I have been a graphic designer and artist for over 30 years. I am a “seasoned and experienced professional.” There are days when I feel like I can design with my eyes closed. And there are other days where it looks like that is exactly what I have done. There is something to say for experience which is gained over time. But creativity I fear, if we are not careful, is lost over time.
We look to our youth for fresh and exciting new ideas. We hire younger talent to bring a certain energy and innovation that has been lost by us “seasoned and experienced professionals.” Children are born with an innate sense of wonder and experimentation. Creativity is written into our DNA. But over time our creativity fades like color from an often worn shirt.
Fellow bloger Andrew Zahn posted a link to a video the other week that touched me for many reasons. The video is a short documentary by Nirvan Mullick about Caine, a nine-year-old boy, who has built a game arcade out of cardboard and packing tape. He has figured out ways to feed tickets out of the machines to winning customers just like at a real arcade. He has a phalanx of games lined up across the entire front room of his father’s used auto parts store. He even made a claw machine where you can try your luck at hooking a prize.
Day after day all sumer long he enlarged his arcade and sat and waited patiently for customers to try their luck at his arcade. One dollar for a regular pass, which gives you 4 plays and two dollars for a fun pass which is good for a month and gives you 500 plays. Who wouldn’t go for a fun pass? No one except Nirvan Mullick, Caine’s first and only customer.
Despite the lack of traffic, Caine’s enthusiasm and belief in his arcade was unshaken. Day after day he would man, maintain and expand upon his dream, trying to entice passers by into his arcade like a barker outside of a midway sideshow tent. What happens to that kind of drive as we grow older? Why would you and I have packed it in after a day or two without customers? Where has that spirit of rock-solid faith and conviction wandered off to? Why do we rely on the same old solutions day after day when there are new ones just beyond our finger tips? Why do we believe those who tell us something can’t be done? When did that fire in the belly go out?
So here is what I resolve to do to fan the inner flames of creativity:
Face the difficult head on
Hold on to convictions
Nurture a sense of wonder
I’ve said it before and I will keep on saying it. I can imagine a world without art but I don’t think I want to live there. What are you going to do to ramp up your creativity quotient?
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