The relationship between cultural and creative expression is complex. Cultural factors clearly have a profound influence on appropriate outlets for creative expression, on the nature of the subject matter and form of expression, on the functions that various forms of expression serve, and on the types of individuals selected for, or engaged in, creative activity. There are many different ways by which societies shape all aspects of creative expression, ranging from the availability of resources to the provision of rewards or punishments. It also becomes apparent that the association of creativity with originality is largely a Western outlook and that artistic achievements in other cultures do not necessarily have this requirement. Despite the powerful impact of culture on the creative expression of individuals, this relationship is often reciprocal. For whatever reasons, there tend to be individuals in all societies who challenge the cultural norm and societal tradition, despite the consequences, and who thereby help to shape the nature and form of art.
Understanding Global Cultures