OP-ED: Neocreativity

Looking at creativity in a new and exciting way

| October 6, 2015
Rebecca Swartz, right, with her 5-year-old-daughter, Lilly, look at defaced remains in Joshua Tree National Park on April 10, 2015. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Rebecca Swartz, right, with her 5-year-old-daughter, Lilly, look at defaced remains in Joshua Tree National Park on April 10, 2015. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Upon hearing the word ‘creativity,’ what thoughts come to mind? If you immediately associate elaborate artistic endeavors by established artists as the only kind of creativity in this world…

I’ve got a story to tell.

Imagine a young man hardly able to legally drink alcohol or step foot inside an uptown Charlotte nightclub. He travels the world whenever his school schedule and more importantly, his wallet allows him to go. He is a huge fan of anything young, hip and social that includes visual art, fashion and music. He spends hours reading articles, writing blog posts and researching the latest social trends while being entranced by the sonics of his favorite musical artists. No, he does not portray the traditionally celebrated creativity of a Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol or even a Jean-Michel Basquiat. It is instead something I have termed ‘neocreativity’ that emanates from the depths of his mind, body, and soul.

A new culture of creativity is emerging amongst the kids. There is something about the concept of creativity at its essence that is inspiring the youth in masses. Up and coming, Fayetteville bred photographer, Frank Jackson (@FrankHaveMercy), defines creativity simply as “being able to take something basic or traditional and transcend it into something new or progressive.” He is yet another example of a young man who knows that he still has ways to go, but remains true to himself and his craft no matter what may be going on around him.

The value of this sort of creativity is immeasurable. Companies are attempting to monetize it, while schools across the globe are trying to teach it. For example, IDEO, renowned design and innovation consultancy, uses the design thinking methodology to design products, services, environments and digital experiences. Stanford University also offers courses through their d.school: Institute of Design at Stanford, designed to explore several factors that stimulate and inhibit creativity in individuals, teams and organizations.

Today, to be considered a creative no longer requires a steady hand and paintbrush or a lifetime of classical training. An idea and desire to will this idea into existence is all that is needed. During his lecture at Oxford University, Kanye West was quoted admitting, “We’re all creatives here, we’re all born artists.” Unfortunately, a falsely constructed fear of failure often soils the creative spirit. Tom and David Kelley authors of the book “Creative Confidence” and key figures in the formation of IDEO write, “(B)elief in your creative capacity, lies at the heart of innovation.” If you believe, then you can create.

With the help of thousands of followers, retweets and likes, a new era of artists is emerging out of this belief in creative capacity. This wave of young photographers, writers, models, musicians and designers are utilizing social media as their primary platform for exposure and connecting cross-country (from New York City to Los Angeles) with individuals of a similar sort that share similar sentiments. Together, these individuals are collaborating to express themselves and working to actualize their dreams. They devote late nights and early mornings to developing their respective crafts, whether it is snapping photographs standing on the edge of a New York City rooftop at 4 a.m. or sitting in an Atlanta recording studio for 12 hours at time.

We as, human beings, are not always in the position we want to be. We are constantly growing. We are constantly making mistakes. We are constantly trying to express ourselves and actualize our dreams.

I challenge you to embrace your neocreativity and take something you enjoy to another echelon. It’ll be lit; I swear.

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Category:Music and Arts, Opinion, Society and Identity

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