Does Professionalism or Education Kill Creativity?

I had a drawing assignment for my class called Drawing for Design. I was late for class so I ended up submitting my project late. In the end, I received a score of 6.5 / 9.

NOTE: we were not told that it will be a graded assignment. The initial criteria were brief and no marks were assigned to each one.

Our designs were critiqued by each other based on the following, up to a maximum of 1 point for each of the criteria:

  1. creative concept/idea
  2. design elements and principles
  3. perspective drawing
  4. effective use of negative/positive space
  5. include the product’s name
  6. professional presentation
  7. correct sized paper
  8. 2-inch border on foam board
  9. on time

If we break down the criteria, the first 3 criteria are about being creative and displaying our drawing skills. After all, this is a drawing class. However the other 6 of the criteria are about professionalism.

According to that criteria, this design below would get a 6/9 because it satisfies the last 6 requirements. None of them have anything to do with being creative:


If I could have received a 6/9 with just that because I am going to get judged on a pre-existing criteria, then I would have done just that. There is no need for more effort because it is over 50% and I have received that “Pass” for this assignment.

I am not sure how I feel about this expectation for designers (or anyone) to be professional. Is it fair to have a drawing assignment to be graded mostly on professionalism? I don’t know. I do know that if I will be judged on some sort of criteria, I am going to have to prioritize on the section that gives me the most marks for the least effort.

Will that affect creativity? Absolutely.

I am just uncertain which is killing creativity, the expectation to be professional or the education system requiring marks to be assigned to projects.


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