When we’re little, we are all creative. Every kid in preschool wants their drawing stuck to the fridge. No one’s concerned about the colours being accurate – it’s fine to give the boy a green face and the rabbit blue hair – it looks good.
As we get older we get conscious of comparisons. Do I draw as realistically as they do? Is my writing as interesting as other bloggers?
I have a wonderful friend that is a natural story teller. She also has a unique ability to let her humour shine though and often makes me laugh out loud reading her emails. She has all the talent she needs to fill her desire to write a book, but is held back by the comparisons – will it be good enough, is she creative enough?
Those comparisons kills our buzz – we start to doubt, then decide we just don’t have the imagination.
What defines creative
I have never had “Creative” in my job title. I’m a creative cook, I’ve danced for years at a dance studio, I’m good at interior design, I can sew without a pattern and I love writing my blog. But if you were to ask me if I was creative, I’d hesitate a long time before saying yes.
For years we had a small definition of what exactly is “creative work.” I’m delighted that has begun to change.
Creativity is no longer the prowess of people who can draw and paint, play an instrument or sing. It’s no longer owned by people whose work title has the word Creative in it. It has bloomed far beyond the fine arts, the commercial arts and the plastic arts.
Now creativity lives in inventive thought – ideas, words and products that are inspired by our lives.
I just saw a Facebook page for a company called Under Colors – they are developing a nail varnish that changes colour when it comes in contact with rape drugs in drinks – how creative is that?
It’s not the product idea that defines their creativity. It is the imaginative way they’ve connected today’s social risks and the need to feel secure, with the discretion required to check if the people around you are trustworthy.
It’s the brilliant connection of life experience and imagination that make this creative.
People who write code that delivers us new experiences on the web are creative. People who curate their photos or pinterest or write about their food adventures are creative. It’s about your imagination taking flight from your experiences.
Creativity is not a difficult mistress – it doesn’t demand an audience, you don’t need to be paid for it and it doesn’t have to be affirmed by someone else.
Creativity is in the joy of doing something that expresses your original and unique thoughts. It is in the way you put it together, different from anyone else and uniquely yours.
There is a joy in that creative thinking that we revelled in as a child. Find yours again, let it loose without inhibition.
Don’t be humble, belittle or compare it.
Let your imagination soar.
Here’s a video from Adobe about how they see the new creative landscape.
If you enjoyed this post you might like this article in the New Yorker by Joshua Rothman on the evolution of creativity. Here is a quote from the article:
If you’re really creative, really imaginative, you don’t have to make things. You just have to live, observe, think, and feel. Coleridge, in his poem “Frost at Midnight,” uses, as his metaphor for the creative imagination, the frost, which freezes the evening dew into icicles “quietly shining up at the quiet moon.” The poem begins: “The Frost performs its secret ministry, / Unhelped by any wind.” The secret, silent, delicate, and temporary work of the frost is creativity, too. It doesn’t build, but it transforms. It doesn’t last, but it matters.
Drop me a line, what unleashes the creativity to you?