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Arts and Culture Public Officials Breakfast 2015

strengthening, unifying and connecting greater Cleveland's arts and culture sector

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cre•a•tiv•i•tyˌkrē-āˈtivitē/noun - the use of the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work.

“In the end, creativity isn’t just the things we choose to put in; it’s the things we choose to leave out.” ― Austin Kleon, “Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative”

Creativity. How often have you heard the word and the inevitable following thoughts: Who has it? How did they find it? What exactly is it and how do I get some for myself? There are volumes of books written on the subject; as well as TEDx video talks, blogs and more. We all work and play every day in a perceived construct of what we believe creativity looks like or does not look like.  How would you define it though, if asked today? 

I have been thinking about that last question quite a bit and conducting some informal polling of my own; asking others to weigh in with their definitions on creativity as well. What I am learning has surprised me (and will be the focus of another blog). I know now that there is just not a “one size fits all” approach to what creativity is or can be.

Some of what I have learned is that creativity can be linked to originality (although it does not have to be) and in considering unusual, fresh approaches to making something, solving a problem or in sharing ideas. In this way, creativity is also about transformation and seeing something new arise from where there was previously nothing at all.

Easy enough, right? It would seem then, that creativity is something we all have within our own experience, just waiting to burst out at the right moment and show itself.  But, wait a minute…not so fast. If that is the case, then why have you felt personally or heard someone bemoan the fact that she was not “creative” and could not as a result “attempt to create anything artistic.” 

Artist and author Austin Kleon tackles these puzzling notions, universal insecurities and more in his book “Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.” Kleon’s premise, and it is an engaging one, is that in order to be creative, “you don’t need to be a genius; you just need to be yourself.” Kleon shares some autobiographical lessons learned and promotes an impassioned, democratic and very persuasively inspiring path to follow as you navigate your way to “being creative.” 

Another book that provides an eye opening and memorable look at “becoming artists” and being creative in the truest sense is Seth Godin’s “The Icarus Deception.” In his book, Godin masterfully confronts the commonplace barriers, perceptual and practical that rob us of our creative impulses every day and offers unique solutions to combatting them.

We invite you to read “The Icarus Deception” along with us and to attend the upcoming BOOKED discussion on April 30, 12 – 1:30 p.m. at LoganBerry Books.     

In the meantime, get out of your comfort zone, get into your creativity Zen and fearlessly and passionately start making stuff!

Categories: Artists, books, community, connect, creativity, Investing in Creativity, resources


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