Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

The creators, the inventors, the doers

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve always admired people who can make something. Maybe it’s gadgets or maybe it’s music. Maybe it’s art or maybe it’s crafts. It just amazes me when they can take their skills to produce an end result that we can use or enjoy again and again.

For years I wished I could be a creative. Come up with things, produce things that others would admire me for. In fact, recently I’ve been contemplating YouTube videos. Putting content out there that people could listen to and relate to, now that’s creation! I looked in admiration at all types of people who had found their passion as a child, couldn’t stop creating, and eventually followed a path to put out amazing things. “What about me?” I thought as I reflected on skills I wish I had, like making soap or cooking or singing or dancing.

Yet all this time, I never realized that I have been creating. This very blog, in fact.

For some reason, because it’s not something I can open up an Etsy shop for or record a video or audio file of, I never considered it creating. Why did I not see it earlier? This IS content, and truly one of the original forms. And I (*gasp*) am creating it! Whoa.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been writing for so much of my life that it became the norm. I don’t even notice all I’ve written. At 10 years old, I began keeping a daily journal. 13 years later, I stopped upon meeting Panda, but by then I had been blogging on the side. So then blogging started to take hold until it became the primary way I kept track of my life. I’d share thoughts and experiences and now it’s become a place for my memories. Whenever I want to share something with friends, I can easily do a search of the 2300+ entries on my blog to pull up a post. It’s very much a part of me and an extension of me.

This is what I’ve realized: I am creative. I write blog posts. I am inventive. I constantly think of new topics to share. I am a doer. I built and manage the website for it all.


Creativity with contraints

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’m taking a course on Coursera about strategic innovation, which started by covering creativity. One idea I found really interesting is that this whole “thinking outside the box” concept is flawed. Basically, our professor explains how to truly innovate, you need to work within certain constraints, or else your ideas are cast aside as too crazy, too weird, too something. And so, creativity at its best may not actually be thinking outside that box per se, but thinking within and working to alter the box itself. Certainly it’s more effective that way.

That got me thinking though – are people more creative with constraints than they are with none? I mean, if you think of a contest for example, it provides a certain set of guidelines and then lets contestants add their own personal flair or interpretation. Oftentimes, these challenges produce amazing results. I think this is because these people are given a focus. It’s not just about writing the best essay or taking the best picture – it’s about writing the best essay about pie and taking the best picture of a flower. The specific nature of these tasks also lend themselves to more diversity in a way.

I’ve found, for instance, that I can be creative in many ways, but one of the most rewarding has been writing my Wacky Wedding Ideas blog. When I have to limit all my ideas to the general structure of a wedding, it actually creates so many possibilities. Personally, I think ideas I have for wacky weddings would far exceed ideas I can come up with for any old party, or even events in general. Since I already have something to work with, it’s really fun to stretch the limits with what can be changed about a wedding while still preserving its essence. If I tried to write a blog about any cool event ideas I could think of, I’m sure it’d be far less interesting.

Similarly, I recently started participating in a photo challenge hosted by Chantelle of FatMumSlim. Each day, there is a simple prompt and we are encouraged to interpret it as we wish, then take a picture expressing that idea, which we can then share on various social media outlets. This has been a really rewarding experience and part of what inspired my 365great project. It’s always fun to think about different ways to interpret and convey the given prompt, whether it’s as ambiguous as “explore” or as specific as “shoes.” I definitely think it’s a fun thing for anyone to try! What a fun way to exercise your creativity on a day-to-day basis.

So the next time you need to be creative, try coming up with one constraint. It could be something like “there must be something round” or you’ll include the number 8 somewhere. Whatever you choose, I think you’ll find yourself viewing the world a little differently and making connections you might not have before. And as with most things, practice brings improvement, so go on and exercise that creativity muscle consistently!

Lego creations

laelene Posted in video blog,Tags: , , , , , ,

Look at all the cool things they can build with Legos!!

lego escalator from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

lego santa sleigh from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

lego hollywood bowl from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

Recycled dragon

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , , ,

recycled plastic bottles pieced to look like sea dragon

A recycled plastic sea dragon decorates the floor at the Opportunity Green Conference 2010!

entire view of sea dragon made from recycled plastic bottles

I love how it goes into the ground like you'd expect Loch Ness to do.

the length of dragon made from recycled plastic bottles viewed from front side

Can you believe an elementary school class made this with their teacher?

side view of head of dragon made from recycled plastic bottles

A side view of the head. They captured it really well!

Bucky ball creativity

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , ,

Amazing what you can build with these things.

bucky ball creation shaped like pinwheel

I consider it a pinwheel of sorts.

bucky ball creation animal

It kind of looks like some sort of creature.

bucky ball creation 3d submarine ball shape

Not sure what this looks like, but it reminds me of those playplaces at McDonald's.

bucky ball creation shaped like bird with weird head

The bottom part is birdlike and the top part is... who knows. 😛

bucky ball creations shaped like stars and a pyramid

Stars and a pyramid.

bucky ball creation shaped like ferris wheel

Doesn't it look like a ferris wheel?

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