If I hand you a brick and ask, “How many uses can you think of for this?,” you’ll probably come back with a dozen or so uses, all of the functional, yeah-I-sort-of-expected-that variety. You may use it to build a wall. Or pave a patio. Build a house. Or even use it as a paperweight.
If, however, I asked you, “What 40 ways can you think of to use this?,” I’m likely to get a whole different kind of list. After exhausting the obvious uses above, you’ll find yourself uncomfortably searching for other unthought-of uses. Some will be totally silly, or non-sequitar. But before long (probably around number 25 or 30), you’ll actually hit on something truly original (paint it gold and hand it out as a Fort Knox souvenir…). It is here, at this uncomfortable point when you think you’ve exhausted all practical uses for the brick, where true creativity lives. It’s where you start to find new connections between the object at hand and the world around you. You start thinking beyond the obvious solutions. Your ego stops judging every passing thought in the name of quantity.
Creativity can be defined as the process through which the mind finds heretofore unrecognized relationships between two entities, perceptions or ideas. It is something that allows our audience to see something in a different way.
Creativity is hard. It is a trip into uncharted territory. It is bumping into ideas that quite frankly you don’t know how to judge or evaluate.
It is taking the obvious and making it interesting.
Knowing how our mind’s creativity works is the reason few creatives settle on the first idea (or handful of ideas for that matter) they find. The thinking being, if it was that obvious to me, it must be obvious to everyone, therefore there’s nothing new or exciting about it. Truly creative solutions are a bit unnerving, not because they are provocative or irrelevant, but because you’ve never seen something quite like this, and your mind doesn’t know how to evaluate it.
So next time you’re presented with an idea or concept that makes you a little uneasy, avoid the reaction of rejecting it out of hand because it is “different.” Deconstruct it to see how that idea was developed. See if it answers the needs spelled out in the creative brief. Live with it for a time. Then form your conclusion.
Posted by Mickey
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