When you travel to your 9-5 desk job, you likely pass a bunch of billboards that have bright colors, advertisements, and information on them. Perhaps you recognize on your morning commute that you have had far too little to sleep, and you stop by a local coffee shop to find your favorite latte in addition to some motivation for the day. When you get your cup of joy, you note the logo and décor that is on the cup. Somehow this feels like it is adding to your caffeine intake, so you pay your 7 dollars and head on your way. As you walk into the office, you note the graffiti that seemingly appeared overnight. Maybe it was never really your thing, but it looks kinda cool anyway. The point is there is creativity everywhere. It surrounds us in our everyday lives, from the clothes we wear to the furniture we buy and the brand we support. There is a level of creativity in almost every aspect of our lives that we may or may not notice.
Creativity can be expressed in many ways. The creatives, the ones who are naturally artistic and dabble in every art form, are typically the ones that set the highest bar for creative expression. More often than not, you can see it in the way they dress and carry themselves that they surround themselves with the unique. When you break down expressing creativity, that is one of the most substantial aspects. Surrounding yourself with the unique. Exploring and traveling is one thing, but surrounding yourself with creative people, the individuals that see the world in a way you have never even dreamed of, are the people who will push your own creative limits. When you express creativity, start by surrounding yourself with the most creative people you know. Pick their brains and see where the conversation leads. I have found that this is often best conducted over a stiff drink of some form.
Asking Simple Questions
Starting a conversation with a simple question such as, “what drives you to create” is one of the best ways to understand creativity from a place that is not of yourself. When I have been asked this question, my favorite answer is to describe my creative process like Adobe Illustrator. In Illustrator, there is a layer panel that allows you to see, hide, move, and arrange objects of art that have been created on your artboard. In life, it is very common for me to see or hear something that I am inspired by. This could be any number of things from people, locations, music, colors, food, etc. If it looks artistic, different, or out of the ordinary, my creative side will be alerted. In this inspirational mindset, I will often feel moved to create something based on whatever has inspired me in the first place. In my head, and just like in Illustrator, I can change the layers in any way I desire. I can view the item or remove it, move it from the foreground to the background, and any other numerous options. When I am satisfied with what is in my head, my hands must create. They adjust and transform as needed in whatever medium I am working in. It doesn’t feel like a job. It feels like an expression similar to how someone might express themselves with their makeup or through the car they drive. It’s fun and exciting and distinctly you.
Creativity In a Nutshell
Creativity can, of course, be expressed in ways you would traditionally expect, such as painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography. Breaking down creativity into simpler terms brings us simply to design. Artists or any creative person designs things in their heads, on paper, on a computer, or really on any surface, they can get their hands on. The surface itself is a design element, and one many creatives spend quite a bit of time contemplating. Instead of focusing on a medium, you want to create within, focus on how you design. Explore the elements of a strong design. How do they work within a space or with certain colors. Is there a demographic you are specifically trying to speak to and does your design capture that particular audience? Creativity captures the fundamentals and presents them in a piece of work that explores color, shape, and pattern.
We as creatives can be inspired by people, places, or things, and many times you will create something around those themes in one way or another. You might end up working in one particular medium, such as ceramics, for a long period of time. At some point, you consider yourself only a ceramicist and choose to only work in that medium. While it is wonderful to specialize in something as complicated as ceramics can be, there is a missed opportunity for creativity. Instead of limiting yourself to one particular medium on your journey of creativity, branch out and explore what another medium has to offer you. Not only will exploring these other avenues help your design eye, but they will likely inspire you in more ways than one.
Creativity is something that should be explored from a young age. So often, we find that 9-5 job and the creativity dies with every day that we go in for another meeting. A part of ourselves that is so aligned with human nature is shut down in a society that considers it not useful. Instead of adapting to society, make society adapt to you. Express yourself in whatever way you would like. Ask simple questions just to see where they will lead you. Go on crazy adventures that don’t have a final destination. When you feel inspiration coming on, roll with it. Take away layers that aren’t adding to the story and put new ones in. Add colors and patterns that are new and different. Change the way others perceive the world and make them see it the way that you see it.