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That’s all you do – Unimpressive Creativity

I was talking to a reporter today about some of the products we make at my work. I named Bacon Mints and the Yodelling Pickle as examples of popular items.

She then said, rather dismissively, “So, all you guys do is find things that have never been put together before and join them up, right? Pick two things and figure out how they go together.”

And, a bit insulted to have my work so belittled, I thought to myself, that’s what all creativity is at its most basic level. Don’t we all strive to find new connections between things in an attempt to come up with something new?

So yes, like every artist, inventor and philosopher that has ever lived, that’s all we do.

In another sense, I think maybe this is a useful way of looking at it. It’s not hard, you can do it yourself. Just pick two things and find the connection between them. There is no mystery, difficulty or speed bumps, it really is that simple. All the books that have been written are pretty much making a big deal out of nothing.

All of us creative people, that’s all we do.

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6 responses

  1. Hmmm, really enjoyed reading this but have to disagree. No, it isn’t all we do, it’s the vision, the imagination, the experimentation, and often, the courage to do it in the first place. Creativity IS impressive, a non creative can put a person with a pen and come up with a sentence an creative, however will come up with an image, ideas, a message, a story…. you get my point. What I think you’re really getting at is that creatives have a great gift for making the complex simple whilst non creatives often achieve the opposite.

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  2. I agree and disagree. I hear people say they aren’t creative and act like it’s because they weren’t born creative. But creative ability isn’t a mystery. Everyone is born with it, it’s just that some people have had more practice in using it.
    But there are a lot of people at the other extreme who for instance, create a business card on Publisher using one of the templates and think that they are being creative. There are also those people who think that every creative endeavor is super easy and say, “Oh, I can do that.” But the end result of their attempt is mediocre at best.

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  3. To add another layer….Your products can also create another level of creativity. Like my dad who brought your Yodelling Pickle to the Annual Pickle Festival in the LES. The comments and photos were quite impressive. It was his way of putting two things together to be ‘creative’

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  4. I disagree. I don’t think you can judge creativity based on ability. A non creative with a pen who comes up with a sentence still created according to his ability. If you put your average painter next to Van Gogh and he painted splodges while Van Gogh painted sunflowers, his creativity is still just that: creativity. His ability may not be the same but his creativity is just as valid. Also you could argue the opposite of your statement ie.that creatives make what is simple complex by adding layers and dimensions of imagination to the mix. And when streamlining a mathematical problem is not a “non-creative” making the complex simplified?

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  5. The classic line I’ve heard about creativity — “creativity is the act of combining things that don’t fit together.”

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