“Being comfortable in the mystery is how I work.” – Lauren Weedman
I recently ran across this quote from Lauren Weedman's talk at last year's Portland's Creative Conference. It resonated with me because so much of the process of being creative is based on trust and gut and hoping that you are walking in the right direction. It's a roller coaster ride where some days you feel on top of the world because you had a breakthrough, you solved a problem (probably one of many that need solving) or you had a productive meeting. Other days are bad, hitting your head against a wall bad. Hoping that trick of sleeping on it will unearth some revelation but waking up just as confused the next day. The harder part, in my opinion, is convincing the client, the one that's entrusted this design to you, to come along for the ride and trust the process.
Everyone's creative, and at some point and at some age most all would agree. But over time creativity that isn't nurtured and inner critics that have loud voices tend to drown out that assertion. This isn't anecdotal, extensive tests prove this point. One of the most compelling being a creativity test conducted in 1968 by George Land, originally created to help identify innovative engineers and scientists for NASA. The assessment worked so well he decided to try it on children. The research study tested the creativity of 1,600 children ranging in ages from three to five years old. These same children were tested again at age 10 and again at 15. Here are the results:
Test results amongst 5 year olds: 98%
Test results amongst 10 year olds: 30%
Test results amongst 15 year olds: 12%
Same test given to 280,000 adults: 2%
Land surmised the results in his book Breaking Point & Beyond, "What we have concluded is that non-creative behavior is learned." Watch George Land's 2011 Ted Talk to learn more about his take on the importance of creativity.
Image courtesy of Jill Bliss