Recently there was advertised in my e-mail a design group discussion and lecture on creativity, and the myths of creativity, in which I was invited. Being how I am retired, I really don’t give a damned Scarlett, but I though it is food for thought.
There are many aspects to being a creative person, one of which is to be spontaneous somehow when it is demanded. Being considered a creative type, there have been many instances when being spontaneous was essential to my survival. For instance:
|It starts early in life|
Mom: “WHO did this?”
Me: “I dunno.”
Now that exchange was NOT very creative for a five year old, although the answer was to the point yet unbelievable.
But creativity comes from experience and managed thought.
Mom: “Who did this?”
Mom: “You KNOW what!”
Me: “I don’t know?”
Guilty as sin but looking very innocent and confused and buying time to distance myself from the wooden spoon that is about to be unleashed. This would occur about 7 years of age.An excellent case of: 'managed thought'.
To atone for my transgressions, my mother made me pay for it in artwork for my sister Mary Ann, who was her favorite because she has naturally curly hair and her name is Mary like my grandmother.
Mom: “Mary Ann needs a drawing of the Last Supper in color for Sister Mary Hardass.”
Me: “Wow! Good luck with that!” (Impressed)
Mom: “She’ll give you the crayons and paper you have to use to make it, she will need a new drawing of a masterpiece painting every week on Monday! Get busy.”
Me: “It's 9:00 PM on Sunday night!” (Depressed)
Mom: “You better get busy then.”
|Mary Ann w/ Grandma|
Of course when I got married, it started all over again.
TLW (The Little Woman): “Joe, I need you to make me a card for my great Aunt Morticia’s 25th Anniversary of being Sober.”
“Why don’t we just buy her card and give her a bottle of wine? What does she drink?”
“I need it by tomorrow, you are such a good husband!”
Of course this led to many more projects through the years. When asked to be creative, I was also asked to be ‘funny’, which is like saying to someone: “Say or do something funny.” Seems kind of impossible and it is, but then when you think of it, this urge to fulfill the request will take over, and sure enough, it turns funny.
When I was working, often the powers to be would come to me from Marketing and ask for the impossible.
“We need a new package design to test against the control, it has to be totally different, it has to be written designed and out the door this evening, with 6 to 8 components in it. We need to ok it first before it goes out! They are reserving press time for it so we can’t miss the run, it is very expensive!” This usually came about 4:30 in the afternoon!
|Me in the middle with the 'Powers'|
Once again, spontaneity was the main thing, no prep and no time.
One of the funniest things that would happen was when they needed it with no time, yet there was always time to change it! A week later they still hadn’t made up their minds until it finally came back to what I originally proposed.