January: International Creativity Month

Interntational Creativity Month: Randall Munson

Creativity – What exactly is it?

During January the spotlight is directed towards International Creativity Month. Created by Randall Munson, the purpose of International Creativity Month is to find time to explore creative ways to re-energize yourself and your colleagues, family and friends

Munson promotes that we were ‘created’ creative, giving the example of how creative young children are: “A center for creative learning studied the creativity of children and found that during the first five years 90% of children are highly creative. The next two years, ages six and seven, the percentage of highly creative children dropped to 10%. By age eight or nine, the percentage of highly creative children fell to only 2% and stayed about that level from that time on,” said Randall.

So what is creativity? Creativity is defined as a process for bringing something new into being. The creative person makes connections between one situation, object or thought and another, and this involves thinking, analyzing and then producing.

Creativity is not complicated. Kids do this all the time. And adults can too. You need to start from a place of imagination and free association.

Whether you’re a creative novice or expert, here are a few tips to help power up your creative juices during creativity month (and all the time!)

Creativity and Exploration
As adults take the time to play and explore. Go on a hike and collect random objects for the sake of this creative exercise.

Base your collections on what feels interesting to you or spontaneous. With your collection of items, make various associations and categorize:

  • color-add elements with similar color
  • shape-find common shapes
  • texture-look for consistent textures

So what’s the point? Observation! Observation is one of the key strengths in becoming more creative. It’s noticing, comparing, finding similarities and new combinations.

Curiosity
Curiosity is one of the drivers of creativity. When you stop asking ‘why’ or ‘what if’ or ‘how’, then you definitely need a creative boost. Creativity is all about discovery! Discovery is all about questions, curiosity and passion for knowing, understanding and expressing. Take the time to notice the details in nature, listen closely to the things around you, be alive to the world.

Observation

The action or process of observing something or someone carefully or in order to gain information.

Careful observation from a non-judgmental neutral position leads to stronger creative skills. Through observation you can understand and observe subtleties, patterns, and discover solutions to problems through trial and error (which starts with observation). Through awareness of your surroundings you gather information that is valuable for creative combinations. Go back to the exploration phase of finding and categorizing. Observing is paying attention, understanding and again categorizing what you learn so that you can make new and creative combinations. After all creativity is bringing something new into being. Before you can do this you have to have thoughts, objects, inspiration, ideas and more which result from exploration, curiosity and observation.

Of course there are many more factors to creativity.  It’s not black and white and you can find your own ‘formulas’ to enhance your creative growth. Make it a point each day to either explore, ask questions, observe with curiosity and express your thoughts and ideas and be sure to keep a visual journal of your ideas.

The best way to jump start your creativity is to get started.  Stop thinking, forget about processes and procedures and unleash your stream of thoughts.

1 Comment

  • Great post and super ideas! I am working on slowing down in March for this very reason–so I can take time to observe and explore! I think I’ll try your “explore” activity this week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *