Grab creativity wherever you can

I’ve heard this: “She’s a super creative person.”

I also heard this: “Everyone’s creative!” (Source: Creative Mornings)

Both are true. Some are able to tap into creativity more than others. Some hold themselves back from expressing their creativity… and that may be a good thing – not all creativity is positive.

Here are a few random thoughts on creativity:

  1. It needs to be fun. If your creative expression is painful, what’s the point?
  2. You can express your creativity in your job or schoolwork – or in your spare time.
  3. Try focusing your creative energy in a way that’s easy for you to express. I’ve found it fulfilling to express my creativity in an area with few boundaries – this blog.
  4. You can be creative in areas where most people don’t expect you to be creative. A factory worker may add the same single component to the same device all day long. But if he thinks of a way to do that better, his creativity may save his company thousands of dollars.
  5. It may cost nothing to be creative. Think shoes… you can buy boring standard new shoes or go to a consignment store and spend the same amount to buy shoes that are more interesting but only slightly used.
  6. You can be creative in a huge way (moving to a different part of the world) or in a small way (brushing your teeth with toothpaste from a different part of the world).

You’ll find some more thoughts on creativity here.



mailboxes in rural Colorado

My brother and one of my sisters are pretty much the only people who write physical letters to me.

My mom used to, but she passed away almost nine years ago.

I challenge you to write to me. Just one letter or postcard.

If you leave a comment on this blog post, I’ll see your email address* and contact you for your snailmail address. I’ll send you a letter or postcard, and you can write back.

Just once.

No strings, no obligations.

Why? It’s fun to get a hand-addressed hand-written letter in the mail.

* No one else will see your email address.

If you liked this post, you might like this one and this other one.


Creativity has its price

creative-bootsI saw these boots in a shop window in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They were not, shall we say, my style. But they sparked an idea.

It would be fun to get some old cowboy boots from the Goodwill for next-to-nothing and paint them with an interesting design, to create some display-able artwork.

I have a bunch of interesting (to me) items displayed in my office. I would enjoy doing this boot project, at some point, to add to my office collection of fun stuff.

The price is simply time – and energy. At the moment, time is in short supply.


On musical creativity

james-and-carlyJames Taylor has produced more than 16 albums that sound relatively the same. He gets bored too,* but he doesn’t need to break out of that mold to stay alive. I truly like his sound, but it has not changed much over the many years he has been a musician.

Some artists are limited by their creativity and others seem to have a bottomless fount.

Thom Yorke is the leader of the English group, “Radiohead,” that produced some very popular music during the 1990’s and 2000’s. Thom’s solo albums are weird. He went from almost mainstream pop in Radiohead’s early years to excursions down various trails of weirdness. My theory is that he was bored delivering what the masses wanted. (I like that weirdness, at least part of the time. And he stretched music in new ways that it needed to be stretched.)

There are countless musicians who have not created even one good song. A few of those have become rich making their sound available to the masses. There is no accounting for taste. And I’m glad everyone’s taste is not like mine.

* The James Taylor song, “That’s Why I’m Here” is referred to part of the way into Sylviebead’s blog post.

Photo is Creative Commons licensed, via Peter Trudelle on Flickr.


Different signs

Gold bicycleBicycles are all over Oxford, England. (Good thing, since there are few places to park a car!) Signs are on every surface that isn’t moving. (And some that are.)

Someone thought of combining the two – they put signs for theatre productions on old bikes that are painted totally gold.

What ways can you combine unlikely objects to get your message across?


Unexpected creativity

creative-bagThis lovely shopping bag was crafted by a friend of ours in rural Kenya. She gave it to us as a gift.

You will note that the strap is made from a necktie. The brightly-colored stripes are from plastic shopping bags that were tightly wrapped around natural sisal fiber, found close to her home. And it’s totally hand-woven.

Her husband is very creative too!

Takeaway: How can you use an article in a different way than its original purpose – and come up with something new?

Special thanks to the beautiful model, Heather. More posts on creativity.


Some really GOOD copywriting

car-copyCar magazine has a section at the back that lists all the new cars sold in the UK. That could be a boring list of facts and tables.


They injected it full of life and fun. Each car is categorized as being either “Good”, “Bad” or “Ugly”. Read the fine print here. Each brand (or UK-speak, “marque”) is described as if it were a rock band. And the descriptions of each car can be hilarious. (These are two random cars in a row.)

They make it very easy to pick a good car. If you trust their judgement.

Takeaway: How can you inject life and fun into what might otherwise be a boring aspect of your job of life?

By the way, an interpretation for those of you in America… A “Zanussi Twin-Spin” is a washing machine.



trabantKottke, the author of another of my favorite websites, did a story on how a company is updating the Trabant.

The Trabant, you see, is one of the worst cars ever made. (Thank you, formerly communist Eastern Europe.) It was a horrible polluter, terribly unreliable, ugly – and I have now run out of bad superlatives. This company is making it into a fun car that would be desirable to almost anyone that likes new little cars. (Me. In fact, I’d like one for Christmas.)

Humans sometimes amaze me in a good way.


Be creative everyday

call-wendyHeather was out. (We share our home office, at the moment.) She got a call. I grabbed a leaf from my waste basket to write the note on.

Takeaway: How can you can do a common task in an uncommon way today?


Random can be good

random-words-2So, computers somewhere generate words in attempts of ensuring humans are the ones entering info onto websites. Sometimes the random words are fun.

I applaud those engineers/designers – and not the ones whose random word generators create words so hard to read that it takes three clicks of the “try different words” button before one finally appears that you might be able to recognize.