c&p #16: Creativity in the cracks


Creativity is like fitness.

Maybe you've heard the analogy that creativity is similar to a muscle, where we stress and break down the tissue, feed it with the right nutrients, and hopefully build it into a bigger, better, more badass version of it in the future.

But I also like to think of creativity more akin to general fitness.

How "fit" you are is majoritively determined by how often you go for your big bouts of training; think sprints, boxing, dancing, sport, whatever gets your heart pumping fast and keeps it continuing to do so.

But something to consider is that your fitness is also aided by how active you are in your daily activities.

Walking to your destination instead of driving, using a standing desk at work, getting up to talk to your colleague across the floor instead of messaging them on Slack, how we feel about all of the movements we make throughout the day says a lot about how fit we are.

Creativity is a lot like that.

Sure, bouts of deep creative work are necessary for us to get anywhere, but practising and using our creativity in the cracks of everyday life, in the space between, is where we can really gain momentum in our creative pursuits.

Everything can have some level of creativity applied to it; when you're trying to solve a problem with your kitchen sink, when you want to make everyday activities more optimised, when you're trying to design boring name tags for a big function you're organising.

Breaking out of the idea that creativity needs to be and have some kind of visual art to it allows us to expand our creative approach.

People think art and design is all about the visual. But something I learned a long time ago is that design is simply about solving problems. That's all it is. Whether you're solving problems in a graphical sense where you have to create a banner ad for a company, or in a photographic sense where you're trying to create a specific image that says something for a campaign, or in a user experience sense where you're trying to create a pleasurable journey for someone. All of these problems require creative designs, creative solutions to common problems, and this process is just the same for mundane activities like fixing your leaky tap, tackling the hornet's nest of cables under your desk, or optimising the best travel carry for your next adventure.

Rather than go about our day with a straightforward approach of just "getting things done", instead, how might we inject creativity into the smaller things we make and solve in between the bigger things in our lives?

Something to think about.

See you next week, creative.

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