The title above comes from a comment made by author Jerry Hirschberg. "Creative activity [isn't] the icing on the cake. Human creativity is the cake." Getting a bite of this cake is what proves to be frustrating for some people. Simply put, there isn't one sure-fire method to achieve creative success. However, there are certainly underlying attitudes and patterns that one can perceive in creative people, (and in this most humble of papers), I will attempt to show to you through texts such as Hirschberg's The Creative Priority and my own forays with Madame Creatividad that experiencing creativity is simply a matter of opening yourself up to the world around you.
It always seems to me that any measure of creativity starts through something that I have opted to call creative flux, both because I am nerdy and that it happens to fit the concept extremely well. In a nutshell, all creative flux means is that you has to be willing to be open to the surrounding environment, allowing ideas from all possible angles and points to flow into you.
Hirschberg illustrates this rather well. A car designer by trade, he started his career at GM, "the supreme icon of power and success for America." He tells us that GM eventually reached a point of stagnation, from lack of competition and from shutting the doors tight on ideas coming from the outside world. GM car design reached a monotone complacency, and it is at this point, Hirschberg says, he began feeling a little bit useless, as his work environment had turned into, "a blinding illusion of security and imperviousness to failure." Hirschberg then makes a transition: he switches jobs to a place of unregulated creative flux. He attributes his later success t...
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...hberg calls this process `stepping back from the canvas.' And a gloriously effective technique it turns out to be, "...ideas again started flowing, knotty problem areas unraveled, and the design began to lead the designers, a sure sign that a strong concept was emerging." Something similar to this happened to me in the process of writing this essay, as I acquired a major case of writer's block. Thankfully, I took Hirschberg's advice to heart: I `stood back from the canvas' and succeeded in opening the floodgates of creative flux anew.
So is creative flux the path to taking a bite out of the all elusive cake of creativity? Although it is not the only way to approach creative problems, it is the phenomenal openness that creative flux provides that makes for such an exciting tool in one's quest for achieving creative goals. So go ahead, open up and take a bite.
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