Thursday, January 6, 2011

Some Thoughts On Creativity

Working in public relations, I'm often around a lot of creative people. Our mixed media industry thrives on ideas, and often times, a good idea is more likely to be acknowledged than a record of attendance or good grades in school. Creativity is the ability to think of what no one else does. To come up with a truly unique idea or point of view that makes others reconsider their own viewpoint. But as great as out of the box thinking and brilliant ideas arriving from chaos sounds, true creativity is based in a very methodical and logical process. Critical thinking: the ability to analyze a situation, problem or fact and break it down into its essence, and then to figure out why it is important or not important. Critical thinking involves asking endless questions and never being satisfied with given answers or established ways of doing things. Critical thinking is all about perspective, and a lot of ideas seem to be unique because of the unique perspective of the person who presents them.
The skills needed for creativity are really basic, and so anyone, trained or untrained, can be creative but not everyone is. Most people do not take the time to ask the amount of questions it takes to fully understand why something works or doesn't work. Creativity is an investment not of monetary value, but of time. The return can be monetary, sure, but the initial investment is the time and energy put into asking an endless barrage of questions and seeking to truly understand why things are done the way they are, and to discover if there is a better way of doing them. Creative people inherently adapt to change. They tend to congregate and thrive in areas that embrace change, which is why one can find a high concentration of creative people in places like San Jose, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Chicago. These places have become incubators for creative people, as they are home to lots of architecture, art and cultures that in affect create a global perspective for those who choose to admire them. And these are also the places from which our most celebrated contributions to the world come. The world-renowned movies, the technological advances, the fashion, and the food from these cities are just a few of the products dependent on a strong creative culture. That need is facilitated not only in the places from which these products hail, but also in the support they receive in other parts of the country.
 Even though our nation is one of consumerism and capitalism, we still highly value ingenuity and creativity not only in art and fashion, but also in things like business and food. Our entire culture is built on creativity; entrepreneurialism is business' creative outlet, and it also creates jobs and opportunities for collaboration with other businesses. So not only does our society embrace creativity, we embrace and celebrate it, because it is an integral part of our very way of life.