Today I learned that being creative doesn’t always come naturally. When most people think of a creative person or a creative piece of work, they associate it withsomething at ease or instinctive, and while some people do have this really great creative instinct, others have a harder time letting their creativity run free. I think in school students are drilled with proper and improper ways of doing things, so much so that when it comes time for them to be creative and have no guideline to do something, they start to second guess themselves.
All through high school whether it’s in writing, assignments, or even in some art classes, the teacher always gives some sort of guide on the right and wrong way to do something. And guidelines are a good thing in a lot of ways. I mean it’s really hard to teach, and mark if you have no set idea of what is being looked for to base your grade upon. But the problem with this is that students get too used to this. Often times if a student who goes about an assignment in their own way is condemned, either directly, or indirectly through whatever mark they’ve received. While structure is great, and everyone needs it in their lives, I think the allowance for creativity needs to be more so incorporated in a student’s daily lives.
In most elementary schools, teachers praise students for their creative twists on things. Art class was more about having fun, than it was specifically technique, and English involved a lot more free writing pieces, than structured essays. When I got to high school I found everything so much harder because everything needed to be done a certain way, and you couldn’t just throw your on twist onto assignments because that’s not what teachers looked for. However while it was harder at first, it eventually became routine, in that I knew exactly what I needed to do in order to get good marks. Just follow the structure and there’s no real way you can fail. Following structure is a skill to learn, but it’s also a dangerous trap to fall into.
Now that I’m taking more creative classes, I’ve realized that being creative is not only hard, but scary and intimidating. I realized that I’ve taking all this structure and turned it into a crutch, and without that structure I’ve forgotten what I’m capable of. What I once missed, I now fear. Being creative is about honestly, and vulnerability. After feeling put down from showing that honestly and vulnerability through creative pieces, it’s scary to open up and trust that what you’re doing is right. Not many artists become famous for following the rules, it’s their creativity and letting their emotions show through their art that makes them so desired. Same goes for anything in life. In writing, being creative means opening up what you feel, and how you interpret things rather than just writing what you know. People who act aren’t good actors because they know how to cry on demand, they have to bring that vulnerability out from within and channel it into something beautiful.
An architect can build 5 thousand houses that all have four walls and a roof, or they can break those rules and build a house far more intricate and thought out than anyone else could have imagined. Yes there may be people who won’t like it and like the structure, but it’s that creative house design that will be sold for millions to the person who appreciates the vision that architect had. There is no right or wrong when it comes to being creative.
So I think if I had to complain and criticize about school systems, it’s the oppression of creativity on students. I think every person should be praised for their creative outlook on any task handed to them, and while I understand the need for structure in terms of equality, I don’t think that structure needs to compromise all room for creativity. We have sections on our school work for knowledge and understanding and application, but what about creativity? Just because creativity is subjective, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered. School is supposed to prepare us for the real world, well guess what? In the real world, knowledge and understanding and application will only get you so far without the individuality that is based upon a person’s creative personality. We are told not to copy what we see, and to be unique with our own ideas, but when those ideas don’t fit into what that teacher has in mind it’s an automatic penalty.
In life what’s going to make you stand out in a crowd of applicants for a job is not how easily you can follow direction ( well maybe a little bit), but more so the risks you are willing to take in order to make any company succeed and stand out over all the competitors. We shouldn’t spend our lives in fear of being rejected for what we feel. When it comes to doing things creatively there are always going to be people who don’t agree, but it’s the people that do that really count. Someone like Steve Jobs didn’t let his fear of people rejecting their ideas keep them from having and expressing them, and because of that, well we all know how well that turned out for him. Steve Jobs didn’t become successful by fitting the design form to the function much like most of his competitors, but rather he fit the function to the design form.
This Blog was inspired by: DPchallenge