So, we have an extra day,  it’s a leap year!

Of course, it’s not really an extra day, it’s an adjustment day. It’s a creative way of balancing the way we measure time.

I’ve been thinking about ‘creativity’ as I take my daughter around art colleges looking at degree courses.  Reaching a creative solution, to anything, goes through around five stages: possibility, doubt, agony, epiphany, finesse.

Possibility

The word creative, or creativity is often ring fenced for people like me – I am a ‘Creative’, I get to solve creative problems – meaning I create visual expression. I look at all the relevant possibilities to find the one that resonates the best.

Doubt

I like to think of creativity as a ‘bendy’ way of thinking. Because we all do creative things, make cakes, knit, tie fishing flies, find ‘bendy’ ways to make accounts more in our favour, write reports in engaging ways – they are not ‘colouring in’, or arty – it doesn’t mean they are not creative. Don’t doubt your creative self.

Agony

The Arts are, and have always played second fiddle to maths, language and science in schools. And the agony is that, it’s the one area that encourages practical self expression, which instils confidence in later life, and is least valued in academic education.

Epiphany

If you’ve ever, say, looked at a Picasso, got annoyed and thought ‘I could do that’ – you’re right, you could have done it, but would you have thought to do it? We are all creative creatures, artists are compelled to be consistently creative. The rest of us will have an epiphany about something in our lives, that’s one reason why we go into business, to do something different, differently, better, or smarter. What’s not creative about that?

Finesse

More and more of our day-to-day tasks are being accomplished by AI. But AI isn’t creative, it can process, but can’t do real thinking. That’s why being creative is the top soft skill looked for by employers.

So I’m looking forward to the slow wheels of education take a leap, and make the Arts as important in schools, STEAM not STEM. Because learning to learn, comes no where near to learning to think, and having the confidence to express yourself.

(OK! some of those headings didn’t map on as well as they could have!)


“Look before you leap is criticism’s motto. Leap before you look is creativity’s.”
― E. M. Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy, 1951

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