“Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.”
– William Plomer
And it started pretty early on.
“Hey, I need food. How do I solve that? Hm, the shell on this thing is hard. That rock is hard. Maybe..?”
It just took one creature to make that connection and we got on board from there on in. Those who didn’t, well, they probably weren’t as prosperous. It was in our best interest to outsmart nature and as a result the best ideas won.
When we realized that we could fashion what we now know as tools by combining wood and rocks?
Hell yeah, we were rolling! Well, almost. The wheel needed to be invented first.
I’m writing this on a friday and I’m not going to bother to be as eloquent in the following section. Also, the story below may include some historical inaccuracies. Viewer discretion is advised.
There’s no doubt in my mind that some stone age person was sitting on a pile of rocks, looking at the people carrying shit around going: “Dude, there’s got to be a better way than this.”
One day she was fucking around in the woods and saw a dung beetle rolling a giant shitball.
“Good for you, little guy!”, she probably said to herself.
Then the “magic” happened. Her mind flashed back to sitting on that pile of rocks and watching her tribe carry wood, food etc back to HQ.
She hurried back and explained what she just saw. The tribe was not entirely convinced. The first prototype was built and she went: “Whatcha say about that?”
It was a disaster. She’d copied the dung beetle’s design. Lawsuits were filed and it became a whole thing. Well, you could imagine. Although, I urge you not to.
After hiring a lead designer who insisted on moving from fecal matter to high end stone the project started to gain traction. Several iterations later the product finally shipped and was widely adopted.
Well, she was now leader of the pack. Hell, she was probably the Steve Jobs of her time. Holding keynotes at Ugh-Ugh Inc., envisioning the future of tech and so on.
Anyway, the same basic principles apply. Whether it’s music, art, technology, marketing, photography, writing, movies etc. What works stays, what doesn’t gets put aside.
The difference lies in whether what we’re presented with is:
1) Useful. Does it fulfil its intended purpose?
2) Unique. Is it different enough from the things I’ve seen before?
Sometimes all that’s needed is that we haven’t been exposed to that version of it before. Like a really cool cover of a song or Andy Warhol’s pop art etc.
Also, something we need to consider is whether or not we’re moved by something. If we can relate to it. If it says anything about who we are as people.
Let’s take this post for example.
1) Some people will read a little bit and feel that it doesn’t resonate with them and move on.
2) Some people will see the curse words and be turned off.
3) Some people want to have a view of creativity as being that magical, mystical, religious thing. There’s nothing wrong with that! In some ways it might even be a healthier view of it when used productively.
4) Some will think that it’s useful and interesting enough to consider as good.
5) Some will have a more informed view of it and provide a better and more accurate post on the subject. This is the thing you, me and everyone else wants!
So, that’s my rant on the subject.
What’s your approach to creativity? How would you define it?
Let me know in the comments or send me a Tweet.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!