On the 21st November 2013 the Lahd Gallery participated in the Creative Confidence night at the Royal Academy of Arts in London‘s Piccadilly. The event was well attended and revolved around a talk given David & Tom Kelley called, perhaps, unsurprisingly, Creative Confidence. It was a busy evening filled with excited people who were all keen to try out the variety of ideas and opportunities laid out in front of us ranging from places to write, Lego with which to create something stunning and other creative postcard ideas. You can check out the pics right here.
For all the fun and conversation that flowed down the stairs and throughout the very traditional-looking venue, everyone present was very serious about what creativity really means personally, artistically, economically and philosophically. In fact, the notion of creativity is rarely off the economic agenda these days. After years of testing, assessments and regimented teaching in UK schools it is obvious that the world is a very different place. The concept of ‘learn, unlearn and re-learn’ is on everyone’s lips. Governments acknowledge just how much creative industries contribute to the national coffers and the chase is on to ‘be creative’.
If you are a fan of the TED talks you will see time and again lectures about the power of creativity and David & Tom Kelley were powerful exponents at the RA. It’s not surprising they draw such crowds as they have been at the forefront of some exciting initiatives and products with their firm IDEO. Their track record includes designing the first mouse for Apple and the first laptop. In fact they have won many awards and have been transforming government, health care provision, business and even social issues. Of course we have to ask why creativity has become such an issue. It’s important to consider that each one of us has innate creativity. Ironically it is often education that knocks it out of us. By the age of 10 we have been judged so many times we opt out of something we perceive to be ‘for others’. This fear of being judged, for being different, left field, quirky, excited or plain arty can be too high a barrier to clear. This is something we have to change in an education that is already struggling with the rapid rate of change. The notion of creativity being wrapped up in genius or talent should now be superseded. Each person has to understand that to be creative is a choice and we can re-affirm each day to live our lives creatively if we choose to do so.
Being collaborative, working in teams, breaking through ideas and improving, changing, shifting are all part a more inspirational approach we are all being encouraged to adopt. David Kelley shared with us the fact he has a white board in the shower since his ideas often happen at that time. Experiments have shown that being tactile, switching concentration to something practical can free the mind to have new ideas.
Top tips for Creativity:
- Think like a beginner
- Turn all your receptors up to 11
- Think like a traveller in a foreign city – you tend to notice things that others take for granted.
- Go somewhere you know really well and imagine it’s the first time you have seen it; what do you notice?
- Ask questions in unexpected places – consider painting a floor to ceiling chalkboard in a communal area and see what happens
- Whatever you do be prepared to refresh regularly.
What is important however, is that we have to remember that people need to find value in creative solutions rather than straightforward problem-solving. This is where real innovation comes from. We need to encourage everyone to have a calling rather than just a job or a career. The language we use is also essential and it’s worth considering what we say about other people’s creativity and also how we view our own. After all it is so easy to give up, be too judgmental, seek only perfection. It’s time to reassess how society looks at creativity, having ‘reverse mentors’ who are people 20 years younger that can open up a whole new avenue. Check this exciting pic out (requires subscription):
The Lahd Gallery came away feeling so inspired and are looking forward to reading the Kelley’s latest publication Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All. This book is aimed at everyone no matter what profession you follow and it will be interesting to see just how it impacts on Lahd Gallery’s future creativity.
Creative Confidence talk with the Kelley brothers
H.H. Dr Nauf AlBendar & Founder of IDEO David Kelley
Dedicated Creative Confidence book from Tom Kelley to H.H Dr Nauf AlBendar