Creativity: How to Stay Relevant in a World of Change
In the past 20 years we have seen great changes in the world, mainly due to technology. There have been changes in education, transportation, retail, and new sectors like e-commerce have risen. In the past 10 years we have seen even more drastic changes in technology, and there are whisperings of AI (artificial intelligence) and automation continuing to put people of of jobs. We live in world where “learn to code” can get you banned from twitter. People are afraid of what the future and technological advancement will bring, but one thing has proven certain time and time again. Change is inevitable and those that can change with the times stay relevant. More than relevant, they thrive. We’ve seen STEAM become a standard in schools, a beacon of hope to help keep the future generations relevant and working in a world where whole industries are being shut down decade after decade. What if STEAM wasn’t the answer. What if is was just part of the equation, like math and English, not the means to an end? How can we teach flexibility and mobility in a world that is changing at an exponential rate? I think one of the answers is creativity.
There are many immeasurable metrics that creativity helps to build; problem solving, critical thinking, humility, spontaneity, humor, self discipline, resilience, resourcefulness, perseverance, curiosity, and so much more. Creativity comes in many forms. There are the obvious ones like art, music, dance, and theater, but there are so many other ways to be creative. Designing your own knitting/crocheting/sewing pattern is creative. Decorating anything (cakes, cookies, houses, classrooms, cars, anything!) plotting gardens, designing something from nothing (websites, clothes, bags, apps, etc) crafting recipes, painting figurines, flower arrangements and the list goes on.
How do we inspire generations to be creative in a world where the average kid’s day is anything but creative. Unless your children are enrolled in speciality school, most kids are allowed to be creative as long as they’re within the limits of what’s being taught. Even classes like art and music are instructed, not free form. Not to say this is a bad thing. I understand that in an environment where you have to control little bodies for a set amount of time a free for all isn’t ideal. But I also understand that this doesn’t nurture spontaneous creativity.
Structure and spontaneity both have their place in creativity. If school/work provides the structure, then we must supply the spontaneity. I love creating with my hands. I learned how to crochet from my aunt in high school, and loved making simple scarfs, washcloths and blankets, but I had a terrible time learning/reading from patterns (this was pre-YouTube days). I only advanced so far with patterns. When I finally discovered that I could watch how to do patterns on YouTube, a whole new creative world was unlocked for me. I was able to read patterns, watch someone do them, and from there I built my base to be able to create my own patterns. Now I’m working on learning how to create my own stitches, a concept that was completely foreign to me 10 years ago. I can now spontaneously create. Jake is more apt to spontaneously create, but he has worked diligently to put structure to it by reading books on art, drawing, form, and technique.
If you’re a frequent reader of my blogs, then you’ll note I don’t sell you on my game, DoodleMash often. I sell you on playing games, how to make your own game, how we created our game, and other stuff, but I don’t flat out sell you on my game.
Meet a new, braggadocios Lindsey. I don’t brag often but in the past 20 months the same message has been a steady beat in my head about DoodleMash, hours upon hours of playtests, customer feedback, and play events have created a catchy tune. Jake and I have built a game that foster creativity. It is a balance of structure and spontaneity, and once you’ve played it, you become more creative, your friends, your family, your coworkers become more creative. You don’t have to want to draw or even like to draw, but if you have a problem that you can’t figure out at work, I encourage you to do something creative. This summer Jake and I are taking an improv class. We recently hit a big creative wall, and to help break that down faster next time, we decided to try a new form of creativity! Art based games are another way to help you be creative and stay creative. They provide you with a creative structure and, some games, like ours, allow spontaneous creativity.
Perhaps you found yourself saying, holy cow I have to buy this game right now! I commend your sense of urgency, and while I would love to sell you a game, we are currently sold out. Good news, thanks to our own creativity, we’ve been able to update the game itself so it not only does it ships easier, but will also inspire even more creativity! We are taking pre-orders for the new, updated version of the game, which will be in production by late-June (fingers crossed!).
*This post was originally published June 2, 2019.