The importance of art in a society of new opportunities

Innovation has provided opportunities for people to redefine the traditional model of success. It is becoming increasingly clear that working under someone for forty or so years and then retiring is not the only option. With the technology available, people can create jobs easily that fit their interests and appeal to the public. “The rise of the Internet has been one of the most transformative developments in human history.”(Sam Gustin) Youtubers, use their creativity to make money over the Internet and are a great example of this. With all of the options and competition out there, exercising the creative brain has never been more important. Art gives us a foundation and teaches us the value of creativity in a way that nothing else does. Art has not been given the credit it deserves in our society. Creativity should (now more than ever) be considered a pillar in early education because if the next generation of great inventors aren’t taught the importance of the creative mind their potential, and hence, our society’s potential cannot flourish in the way that it needs to so that we are leaders in innovation rather than followers. Teaching our society to have an appreciation for the creative arts will make us better innovators because we will have learned to stretch the boundaries of our minds. Art is vitally important to someone’s way of thinking, especially with all of the opportunities in this day in age.

Kindergarten through eighth grade I was fortunate that my teacher Mrs. Garcia, valued the arts. She encouraged creative thinking and different perspectives and points of view. Art was always incorporated into what we were learning. A lot of the time when we were learning about something no matter what it was, she would make us draw a picture or create some form of art. Though this was painstaking and we couldn’t see the benefit at the time, we came to appreciate the insight as well as perspective taking the time to create a piece of art gave us on our subject. Art has become a vital part of my life and I can’t imagine a way of thinking that doesn’t include it.

Art teaches a way of thinking that encourages individual thought and challenges existing systems. Which is happening in the business world. Famous artists such as Pablo Picasso are valued for their individuality and the distinct style of artwork that they produce as a result. They learn to approach situations with intent on the outcome being groundbreaking every time. From an art teacher telling a child to draw a tree the way that they see it, to an artist like Banksy who speaks out against social issues that others would call social norms, art welcomes individual expression. This is essential to a thriving society. If everyone in our world approached things with the mindset of an artist, we would be in a constant stage of innovation. One of the most famous examples of the relationship between art and innovation was Leonardo Da Vinci. He had knowledge and experience in many areas including art and science and they fueled each other.

An essential skill that learning art teaches is how to take a problem apart and evaluate it piece by piece. “Cubism, the avant-garde art style that led to an artistic revolution in the early 20th century, does not present an object from just one perspective but sees it from all angles simultaneously. In the business world, this cubist perception is implemented, for example, in re-engineering, a management theory developed by Dr. Michael Hammer of Columbia University. Reengineering focuses on creating fundamental change in an organization by reshaping it after rethinking its structure, processes, roles and decision making.”(Iris Lavy) Art allows people to step back and take a different approach to a situation.

We are even seeing huge companies change to incorporate art. More and more we are seeing companies like Google encourage or even offer to teach their employees elements of the creative arts in an attempt at generating creative ideas. “Changes in markets, technology and competition require organizations to switch from managerial modes of running the business to leadership models in which organizations act boldly with vision, imagination, enthusiasm and creativity. These traits can be borrowed — even inspired — from the world of art and artists.”(Iris Lavy) These companies understand the potential for growth that creativity brings to their products and services and therefore, they see the value in encouraging the creative process. There are certain skills that can be taught through art in regards to the business world. “In addition to creativity, entrepreneurship requires imagination, collaboration, risk-taking and resilience. These skills, taught through artistic practice, are the core drivers of innovation.” (Chris kiff gallagher jr.) Companies that are assimilated with the new age recognise the value in this.

“Like the artist, the leader must draw on her or his unique personality, values and vision. As with art, business leadership must arouse creative energy, provide inspiration and promote self-expression and out-of-the-box-thinking.” (Iris Lavy)

It truly is the age of innovation in that there have never been so many options. Some people complain that our jobs are decreasing but in contrast, many creative people are making a living off of Youtube and other social media sites alone. Technology has given us so many options that it’s incredible. Going to college and getting a mainstream job where possible promotions have already mapped out your potential for success or failure is not the only way to go anymore. Now is the time to have an expanded mind. Allow yourself to see situations from many angles and to approach life with the mindset of an artist.

A lot of people would argue that the goal should be to strengthen areas such as math and science. They would argue that these are the areas that make innovation happen and allow our society to progress. Though there is much truth in that, without creative minds we don’t even have the ideas to get started. Without art we lack inspiration. Without creativity, we lack the perspective; the ability to see new directions and solutions to problems that could be detrimental to something revolutionary.

Art has been around for as long as we can trace the path of humans on our planet. We see how art has been integrated into our lives in almost every way. But over the last 20 years it has all but disappeared from our school systems in a time when it should be integrated most. This shows how little art is valued. What we need to remember is that art and creativity are the spark that ignites our minds so that we can use our math and science skills to create, to innovate, and to invent. Original thought is nothing without the spark of creativity.

Sources

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2015/07/10/the-relationship-between-art-leadership-and-innovation

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/the-link-between-art-and-innovation-089713

http://business.time.com/2013/04/26/the-new-digital-age-promise-and-peril-ahead-for-the-global-internet/

“Da+vinci+sketches — Google Search.” Da+vinci+sketches — Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.