Peter Himmelman, the singer, songwriter and chief executive of creative workshop firm Big Muse was speaking at Advertising Week in New York on Tuesday.
He said: "The idea that there are creative people and non-creative people is wrong."
Himmelman was offering "Rock star wisdom for advertising rock stars" and was joined on stage by Rob Schwartz, the TBWA Worldwide global creative president.
Himmelman said: "Creativity is the ability to eliminate fear and be with people in the moment. It is important to understand the difference between fear and anxiety and creative tension."
Using a character called "Marv" to illustrate the voice people hear in their heads that holds back creativity, Himmelman explained: "Rather than face abandonment, we listen to the voice instead of killing him and say 'Thank you, Marv, for covering my ass'. Creativity is what naturally occurs when our fears obey us, but it is not a talent and skill set, but about being free and the sort of person who is alive."
The Grammy and Emmy nominee also discussed the importance of improvisation to the creative process, whipping out his guitar on stage and making up songs on the spot based on subjects offered by the audience.
Suggestions included Colorado, the White House security breach and Schwartz's beard.
He told the audience there is no greater motivator to creativity than a paycheck and a time scale.