Sean P. Durham First published on Medium.com by Sean Patrick Durham
Everyday Creativity is an integral part of our lives — it doesn’t matter if you recognise it as a creative process, or act, or not, creativity is when we do something that can be noted as a mark of originality, or uniqueness for ourselves.
The chief enemy of creativity, is good sense. Pablo Picasso
When you cook lunch you are drawing on creative emotions mixed up with skills that have been automated over the years.
Creativity is an emotional drive that gives our actions meaning.
Writers, artists, musicians, and chefs might agree that too much intellectual input about a creative task can destroy the potential of anything creative happening.
The possibilities of outcome during creative activities are always imminent, but mostly not predictable.
That’s a good reason why business and academics have always frowned on the creative process as being something of value — they can’t predict what will happen, and that’s a big part of their job.
Daily life requires clever navigation skills, to get through the day at work successfully, avoiding arguments by being constructive in conversations, working at a task that can be described as a day-in-day-out activity. Creative thinking helps us to survive in a world that pushes us more and more towards automation.
Creativity is that unique part of humanness that uses intuition and gut feelings, whatever they might be, to accomplish something worthwhile. Like writing an article, a play, a poem, or painting a beautiful portrait of your lover.
The intellectuals and academics would rather not get involved in a process that weighs heavily in on the world of human feeling (I’m not take the piss out of them, but experience tells me so.), academics need to keep a straight face and a cool head to get through their work. Their personal opinions and their emotional input don’t contribute to the type of work they do.
Creativity in everyday life is often overlooked as we experience it. If we realised more about how we apply it to problem solving situations then we might view it more seriously and develop our skills at creative process through experimentation.
The kitchen is a wonderful place to see yourself in action being creative. From making coffee to baking bread that you’ve never tried before, you will draw on a natural instinctive skill of using creativity to get the task done without destroying dinner.
It’s just that most of the time we use more learned skills than creative thinking.
A loaf of bread should probably have the same shape each time, but watch any of the really entertaining cooking programs on TV where contestants are involved, and you’ll be surprised at the possibilities that unexpectedly occur while baking bread.
When a contestant finishes baking, and is judged by a master chef on the results, it isn’t a case of right or wrong, the judging is about how functional the bread is as food, if it has anything special about its taste, without losing the true character of the particular bread type.
Bread should taste good. It should also be able to withstand the taste of butter or olive oils without being lost in the oil, it should sound crispy crackly as you slice through it, the smell of fresh baked bread can cause small children to gravitate towards the kitchen, dropping toys on the way, claiming hunger that must be served immediately.
The results of cooking is about acceptability and functionality, meeting a certain set of norms that allow us to eat the food without fear of becoming ill — or keeling over dead from food poisoning.
Unfortunately, most food poising that people experience comes from street food. Cooks, not fully trained and not particularly interested in preparing sandwiches and small dishes of take-way food repetitively can end up making mistakes with hygiene.
The business of food on the street doesn’t leave much room for the creative cook.
The same cook might go home at night and show off their skills of creative cooking to their family. he or she may have been baking bread all day that meets an industrialised standard. I’m sure they get creative somewhere or another.
Being creative is very different to our everyday working lives. We have work to do, expectations to meet and widgets to produce. Everything has been thought out for us already.
Often, there’s a boss in waiting who will ensure that workers carry out tasks efficiently and the quotas are met. No creativity needed.
This idea of precision at work has been carried over into our private lives to such an extent that we forget to let go and be creative, intuitive, and to allow ourselves the pleasure of doing something that mustn’t be perfect, but will be fun and enjoyable.
Creativity isn’t a manufacturers process. It’s quite the opposite and requires that you loosen up a lot, allow yourself to experiment and try things out. This will inevitably lead to seeing the mistakes you make.
When we notice our mistakes, we tend to freeze up and try and correct them by dumping everything and starting all over again.
This freezing up comes from the world of working with quotas and deadlines, which only have to do with making hard cash at the end of the day.
Creativity is a process, if you can call it that, of innovation and reiteration. It doesn’t have profit that is tangible.
A few days ago, I made scones. I had friends waiting in the front room, keeping themselves busy with conversations about life, I got busy and started to make my scones.
I did everything right. My ingredients were perfectly weighed out, I was careful with mixing and made sure that I had a good consistency to the dough. But, when I started to blob portions of dough onto a baking tray, they just collapsed into sad little splodges.
I closed the oven door and hoped for the best.
The results were tasty, good smelling, blobs. A blob is blob and you can’t go back and change it. That’s what came out of my efforts. Also, embarrassment.
We ate them and they were good, just that they weren’t traditionally shaped. So what?
With each creative and impulsive action undertaken we are seeking a meaningful experience in our lives, and I believe that those small moments build on each other, like a changing of mind.
The balance of character finding its power-point, it locus of operations. Shifting values in the mind to find deeper meaning in everyday life.
Sometimes, our creative actions make no sense to others, but if we stay attentive, our blobs can be steps forward in developing an attitude that creates aptitude to a task in a way that beats pressured timelines of work each time.
I am definitely interested in finding out why I couldn’t make my scones stand like proud drums on the plate. So I will have another go, and focus on my mixing skills by adding a little feeling into the whole process.
We want to see our mistakes and use them to self correct our actions during creative times, a feeling of what we want to achieve can be vague during the work because the outcome is only the result of the main objective, the experience. There’s no money in it, only a meaningful daily life.
Cooking, making art, music, and figuring out difficult life problems, these are all open to the creative process.
Our lives are being dominated by machines that can figure things out for us, people are turning to computers to solve every problem that they encounter in everyday life.
If we want to keep our dignity and our awareness about the objective world, then I believe that a creative attitude in each of us is something to protect and practise, to learn from each other and make sure our children don’t miss out on the fun of discovering how meaningful a creative life can be.