Experience and Creativity

Steve Jobs has a quote that explains where true creativity stems from, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

Exposure; having as many experiences as possible in order to naturally make connections, dream up new solutions, and be truly creative. I mean, you only know what you know. Right? You have to learn more and see more in order to instinctively form new ideas.

I can dig it. There are a ton of ways to go after gaining experience. Read more. View more. Go more.

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It’s easy to get stuck in a reading pattern where you gravitate to novels about people like yourself, or read news that talks directly to your interests. There’s no harm in this, unless that’s all you read. Try picking up books and magazines that are out of your comfort zone. Maybe that means trying historical fiction, biographies, stories based in different cultures or countries. Just something different.

The internet is also an amazing (and obvious) source. You can find inspiration everywhere. Jump on to Medium and read the thoughts and opinions of others. Subscribe to marketing and design blogs so you are always seeing new ideas. Maybe check out demographic specific news outlets so you can better understand  generational thinking. But don’t forget worldly news from NY Times, WSJ, HBR, and The New Yorker. It’s all equally important for exposure to ideas, cultures, and connections.

Related; watch more documentaries and listen to more podcasts. Expand your knowledge and understanding by hearing stories.

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Go to “creative spaces” and absorb the energy and visuals. Thankfully my city of Columbus is full of spaces that fit this mold. We have regular shows for a wide range of artists – CCAD students, general community members, professionals, etc.There are countless galleries and museums, plus community studio spaces where artists collaborate. We also have tons of outdoor installations and murals. Art is everywhere.

Columbus also has creative associations and clubs where you can meet and work with artists of all kinds. To name a few… Columbus Idea Foundry, Creative Babes, Columbus AMAColumbus Society of Communicating Arts, Wild Goose Creative, Motive, Cultural Arts Center

Seeing the work of other creatives will expand your connection points and stimulate your brain with endless inspiration.

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Taking a Year Off is #120 on an internet list of “things white people like.” The list goes on to say that “more books about mid-twenties white people traveling have been written than have been read.” HAHA! This is hysterically true and I definitely fall into the stereotype. If I took a year off (which I’d love to do) I would certainly write about the experience.

I still think that travel and experiencing new cultures first-hand is extremely beneficial. Long weekends in other U.S. cities, and maybe a trip or two overseas. I would want to go in order to learn and experience different ways of life and gain understanding around more cultures. Open up my mind.

There is still so much I don’t know. By consciously looking for more experiences, my ability to be creative will be profoundly heightened. This is unbearably exciting to me! I’m ready to soak it all in like a sponge, then mix it up, and create something new.


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