There was an interesting article in ‘The Age’ on Saturday 11 January by Jane Sullivan. It was about creativity and the fears expressed by author Sam McNerny that the gung-ho unlock your creativity type of pop culture we are lambasted with almost daily [or maybe that is just me noticing that as my radar is keenly tuned] – is killing true creativity.
Classical creativity glorifies the tortured soul labouring long and hard over bringing a new piece of genius into the world. Suffering for art, facing ridicule for new, criticism for championing change and upsetting the status quo.
But what about the every day creativity. What about the new solutions to workplace problems, the new spice added to a meal with unexpected results, the creativity of decorating a room or landscaping your garden. The serendipity of searching for just the right shade of blue for the new curtains, and finding it in a pair of shoes in a fashion magazine. The student who writes a new story, ‘discovers’ [their] scientific breakthrough in prac class.
Those times when your mind is working on creative solutions to your daily dilemmas that result in aha moments, that is what some classify as ‘small c’ creativity.
Regularly practicing ‘small c’ creativity is what leads to ‘big C’ creativity – the struggles, the breakthroughs, the monumental somehow life changing status quo shaking. Without pop-culture’s insistence that ‘creativity is the currency of the future’ we just might find ourselves living in a society dominated by the crazy few, those brave enough to endure the punishingly hard work – and so be deprived of the small gains, the little inspiration and the tantalising glimpses into what could be a bigger picture.
I say Hurrah to pop culture, I say Hurrah to the confidence gained from awareness and for small acts of creativity, and Hurrah to opportunities to challenge our thinking….who knows where that can take us.