Creativity can be defined as a process for bringing something new into being. The creative person makes connections between one situation, object or thought and another, and this involves thinking, analyzing and then producing. Creativity begins with a foundation of knowledge, intuition or experience and evolves through a process of discovery and combining seemingly unrelated objects or thoughts into new combinations that are unique and cohesive.
It’s not as complicated as it sounds and can be learned. Kids do this all the time. And adults can too. You need to start from a place of imagination and free association.
As a kid I loved connect the dots. Sometimes I would connect the dots like I was suppose too. Following what I knew to be the ‘right way’ to reveal the image. Other times I would let my imagination take over and find new images in the dots. Such a simple game in today’s world with all the video games and apps. I wonder if creativity is actually stifled with the parameters all ready in place in so many games.
As adults you can ‘play’ and connect the dots to tap into your creative self. Take for instance going on a hike and collecting random objects for the sake of this creative exercise.
Base your collections on what feels interesting to you or spontaneous. With your collection of items, make various associations and categorize:
- color-add elements with similar color
- shape-find common shapes
- texture-look for consistent textures
So what’s the point? Observation! Observation is one of the key strengths in becoming more creative. It’s noticing, comparing, finding similarities and new combinations.
Curiosity is one of the drivers of creativity. When you stop asking ‘why’ or ‘what if’ or ‘how’, then you definitely need a creative boost. Creativity is all about discovery! Discovery is all about questions, curiosity and passion for knowing, understanding and expressing. Take the time to notice the details in nature, listen closely to the things around you, be alive to the world.
The action or process of observing something or someone carefully or in order to gain information.
Careful observation from a non-judgmental neutral position leads to stronger creative skills. Through observation you can understand and observe subtleties, patterns, and discover solutions to problems through trial and error (which starts with observation). Through awareness of your surroundings you gather information that is valuable for creative combinations. Go back to the exploration phase of finding and categorizing. Observing is paying attention, understanding and again categorizing what you learn so that you can make new and creative combinations. After all creativity is bringing something new into being. Before you can do this you have to have thoughts, objects, inspiration, ideas and more which result from exploration, curiosity and observation.
Of course there are many more factors to creativity. It’s not black and white and you can find your own ‘formulas’ to enhance your creative growth.