Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms? This is the line that totally grabbed my attention when I first read it. Can you imagine? Makes me think of Ally McBeal, actually!
Creativity is the buzz word of the moment – at least inside my own at head – and so I wanted to share a couple of things with you to ponder:
The video below is a 90 second preview of Jonah Lehrer’s book, Imagine. He describes creativity as “our natural state”. Love it. The video itself is worth watching for the sheer brillance in the use of graphics at speed to convey a message. So good! This book is on my wish list and ever-growing pile of ‘books I need to read’. A quick peruse of his website and he is quickly climbing to the top of my Fabulous People Club list too!
Yesterday on Twitter, GOOD asked the question “Define creativity in five words or less”. I added my tweet to the chorus:
I then went on to type a list of what everyone else had to say and turned that into this. What words would you add?
One of the workshops I went to at the NAIS Conference was on The Taxonomy of Creative Design by Peter Nilsson. The workshop was very thorough, with underlying the message (bear in mind you are getting a major summary here – please visit his website for a more full understanding of the work he has been doing) was that in a way similar to Blooms Taxonomy, we can actually have a Taxonomy of Creative Design. This was interesting if a bit analytical and ‘boxy’ for my liking. What I did like about it was that it gives a framework to teachers who are now asking “Well, how can I be more creative, add assignments of a more creative nature and extend creative thought in my classroom?”. Peter shared some examples of work that would fall in each category and this is an area I want to pursue further. His taxonomy looks like this with ‘curation’ at the point where novelty in form and novelty in content meet.
That leaves me with three last ‘gems’ on the topic of creativity. If you have seen them before, you know where they are when you are ready to look at them again! If they are all new to you, then you are in for a treat!
Steal Like An Artist is something I came upon about a year ago. I love it. It is now a book and the only thing I don’t like about that is that the content used to be free and now you get to read the first few points and then are asked to ‘buy the book’. Now, I know artists need food and shelter and trust me when I say the book is slick and sexy and square (love square books!) and that you will want to buy one, but as my guy Seth Godin points out,
If I give you an idea, a blog post, a PDF and just say here, take it, spread it, it starts by its nature as being uneven. And since it’s uneven it can be a gift. And when it’s a gift, it’s art. And when it’s art, it can make a change. ~ Seth Godin
I’m not picking on you, Austin, just sharing some Seth Godin love! The book is beautiful but more importantly, it is so cool in the way it talks about how everything really does come from something else.
One of my favorite parts is when he talks about creating your own genealogy of creativity – your creative family tree. Immediately, the crafter/art teacher/elementary school teacher came together in me: Start by taking all the people, things, passions you love and arrange them all at the top of a page. Now make another copy and lay them on top – you might even want to have a pile of three or four of each (you will see why in a minute!). So, have you got it – Steve Jobs, Picasso, Running Shoes, iPad, Art Supplies, Kandinsky, Jamie Oliver, Ansel Adams. These are my ‘grandparents’. Now, move ‘em around. Mix ‘em up. What would Steve Jobs, Jamie Oliver and Kandinsky make together? What about Kandinsky and Ansel Adams? Running Shoes and an iPad? Bring your passions together in weird and unusual ways and see what you end up with!
If you are going to Steal Like An Artist, then you should probably know that Everything Is A Remix – which leads us to Kirby Fergusson, creator of the recently finished four part web series “Everything Is A Remix”. He describes Part Four as some of his best work – and it is pretty great and very much worth your time. He begins by saying:
Copy, transform and combine. It’s who we are, it’s how we live, and of course, it’s how we create. Our new ideas evolve from the old ones. ~ Kirby Fergusson.
FYI, His new work, which has just been funded by Kickstarter donations, is called “This Is Not A Conspiracy Theory” which is designed to give perspective as to ‘where we are now’ with the first episode due out before the US Election. This is a totally FREE project that Kirby has opened up to be remixed as people see fit. Kickstarter is a great way in and of itself to ‘fund and follow’ creativity, describing itself as “the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects”. This is a treasure trove of good stuff waiting to be discovered!
Finally, these videos blow my mind every time I watch them. Pure creative genius. Enjoy!