mutually inclusive

and March 25, 2016 0 comments

creativity is condensation of experience

Kaiwan Mehta

583-1Experience well articulated helps us build bonds with our culture and society. Experience is the building up of knowledge and understanding—when we travel through processes in our goal to achieve a task or a job well done, we collect as memories the different struggles and decisions we have to go through. Experience is the richness of dialog one has within herself/himself; experience is the craftsmanship one develops in the process of working. This would mean that experience essentially comes from awareness of one’s task at hand and the journeys adopted to complete the work, and not simply is it the accumulation of time as hours and years. Experience is not sedimentation that weighs you down, but it is awareness that makes you agile and introduces a level of sharpness. Awareness, agility of thought, and keen observations help us develop a sense of criticality as well as an argumentative approach—these combined produce the atmosphere for thinking and working. Creativity is thinking and working coming together.

Creativity does not come from nothingness—it emerges from crystallizing raw and random thoughts and ideas into figures of thoughts and measurable objects. Creativity is condensation of experience, into bold leaps of exploration. The space of work as well as the space of solitude—are both possible spaces for creativity. The space of work—the studio, the office, the workshop, the factory, and the market are zones of interaction as well as intense and focussed production—production of thought and labor. The coming together of thought and labor are essential for human intellect to develop and progress; creativity is the process towards developing human intellect and knowledge, and this development needs accumulated knowledge as well as tools of production/action. Experience is when accumulated knowledge and immediate urgencies exchange notes with each other to produce a solution, or understand a scenario better. When experience is in it prime action—it is a moment of creation—new thoughts are put forth in the attempt to resolve debates and questions that are pressing on the space of work as well as intellectual anxieties.

The market space—as in the European model of the Greek city—is the space of human action and debate—it is the space of economics, trade, and politics but it is also where the philosophers engaged with world and its knowledge. In many other traditions, the space of religion and the space for trade are entwined within each other—because religion is the space for philosophy and everyday debates, as much as the market is space for trade and everyday life. The religious campus and the market-street become sites of action—and are always in turmoil, rather than being sacred or sacrosanct. In either case, as long as public life of trade, politics, and religion are engaged in debates, exchanges, and arguments—they continue to not only accumulate experience and articulate it, but also challenge it—in this active process, human communities are crucibles of creativity. To collect, to articulate as well as hold in argument, and to also challenge—experience, knowledge—is the only route to creative engagement with our thoughts, work, and world of people we are a part of.

creativity, a design of myriad experiences

Suresh Eriyat

Creativity is a big term for people in the advertising industry. More often than not, we are constantly breaking our heads thinking of concepts that would stay with the consumer for a very long time. No wonder, we are often termed as eccentric, wacky, imaginative people who live in a cocoon of their own. Creative thinking is often thought of as a concept that is limited to a few people. This, in fact, is a myth that needs to be broken. Creativity is an amalgamation of our experiences; it is our ability to find links and connections between our varied experiences and create something that is novel. Hence, creativity and experience cannot be put in two separate boxes, one complements the other.

With their knack of coming up with innovative ideas, we tend to expect the impossible from creative individuals not realizing that we all have a genius inside us that can think radical. Remember Dumbledore talking to Harry about the Pensieve. He said, “it’s a vessel where one simply siphons excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into a basin, examines them at one’s leisure. It becomes easier to spot patterns and links, you understand, when they are in this form.” This, in a nutshell, is the process of creative thinking. It is about finding those connections; hence if you ask someone how they got an idea they would really not have an answer because they did not do it. They just saw something and could synthesize something new out of it. The award-winning Google Tanjore ad is a prime example, where we actually met a family in Tanjore to understand their art and their challenges of marketing it. Once back, we recreated everything for the internet in a Tanjore art style. Although path-breaking, this idea was a result of our experiences.

The success of a business lies in the art of presenting the story of a brand. Without a compelling story, we are told, our product or idea is dead on arrival. When it comes to storytelling, the best storytellers have by far been our parents and grandparents, who set us up to venture into this amazing dreamland with every story they told. They did not develop concepts, they hardly ever thought so much but what they said left a deep impression on our mind. These stories were completely driven by experience intuition and love. That is why we connected with them so well. Most of what we learnt through them, we tend to apply while taking some of the most critical business decisions. This is because people are not moved to action by data or PowerPoint slides, or spreadsheets packed with figures. People are moved by emotions which can be conveyed through stories. We create stories out of experiences we have. Some of us call our best friend on speed dial, and some of us spread the story to the world in 140 characters. The fact remains that we are all storytellers and are attracted to stories that engage us and evoke an emotional response. It is that simple.

Openness to new experiences is the key to creative thinking. It is critical to ensure that we are not averse to risks. Many a time, because an idea has failed in a specific context, we tend not to try it again in another scenario. This is where experience can prove to be a hindrance to creativity. When we face such a roadblock, it is vital that we stop and look back. We must ask ourselves how did it make us feel? What were the things we did right? What are the lessons we learnt?

No idea is stupid if put in the right context, hence we must open our eyes and ears and have a unique perspective of looking at the world around us. There is creativity in the way our mothers manage the house, or the way the bhurjiwala near our houses slices the eggs without ruining them. What is important is how we observe it and use it. So it is time for us to get out of our comfort zone and look at the world with tinted glasses of our own. n

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