Hierarchy of needs in action, sooner than I expected
The question of whether crocheting a stuffy is creative or not got me thinking about two different kinds of "creative" and how there's one type of "creative" that feels like an explicitly novel endeavor and another type of "creative" that feels like it's all about creating a [possibly very small] change in the world through doing. (Maybe terms for these could be "novel-creative" and "doing-creative").
At least in that second sense of making a change in the world, crocheting clearly is doing-creative.
I suppose there might be a 2x2 matrix here of: having novel thoughts vs normal thoughts and creating change-in-the-world vs just thinking about ideas. So someone who has a lot of novel thoughts but never does anything might be one form of creative, someone who has no novel thoughts but makes things happen in the world is another form of creative. Someone who is both novel-creative and doing-creative might be fully-creative (but I suspect that might be privileging that quadrant too much.)
If I had guess, I imagine that optimizing for being doing-creative is the quicker path to becoming fully-creative (i.e. moving to the novel-creative side of the thinking axis) because the nature of human learning and thinking seems to benefit from the doing. So even if doing something in-the-world feels less novel than trying to come up with novel ideas, it seems like it might be the best bridge to doing that. (I also wonder if there is a reflexive or self-reinforcing component to it--creating a change in the world is kind of energizing, and that might stimulate new creative thoughts.) For example, in the case of crocheting stuffies--it seems to me that as you do more of them, there is an emergent novel-creative (vs doing-creative) component of choosing which patterns to make, how to display them, etc. (Not having crocheted, I hesitant to push this line of thought too far, but as someone who has gone to craft fairs to buy nice things to display, I've observed that there is what feels like a novel-creative component in thinking about how to combine those things together in a room, even though I didn't make any of them myself.)
I also tried to map this model into your creative journey model. I think they're more complementary ways of thinking about creativity than they are isomorphic, but it seems like there might be some tendencies for your stages to pair with the quadrants--for example, it seems like someone who needs space to be exhausted is probably in the quadrant of thinking normal thoughts, but not doing. On the other hand, someone who is thinking novel thoughts, but not doing might be more likely to be in the stage of "space for joy" stage.
Anyway, I found your prompt enriching and am glad to have thought some of this through for myself, and I thought you or others might enjoy the places where your post took me.
I was actually telling someone how buying art supplies is part of my creative journey 😂 it used to feel as if the stack of supplies were taunting me but now I view them in a more joyful way - untapped potential