This post won’t be about design; instead I wanted to dig into something that has been bothering me for a long time: “our” creativity.
Not long time ago, I was talking to a friend about here and there, kids and family, you know… life. We switched to the topic of how, for example, he was not decorating his apartment, he said: “You are creative because you are a designer, you should draw something for my walls!”. He was a friend form high school and I remember he was a kick-ass in art classes. My reply was:”But… you are also creative, as long as I can remember (and I could)”. He explained that he did not take a pencil in his hands since he finished art classes, so he added “I am not creative anyway!”. Taking to other fellow colleagues, people do not consider themselves creative just because on their degree paper is not written DESIGN. The annoying question that always pops up in my mind is: “Why is design related to creativity and (to be honest) associated, sadly, to the simple action of drawing on paper”?
As long as I have memories, I was creative. As a kid I used lego bricks for cooking, pens for pools and food for decoration. I never played with toys the way I was supposed to. In high school, I loved to take different roads to tennis training with my bike. At university, I was challenged to think differently to experience other ways of approaching problems or similar. Long story short, creativity did not happen because I could sketch (even tho that is debatable…) instead happened in my head. Creativity is the way you approach things, it is whenever you get an idea and how you roll with it. Creativity for me happens early in the morning when I need to make breakfast. I try to make it as creative as possible, combing my cornflakes with coffee or some fruits, or maybe even a colourful spoon, and continues until I leave the office and go to sleep. I might be one of the lucky few out there who, from the beginning, was “pushed” to be creative in the field of Industrial Design. I know not everyone is interested in design and that is totally O.K., but whatever your professional pursuit leads you to be a fitness instructor, nurse, business consultant or director of an organisation, you can access creativity anytime. When working with business for you need to be extremely creative to come up with new plans, new proposals or similar, as a director you can think about million ways to approach people and create new channels of communication and collaboration between fellow colleagues. I saw more researchers burn thousands of post-its in order to create a unique research plan or new ways to analyse data or people, compared to sketching professionals or artists who were asked to draw furniture. Creativity usually happens from nothing , starting from concepts all the way to content and finished product.
I could spend words and posts on this topic… but… To conclude, put yourself in the position to chose creativity: not only in your working life, but also in private life. Follow your guts and your creative ambitions, pursue your imagination and passion. Maybe our professions shape us into something stable and for the sake of certainty we lose creativity – to be sure we never risk or fail. But failing is only our teacher, not our judge and we can be creative only if we lose the idea of being wrong. I hope that you wont take your creativity for granted, instead embrace the creative everything.
Happy holidays and stay tuned,