I came across a blog posting which lists the top 20 talks on TED, and started off with this one above. I think the rest of the world has seen this before me, but if you haven’t it’s worth a watch.
I so agree with him. Creativity was not something that was admired, rewarded or celebrated at my secondary school. With the exception of my art teacher, my decision to go on to art college after school was scoffed at by most of my teachers, especially my English teacher who wanted me to stay on to do A level English. When I told her quite firmly that I was going to college to do art, she pretty much waved her hand at me and I was dismissed. Luckily I didn’t care. I had as much respect for some of those teachers as they did for my career plans, and I knew, sure as day, where I was heading. Nothing would have stopped me.
What a dysfunctional place we’d all live in, if we all chose to do intellectual academic degrees, and yet that’s all the school system seems to be interested in. Creativity and being able to think in a creative way, is so important to so many jobs, that absolutely it should be taught and encouraged at the same level as maths and science.
My years at art school unleashed my creative side in abundance. It was like it had been locked up, suppressed, waiting for the freedom to do whatever I wanted, and not what I was told to do. I soared. I started to see things in a completely different way, my eyes were opened to a whole new world, and I lapped it up. I sometimes wish I could go back and have some fun for a couple of years more to recapture that fearless feeling of diving into a project head first and not caring how it turned out. Just experimenting, trying new things, seeing what happens when you turn everything on its head. Not sticking to any rules or conformity. That’s what art college taught me. To really go for it, because there is no right or wrong. Think outside of the box, put the obvious solution to one side and walk on, as you never know what more interesting things you might find.
When you start working for clients who like to dictate exactly what they want, you put all of that stuff back in the box, and go back to doing as you’re told. But it’s important to never let go of that experience and bring it out occasionally, if you don’t push those boundaries who will?
And as for education, I really hope that creativity is better respected in schools in the future, we need creative people in industry and I can’t bear to think of children’s wonderful imaginations being squashed by stuffy education systems.