Creativity: More than Art & Design

July 16, 2013 By Archives, The Soapbox

(steps on the soap box)

Finally a free night. Let’s get hipster everyone!

The topic of creativity has been in the blog que for some time now, and I am very excited to get to it. In short, creativity is more than art and design. Unfortunately  in todays world, unless you have a knack for photography, dance, or any of the arts in general, you are not described as creative. I say this is unfortunate because there is so much more to being creative than the arts.

Creativity is The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations.

I know – I brought out a definition, just deal with it. What I wanted to point out is that the word art is nowhere to be found. It doesn’t take an art degree, or a high fashion sense to be creative, just the willingness to take a risk and step outside of your comfort zone.

Think Differently

steve jobs

Cliche, I know – but I love cliches, and Apple. Steve Jobs is a great example of someone being creative without the use of a paint brush, camera, or physical talents. His idea of the personal computer is one of the greatest creative ideas in this lifetime. Add in the iPhone, iTunes, his work at Pixar, and you have one of the most creative minds of all time.

When it comes down to it, creativity is just that. It’s thinking different. Everyone is doing one thing…well, i’m gonna do something else. Sure, at times it can get risky, maybe there is a reason why people haven’t tried this or that? But…imagine if no one ever tried.

Every Chance You Get

Creativity comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, experiences, everything. More times than not you have a choice to be creative, and think differently. It’s up to you to understand right now is an opportunity to be creative and do something you typically would not. Whether you’re at the grocery store and one day decide to try something other than PG and J, or you’re surfing the web looking for weekend activities and instead of seeing the movies with your sweetheart  you two take a Jazzercise class. I don’t know, i’m just thinking out-loud now. Whatever the situation or circumstance  ask your self, “is this an opportunity to be creative”. Translation, “is this an opportunity to transcend traditional ideas, rules patterns, or relationships”?

My Story

I first started developing this thought of seeking out creativity during my college career. It really came to fruition when I graduated. I, like most people during that time in their lives, was unsure of what I wanted to do. I had a few options. While living in Chicago at the time I had made some connections, and had a job offer at a financial planning company. Also, I could have started bar tending, while still looking for a job, and finally I could move to China and find a job. Yes, you read that last one correctly, the final thought was to move to Shanghai, to work and live. Based on this post, I am sure you can guess what I did.

I don’t know the exact time it hit me, but when it did it hit me hard. The idea of moving to China after graduation to find a job, who the hell does that!? That idea alone got me to spring into action.

Now, I know it might not be realistic for everyone to up and move to a foreign country, (although it’s easier than you think if you spend some time researching) but you can do everything in your power to be creative about your decision. Today is full of people doing the same thing day after day. I challenge you to go out and do something different. Try a vegetarian option if you love BBQ, try visiting Lincoln, Nebraska, or try a Broadway musical if you love hip-hop. Whatever it is, take a second to think to yourself, “how can I be creative about this?”

We live in a creative world, and believe it or not we are all creative in our own way.

(Steps off the soap box)


Joe Anhalt currently lives in Chicago, Illinois working full time as a Copywriter and Creative Content Strategist for SpotHero. You can connect with him on Google+Twitter, and Facebook