Creative Simplicity

January 6, 2013



We live in a world of processes and reactionary results, derived from cause and effect but almost always relative to a specific defined theme. Potentially almost every function or sub-function of our lives can be explained with a set of stages, phases, or steps. There are the “Seven Stages of Grief”, “Twelve Step Programs”, and “The Three Phases of Life”. Nothing appears to be within our critical grasp unless it is equated to a process; essentially things don’t just occur they are psychologically conceived through a physical thought process.


Personally I believe the “big idea” is relative to instantaneous stimulation, the construction of the idea is a process that exists as much within the boundless corridors of the mind as it does on paper within the deliberate process of staging each step. Creativity is a constant process within the brain; it’s a functional metamorphosis that spontaneously occurs without notice, we are all in some way creatively active to some degree but the degree of creativity can and will differ.


The masterful and talented creative guru Steve Jobs made this statement to Wired magazine in 1996, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have. (Steve Jobs 1996)” Clearly Jobs had a grip on creative talent and what its origin may or may not be, the proof can be realized in his choices within the Apple team. In retrospect there are three specific keys to Jobs statement, connecting (the connecting is natural), experience (all encompassing of prior creativity), and vision (which is automatic).


Ultimately creativity should be a free spirit and a natural function of the creator, allowing the curator the essential opportunity to design the end product and the process in which it is created. A question that arises with concern to creativity is are we encouraging the process today or are we suppressing it, insisting on mainstream agendas rather than the outlandish beset by true creativity.


William Clarke