A few weeks ago, I attended a seminar called The Art of Creativity with Jason Theodor. It was based on his book Create More Better Different, which he is currently writing. While I often question the idea of teaching creativity, he took a different approach to it. To him, creativity is all about context. Rather than walking through steps on how to be creative, he talked about how to identify your creative type.
In Jason’s opinion, we are all creative, but in different ways. The trick is to identify our type of creative so that we can harness that creative energy in the most effective way. Before I get into identifying your creative type, I’ll give you some context behind his theory.
Jason describes creativity as “the art of connecting things in unexpected ways.” What does that mean? Well, it involves three areas:
Creativity grows from taking action. We can sit here and read about it, think about it and plan for it, but until we put these thoughts into action, creativity doesn’t exist.
To get the most out of our creativity, we have to practice our craft. Writers need to write, painters need to paint and designers need to design. You get the idea. Creativity is born when we act.
Like Jason said, creativity is the art of connecting things. Obviously, this is where connection comes in. You need to associate certain aspects of a situation to get a better understanding of it.
If a project is unfamiliar to you, relate it to an area you know well. This will help you understand the situation. Only when you understand a situation can you come up with ideas on how to react.
This is the fun part. This is where you break away from the path, experiment and let your mind wander to find these unexpected paths.
Start looking at the situation from another point of view, one you’ve never considered. What do you see? Play around with ideas. After all, experimentation leads to creative expression.
Creativity, according to Jason, is made up of these three areas, but not always in the same way. He identifies eight creative types, each with a different level of action, connection and deviation. A Daredevil for example would have a lot of deviation, but very little action and connection. Take the test and determine your creative type.
Now it’s time to get creative. If you have trouble getting started, Jason offers tips on how to put your ideas into action. One method, that I’ve used a lot recently, is 10 ideas in 10 minutes. Before you start a project or task, take 10 minutes to jot down 10 ideas. They don’t all have to be good, some of them might even be terrible. But chances are you will come up with at least one or two great ideas that you can move forward with.
Regardless of your thoughts on creativity, or your creative type, it always helps to look at things in a different way. This is one way of looking at creativity, but there are many others.
Did you take the creative test? I am an Energetic Curious Playful Apprentice. What’s your creative type?