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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Your Creative Space

The highlight of a recent trip to Key West, Florida, was getting into Ernest Hemingway's home. I'd missed it on a previous trip but this time I was determined to see where great writing was penned. It looked like any other person's living room, except it was on a tropical island, with palm trees and everything. I celebrated by buying a compilation of Hemingway's thoughts on writing with a special stamp that it was bought at his house in Key West.
Hemingway's Key West Writing Studio
Hemingway's Key West Writing Studio
Whatever it is you're creating, your best results will come if you have a dedicated space for it-somewhere where you can leave out your tools of the trade and your project and not have to pack them away. Now if you carve wood or paint large scale canvases you will need to plan your space logically. You shouldn't be spray painting in your kitchen, for example. And not everyone has the space for entire studio or sewing room but if you have to drag tools and pieces out and set up every single time you want to create something, that will seriously impact on your creative productivity.

Some creative pursuits don't require much of a set-up-knitting, for example. You only need knitting needles and yarn and it's portable. (On a side note, I have seen some people's yarn stash take over a living room, but that's another story.)

If you don't have all the equipment you need, make a wish list and make sure friends and family know of it so that you can add to your creative space over time.

Now I understand Hemingway dragged his typewriter all over Europe, Africa and the United States, so he made his creative space wherever he could and he still managed to churn out award-winning articles and books. You can still be creative without the space but it's so very worth it to be able to retreat to your space whenever you can.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Does Success in the Future Depend on Creativity?

The article had a great headline which caught my interest, "Creativity a key to future success." I clicked the article hoping for confirmation of my own beliefs. While I wish there were more "meat and potatoes" as far as facts and evidence, I basically agree with the article. I have been advocating against so-called standards that force teachers to teach their children to pass tests otherwise the teacher loses their job. 

Unfortunately, our society values "metrics"-numbers which are relied on to bolster our point of views and our beliefs. Measurements can be manipulated easily to skew to a certain direction and often the same statistics can have many different interpretations. Measurements that depend on data can be rendered useless if the data isn't complete. We've all seen health news backed by drug companies who have an obvious interest in data that promotes their own product.

As long as there is time for children to dream, ask questions, and get involved with creative play that doesn't involve the "one right answer" we give them a chance to look for different and inventive solutions to problems. The innovative entrepreneur needs room to grow and it may as well start in grade school. 

To read the entire article, click here.