Updated: Mar 29, 2019
Some thoughts from Austin Ohm, our Creativity Director, on why creativity matters.
I asked the question:
Why is creativity important? Why are we doing this?
Like so many of our good conversations, this one was happening over a homemade vegetarian dinner with a bottle of cheap wine. About a minute into the conversation, I had to leave the table to grab my notebook and write down what Austin was saying: "Creativity is fundamental to humans. It's a defining characteristic that's gotten us to where we are."
Ok, but if it's so important, why don't we have 'Creativity' classes in elementary school, 'Creative Empowerment for Life' seminars as prerequisites in college? How do we learn to be creative? Everyone knows what the word creativity means. When you hear the word, what do you think of?
I'll answer this one for you. You probably think of artists. Artists are creative.
Well, Austin thinks you're wrong. It's not that artists aren't creative, but it's that everyone is creative. "It's a primary element of who we are! It's a social construct. But, our culture has no good vocabulary for creativity which has led us into a recent creativity crisis."
In the age of fast food, Walmart, and SnapChat, creativity hasn't been modeled or taught. We don't take the time to make things, notice the world around us, and connect with friends and neighbors face to face. Once we lose these skills, we become unbalanced. Recognizing our individual creativity and finding ways to express it can help with physical and mental balance and wellbeing.
We must re-learn how to use creativity in order to make the changes we want in the world. "Creativity allows us to have unique and novel ideas that move us forward."