Blogging
A recent Northwestern University study has a surprising results – substantially more men are likely to share their creative work online than women even though both genders engage in creative activities at essentially equal rates.
As it confuses artsy-stuff (making music, taking photographs, etc.) with creativity. Certainly artsy-stuff can be a form of practice, therapy, or good old recreation. Perhaps it can lead to creativity one day when you share it with others. But if you sit on it, you’re enjoying yourself, not being creative.
This is more or less along the line of argumentation proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and Howard Gardner for “Big C” creativity being “real creativity” because it has a downstream societal impact. However, I’m hesitant to accept that social recognition should be a form of validation of creative merit. To paraphrase my comment at tdaxp, what if the people with whom you share your creative efforts are not able to accurately assess the intrinsic merit of what you have made or discovered?
For example, Vincent van Gogh’s paintings now sell for upwards of $ 80 million dollars but in his lifetime, despite a prodigious artistic output ,he often had to get by with financial help from his family. Many artists, scientsts, musicians and inventors found cold receptions from their contemporaries to later gain posthumous vindication – sometimes by chance. This is the old “starving artist” cliche and most artists who starve do so because they are mediocre talents but a number of the greatest artists, scientists, inventors and musicians starved with them – or at least were confounded in their hopes for recognition and acclaim.
In all likelihood, the more insightful and groundbreaking the creative act, the less likely the society of the time will be able to fully appreciate or understand it. At least for a time.