Last week I sat through a presentation at my daughter’s art school. The walls of the studio were covered with paintings, sketches and drawings. All were done by the students who range in age from six to 26. Although the subject matter was all over the map, from cartoons to profiles to landscapes, they all had one thing in common – they were born out of creative desire.
As I sat there I couldn’t help but think about what creativity means in this day and age and how, even though many of us may not consider ourselves to be creative (as in Van Gogh), the opportunity for us to introduce creativity in everything we do has never been greater.
Dictionary.com defines creativity as – the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.
I prefer the definition offered up by Dr. Nancy Andreasen of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and author of The Creating Brain. During an interview with NPR she states “creativity is an intellectual capacity that is not directly related to intelligence. And it is capacity of seeing new things, new relationships, create novel things, and it spreads across the arts and sciences…the point I make is the genius is somebody who has the capacity to think outside the box and have original ideas, produce beautiful things, things that are useful to society and so on.”
I’m not exactly jazzed about using the term “think outside the box” but in today’s marketplace we, as professionals, have the opportunity to be creative in everything we do. More importantly, in many of our workplaces creativity in nontraditional environments is not accepted but almost expected.
Today, it ‘s not enough (or fun) to continue to do things the way we did last year, last month, or in some cases last week. Sure, there’s something to be said for maintaining process, but the beauty of today lies in our ability to employ creative approaches to everything we do.
In a way we’re all artists so imagine the “to do” list as a canvas and let yourself create a new landscape.