Last month I mentioned that my interest in creativity stems from my interest in people, and it does. But that doesn’t explain my own creative urges and need for self expression. That there is a minefield. I surrender to the fact that I want to make stuff and try not to spend too much time figuring that one out.
We are all problem solvers in one way or another. Using information from here, there and over there, to decipher, decode, and decide on a way forward. It is in our biology to create, human nature. Not necessarily in the traditional practices of arts and crafts but we all have creative instincts — searching for that dopamine hit when we crack the code and feel a rush of fulfilment. Applying our skillset to the problem in front of us can be so rewarding. It’s a matter of spending time and tapping into our courage which can build our creative confidence. Allowing us an opportunity to lead a more fulfilled life. That’s my thought on the matter anyway.
Let’s get to it and discover some courage and creative confidence in others.
The Secret Lives of Colour
In January SIX last month I shared Pantone’s colour of the year 2022, Veri Peri. The vivid descriptions reminded me of a beautiful book I read a few years ago: The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair. An encyclopaedia of history, language and etymology, centred around what brings brightness to our days, colour!
Over the last few weeks I’ve been flicking through pages, stopping at colours that caught my eye and referring to pencil marks indicating a previous interest. Detailed stories of 75 hues! Stories of colourmen, kings, fashion and buffalos are sprinkled through the multicoloured pages. In this short read I’ve pulled together my favourite stories and some of my own colourful findings.
For more colourful stories this resource colourstudies.com is a good one. Bob Hambly loves orange — maybe that’s why I like his blog so much 🧡
Creativity is the Antidote to Our Productivity Obsession
In this excerpt from her book I Didn’t Do the Thing Today Madeline Dore provides reassurance and inspiration, she encourages us to “get away from the desk and into the world”. She promotes leaning into the ebbs and flows of creativity — yay!
Photo credit http://giuliamcgauran.com/
The power of collective intelligence! I’ve been working with Big Bloom as part of their UK Hackathon team for a couple of years now and this months Hackathon For Good was the best yet! Not because I was on the winning team, woop woop! But because the ‘design thinking’ process and facilitation was so finely tuned that producing high quality solutions to the problem at hand, was a more thrilling and enjoyable experience.
A Hackathon For Good brings together three groups of people. The Big Bloom team, a selected charity and corporate participants.
At the start of February, three teams of business professionals from various industries collaborated over 2 days to develop three innovative and actionable prototypes to solve Jamie’s Farm challenge. The teams were supported by a Big Bloom coach, and a Big Bloom designer (which is where I fit in). Jamie’s Farm, a brilliant UK charity which provides a catalyst for change to young people at risk of school exclusion, had a challenge to solve:
“How might we disseminate our approach among teachers, so they apply it in a school context?”
Due to the short time frame to solve a problem of this size, the clarity and specificity of the challenge was integral. We’ve all heard the quote from Abraham Lincoln: “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe”. Jamie’s Farm leadership, in collaboration with our Big Bloom facilitators had done this hard task for us, they had a very specific problem for us to solve.
So what’s my point other than sharing this experience and shedding light on a good news story…we are all solving problems and creating solutions throughout our day and clarifying the problem to within an inch of its life helps. A lot. Clarity in the problem makes solving the issue a helluva lot easier, not because the problem is easy to solve, but because less time is spent getting distracted. Be specific and keep it simple. Simple is not always easy.
If you are a social organisation with an innovation challenge to solve, or you a business looking to engage your people for the common good — while developing soft skills for the new world? Take a look at Big Bloom to learn more or let me know and I can put you in touch with the Big Bloom UK lead.
Common Things With an Uncommon View
Architect Felipe de Castro turns everyday things into beautifully imaginative designs, it’s very cool…take a look here An Architect Draws Buildings Inspired By Everyday Objects.
Felipe de Castro
Sony World Photography Awards
Take a moment to feast your eyes on these. I’d love to know what your favourite is. Yep singular…can you choose just one from the National & Regional Award Winners? I think this one is mine:
© Thanh Nguyen Phuc, Vietnam, Winner, National Awards, Travel, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
Browsing Banksy’s in Bristol
At the end of January I took myself off for a Friday stroll around Bristol. Equipped with nap sack, pennies for cake and headphones. The headphones were essential: I’d bought an audio tour and was planning to walk across the city learning about graffiti and the well known street artist, Banksy.
What. A. Day!
I’ve been a fan of Banksy for a long time and although I’ve read about his motives and seen murals in real life before, nothing compares to time spent in immersion.
A whole day wandering, wondering, looking and learning.
Understanding about the methods of applying paint, the public’s involvement to save certain work from being removed, and feuds with other artists. Questions swam around my head all day…murals? graffiti? public art? illegal art?
There is an energy in Bristol that seeps out from every painted wall. People have things to say here. It’s an exciting place to be, a colourful place to be, an inspiring place to be.
Lastly, here’s a great little film (certainly worth 3 minutes of your time) from Banksy’s lockdown antics, A Great British Spraycation.
Thanks for getting this far!
Until next month, be curious, be creative!