I believe that sparks of creativity can be inspired by everyday life. Ideas can be shaped by our experiences and impact what and how we do things. There are also ways to tap into creative outlets based on personal interests. Sometimes we may wonder if our creative ideas will be well-received by others. The truth is, not all ideas come to fruition. However, the ability to come up with new ideas is great practice for strengthening creative muscles.
Where does creativity come from?
The hippocampus is the region of the brain that supports the ability to imagine and create. This is the same region that is associated with memory and putting together details of experiences. The hippocampus has an important role in recalling memories and envisioning future events. Like most other processes, creativity can be learned and enhanced through practice.
When is creativity necessary?
Creativity and new ideas are essential for growth and progress in any industry. Below are some occasions where you may need to be creative in your own personal or professional life.
To Solve a Problem
Challenges are a part of life, and while they can be frustrating, they can also lead to new ways of thinking. Brainstorming is a part of the creative problem-solving process through which solutions are developed. This process includes the following steps:
Define or identify the problem
Generate ideas/brainstorm solutions
Evaluate and select best options
Implement an idea or solution
Review and reflect (Did it work? To what extent?)
Working collaboratively can offer more creative solutions than working alone. When brainstorming in a group setting, more insights, perspectives, and possibilities are brought to the table.
A recent example of creative problem-solving for me: I recognize that I sit a lot during the workday. I strive to build movement into my day, whether it's going for an afternoon walk, waking up early to workout, or exercising later in the evening after my kids have gone to bed. Sometimes I don't have the time or energy for these options, so I tried to think of a way to multitask. With inspiration from my sister, who uses a desk over a treadmill, I created a workstation over my stationary bike. I used a lap desk and clamped it to the handlebars of the bike. That way, I can get in some movement while checking emails, etc. I'm aware that this space is limiting when working on certain projects. However, it allows me to move my legs a bit after sitting for extended periods of time while doing certain tasks.
To Connect with Others
Creativity is a great way to make connections. I’ll use social media as an example. Content creators must come up with different ways to engage with their audience through images, videos, and written captions. Content is most memorable when it is creative, original, and relatable. It’s no wonder people widely share this type of content creation or copy it to make their own versions.
In Response to Change
Creativity is a necessary tool for effectively navigating change. We certainly learned this during the pandemic lockdown. At the time, I was teaching middle school art remotely. You may be wondering, “How can you teach art through a computer?” Although we (teachers, collectively) had never done this before, we did the best we could. We also had to come up with new and creative ways to engage our students who were not directly in front of us. In some cases, we made video tutorials for students to refer back to. To solve the issue of materials, we learned online art programs and taught students how to use them. We gave options for assignments to ensure an accessible curriculum.
When do you use creativity in your life?
Think of times when you have had to use creativity in your own life, whether to solve a problem, to connect with others, in response to change, or in another way. It’s natural to feel stuck sometimes when engaging in the creative process. In fact, I had a hard time narrowing down the topic for this blog post, so I stepped away from it for a bit. The deadline also helped to motivate me and get my ideas organized. Similarly to creative problem-solving, the writing process includes a number of steps before arriving at the final piece.