I have been thinking to myself recently about being creative and what creativity means.
A lot of people in advertising throw around the phrase, ‘Original Creativity’. What does that even mean?
As all good ex English graduates do, I checked a dictionary.
The Oxford dictionaries says creativity is, “The use of imagination or original ideas to create something.”
They say that there hasn’t really been anything truly original since they invented the wheel.
I mean was the wheel really even that creative? Who decided that was truly original?
At what point did we allow creativity to become a democratic decision. Gave it rules, defined parameters that it should operate within.
That sounds a little more like a colouring book to me.
What we should probably be asking is where did the creative impulse go? Or more importantly how do we get it back.
An interesting question in itself really. How do you set about reclaiming something that nobody can seem to verbally articulate particularly well?
My next logical thought was to identify when I feel at my most creative. Surely that is a good starting point to locating my creative impulse.
For me it’s in book stores.
I love to read and consume books at a rate of knots.
All the creatures in the Amazon Rainforest are probably worshipping the developer who created the Kindle for fellow page turning fanatics like myself the world over, reducing the need to produce paper based products, (though it’s hard to say no to a real book).
Doesn’t matter if it is Waterstones, Barnes and Nobles or some second hand store. They all have the same outcome for me.
Losing myself in the stories, ideas, concepts and Middle Earth, (seriously it’s a big place).
Reading engages the brain. Forcing us to make a seemingly simple decision- accept or reject.
Accept that what you have just read is factual and true. That it’s something you agree with.
Or reject it as something false, boring, incorrect. Maybe it’s now out of date and you know better.
You can’t sit on the fence with books.
People generally will start, love it and finish, or if it doesn’t take your interest there seems to be an abundance of tables in the world that just don’t sit flat.
We haven’t even mentioned the most important part of the accept/reject process, that comes before the decision. It’s the bit that actually matters. The part that we all do but because it is second nature to us, we often forget.
Questions affect everything we do. They’re a part of every decision we make during the day. Our brains do it so quickly we don’t process it. Helping us make every choice from big to small, will I go left or right at the traffic lights, sushi or sandwich? You get the idea.
I believe that in the Nano second when you form each small seemingly normal question, original creativity happens.
Questioning requires thought. So does good creative. It looks at the situation it’s in and asks;
- Is this right?
- Does it make sense?
- How can I be better?
If you want to be truly creative in all you do and in the work you produce- Question everything.
Never take anything blindly as truth until you have explored and tested it for yourself.
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