When I tell people I am a designer, one of the first responses I get is “Wow! That’s a really creative job. You’re lucky.” I agree and am really fortunate to have a job that allows me to be creative. However, I disagree with the hidden implication of that response, which is “I wish I could be more creative”.
All of us can induce creativity in little things and actions that we engage in on a daily basis. Creativity has a broader definition than just the arts (design, music,theatre etc) - it’s about creating delight, adding flavour and a personal touch to experiences that we all participate in.
I’ve seen creativity induced in the smallest of things that make me feel like I should be more creative, even outside of my job. Here are a few of them:
Creativity in ‘Coffee shop tip jars’
Birch Coffee, in midtown Manhattan subtly encourages their customers to tip them disguising their tip jars with different brain teasers every day.
Creativity in ‘restaurant checks’
The owner of a little quirky cafe in Portland (the name of which, I forget), got creative when she gave us our check. She got so engrossed in creating her little custom artwork, that she forgot to add the cost of our yummy desserts.
Creativity in an ‘airline security announcement’
David Holmes, a Southwest Airlines attendant has gained quite a bit of popularity since he first added his own unique flavour to the boring security announcement ‘performing’ it as a rhythmic rap. You have to watch the video below to know what I’m talking about.
Creativity in ‘getting attention’
A salon that I walk by everyday, has some really fun ways to get the attention of passerby. Of course, not every message is for everyone or converts to muliple walk-in customers, but it definitely makes me look forward to walking by it everyday just to see what cheeky copy they are going to have on that day.
Creativity in ‘tipping’
A friend of mine, Gandharv, is amazingly gifted and talented in more than one way. In one of my first meetings with him at a restaurant, I remember him making origami out of $1 bill when leaving a tip right before leaving the restaurant. It was fascinating and beautiful to see an everyday object like a $1 bill being transformed into a beautiful flower.
Creativity in ‘food presentation’
Another friend of mine, Aditya loves cooking, one of his many talents. His food is not only delicious but also gorgeous to look at. Every dish he makes is not only a culinary masterpiece but also an aesthetic masterpiece. What amazes me is what started as a creative indulgence, has now become a norm.
Of course, there are so many more ways that people get creative in their everyday actions whether they are lawyers, doctors, technologists and their like.
The important thing to remember is creativity is about the little things that you can do to make your daily actions delightful.