Thursday, May 27, 2010

Creativity is…Taking a Leap

In a previous post, I mentioned the concept for a series on Creativity is… I even alluded to a future post I would write on this topic revealing something about my own future.

Well, now is the time to reveal that creativity is…taking a leap. So how did I come to this conclusion? Several months ago a good friend gave me the idea to go back to school to study interactive media and graphic design. The more I thought about it, the more I began thinking about it as taking a leap. I would be jumping back into school, a place I thought I’d left for good 10 years ago after earning my MA. Then, I began to consider that any great creative idea is also like taking a huge leap forward.

Think about it. How many creative ideas have been generated when someone just stood still and didn’t take in any new ideas, didn’t explore new places and made no new connections? I am guessing the number is pretty low if anything at all. That’s why creativity is…taking a leap.
  • What has been your biggest creative leap?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Five {5} Creative Questions with Liz Massey

I am honored to introduce our Five {5} Creative Questions guest this month, creative extraordinaire Liz Massey.

Liz Massey is a writer, editor, media producer and a creative agent provocateur. Experienced in artistic disciplines as diverse as music, photography, filmmaking and journalism, Liz has a deep hunger to understand how the creative process works. She began Creative Liberty in 2007 as a way to share what she’d learned about developing and maintaining creative momentum.

Liz holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has worked as a magazine editor, a training content developer, a video producer and a publicist for a county library system, not to mention such “character-building” jobs as veterinary assistant, call center operator and bank correspondence proofreader. She lives in Peoria, Arizona, with her partner, thousands of books and a small, independent-minded dog.

1. What does creativity mean to you?
At its root, creativity is all about utilizing the present moment to bring something new into being — whether that is a work of art, a poem, a delicious lunch made with 3 ingredients or a new way home from work.

I mention the “present moment” part because every person must start from where they are, with the tools around them. We can certainly plan to purchase new tools, take classes to improve our technique, etc. – but in the end, getting into the habit of plunging in and making an attempt to create something NOW is more important than planning to “get it right” in some far off future that never arrives.

At my blog, Creative Liberty, I try to include news and tips from the art world, business innovators, inventors and social entrepreneurs who are trying to better our world, because all those fields demonstrate the creative process in action.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Everyday Creative: Being Mindful

This month, unlike last month, was really challenging for me to complete. The task this time was to be mindful. I must admit that while spring is usually a time for renewal and reflection, I’ve spent mine feeling completely out of sorts, which is why I was excited to focus on being mindful with the slight hope that it would bring some peace to the chaos I was feeling.

The first thing I needed to do was to rouse myself out of the dream sleep that so many of us are in. How many of us often feel like life is passing us by, without even a chance to stop and enjoy it? I know that’s how I’ve been feeling, so I relished the thought of delving into this further and finding ways out of it.

I began by being ever vigilant, as Maisel suggests, about being mindful. I am one of those people who stop every so often, while working to listen to my breath or glance out at the blue sky just to regain focus, but again this spring was different. I appreciated the exercise, which required me to do “brain surgery.” By that I mean, really listening to myself and when a worry arose I imagined taking it from my mind, tossing it in some container and sealing it up. I am visual person, so using that imagery really helped.

The next few weeks focused more on critical thinking and analytical skills. After completing graduate school, in a very theoretical discipline, I am pretty convinced that I’ve got those skills down. Although, I do tend to over-use them so thought this was a good time to analyze that!