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I am creative and so are you

I am creative and so are you

In college, I found knitting and began experimenting with my own designs and stitch patterns. I would start with an inspiring yarn, a pair of needles and just create, sometimes intentionally and sometimes with no plan in mind.

It was thrilling.

No rules. No expectations. No pressure for perfection. No requirement for purpose or functionality.

I was creating for the pure joy of it.

Tapping into this joyful creation, I realized that I needed this outlet in my life to be truly happy and to fully express myself.

On Creativity: Dan Pink

Giving the world something it didn’t know it was missing.
— Dan Pink on creativity

You're Creative If...

A study conducted by Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen, out of BI Norwegian Business School, has seven elements of a "creative" personality.

The study posed 200 questions to 481 people. The study subjects fell into three categories:

  • "Baseline" subjects, such as lecturers or managers
  • Students of advertising
  • Performing artists.

You might be creative if...

  1. You Have an Active Imagination
  2. You Have a Rebellious Spirit
  3. You’re Motivated to Succeed
  4. You’re Ambitious
  5. You’re Flexible - You See Challenges as Opportunities
  6. You Worry, A Lot
  7. You’re Hard to Get Along With

The study also found that work environment can have a "particularly strong influence on a person’s creative prowess."

I find this nugget particularly interesting because I have personally experienced this environmental difference. In February I wrote about how, "Work environment and company culture truly influence your performance, your personality at work, and your ability to push outside of your comfort zone."

Martinsen says that a typically non-creative person can become much more so when his or her surroundings encourage rule-bending and free thought.

Based on the seven elements, are you "creative?"

And have you experienced how culture influences your creativity?

Leave me a comment! (To the right of the post)

From the Web: 3 Paths Toward a More Creative Life

Creativity is in such demand today that when we apply for jobs, when we join organizations, or when we just meet other people, we are asked to present our creative selves. But we can’t do that unless we understand the nature of our own creativity, locate the sources of our originality, and have a language that explains our work.

- Bruce Nussbaum via Co.DESIGN

Nussbaum says there are three specific ways that can help you lead a creative life:

  1. Be Mindful - Disconnect
  2. To Created Meaningful Things, Delve into the Past
  3. Be Masterful

Disconnecting is something I truly advocate. Once I leave the office, I try my hardest not to use a computer. When I'm commuting home, I force myself to look out the window, watch the city and observe my surroundings, instead of squinting at my phone.

Being meaningful is important for leading a creative life because it allows you to understand the deeper meaning of relationships, outside and inside the marketplace.

Read the full article: 3 Paths Toward a More Creative Life

Farmhouse: Reinventing the Wallet at Chicago Ideas Week

This post was originally published on HBG's Brand Innovation for Health blog.

Melissa & Bree at Leo Burnett Farmhouse

Melissa & Bree at Leo Burnett Farmhouse

Farmhouse: Reimagine, Redesign and Remarket an Everyday Object

Earlier this month, the HBG team embarked on a journey to experience Chicago Ideas Week with the goal of learning, discovering and focusing our collective Intellectual Curiosity.

At Farmhouse (the innovation and new venture center of Leo Burnett), I teamed up with about 10 random strangers to reimagine, redesign and remarket an everyday object. In our case: the wallet.

We experienced a 3-step process – product, strategy and story – with the goal of developing a new product, solving a consumer problem, and creating a targeted story to bring our new product to market.

Our product – named “The Joey” for its resemblance to a baby kangaroo in its mother’s pouch – consisted of a wallet that simply zipped into your jacket or pants, providing a secure, hands-free alternative to the wallets currently on the market.

Our target was deemed the “Adventure Capitalist” – the professional who embarks on business adventures, and travels constantly for work. The Adventure Capitalist would love The Joey for its security, ease of use, and the ability to quickly pass through airport security, which is getting more and more difficult by the hour.

To promote The Joey, we considered hosting “business obstacle courses” in Manhattan, where Adventure Capitalists would encounter scenarios in which The Joey would make their life easier, such as airport security, business lunches, and suit shopping.

To bring The Joey to market, we decided to pursue strategic partnerships with companies already known for producing the clothing well loved by Adventure Capitalists.

In doing so, we would benefit from cross-marketing, established brand equity and the ability to tap into an existing, focused target consumer base. We determined J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, and several other higher end retailers would be a great start for our partnership endeavor.

The product, strategy and story were born. And, in Farmhouse fashion, they served us delicious Hoosier Mama apple pie!

How to be Creative, a Manifesto worth reading

Recently, I reread Hugh MacLeod's "How to be Creative" manifesto. It's lengthy, but definitely worthwhile to read. He touches on several things that I hadn't originally thought to be issues, and he isn't afraid to call bullshit.

Here's how to be creative, according to MacLeod:

  1. Ignore everybody.
  2. The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to change the world.
  3. Put the hours in.
  4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.
  5. You are responsible for your own experience.
  6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
  7. Keep your day job.
  8. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.
  9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.
  10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need props.
  11. Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.
  12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.
  13. Never compare your inside with somebody else's outside.
  14. Dying young is overrated.
  15. The most important thing a creative person can learn, professionally, is where to draw the red line that separates what you're willing to do, and what you're not.
  16. The world is changing.
  17. Merit can be bought. Passion can't.
  18. Avoid the Watercooler Gang.
  19. Sing in your own voice.
  20. The choice of media is irrelevant.
  21. Selling out is harder than it looks.
  22. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.
  23. Worrying about "commercial vs. artistic" is a complete waste of time.
  24. Don't worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.
  25. You have to find you own shtick.
  26. Write from the heart.

He gets to the niggling heart of what keeps people from creating art, which usually boils down to some strange combination of fear, self-confidence and outside approval.