Friday, 24 May 2013

Creativity, the talent myth and craft

As usual we'll start off with the questions we ask: What is creativity and what is talent ?
Creativity is the skill to come up with new and innovative idea's and act on them( whether to sketch,clay,3d or any other media ! ) so this involves two processes.... the thinking process and the productive process. Unfortunately people often mis understand only the thinking process for creativity too however this is called: Imaginative.  Creative usually also comes with passion and dedication to work things out.  Creativity can be applied in about every occasion and I think everyone can be creative but it's more a set of mind than a gift you have or not and it can in fact be learned / stimulated.
Below you see every day obstacles being solved through creative solutions

Life hacks

On the internet these days they are known as lifehacks and their pretty fun to see.
A scary thing while looking around for information i found were the Characteristics of a creative person from " Creativity - Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi."

Characteristics of the creative personality: (pages 58-73)
  1. Creative individuals have a great deal of energy, but they are also often quiet and at rest.
  2. Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also naive at the same time.
  3. Creative individuals have a combination of playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.
  4. Creative individuals alternate between imagination and fantasy ant one end, and rooted sense of reality at the other.
  5. Creative people seem to harbor opposite tendencies on the continuum between extroversion and introversion.
  6. Creative individuals are also remarkable humble and proud at the same time.
  7. Creative individuals to a certain extent escape rigid gender role stereotyping and have a tendency toward androgyny.
  8. Generally, creative people are thought to be rebellious and independent.
  9. Most creative persons are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.
  10. The openness and sensitivity of creative individuals often exposes them to suffering pain yet also a great deal of enjoyment.

It's funny how I can identify myself with a lot of the points described here.  A few ways I found to stimulate my creativity we're to do a lot of research. Know how things look like, what their made of where they are why they are who they are what they sound / taste / smell like etc etc. It's often a good idea to make a mood board and even though others might not understand it, this will help your creative process to understand and hopefully solve the problem. Another way our visual design teacher ( Chris) has taught us was to write down random words and take 30 seconds to write down as many words as you can come up with when you think of that subject. in the end you make sentences of these stories and you blend it all together into 1 bigger story. You might have to adjust here and there but your likely to end up with a story that matches the drunken guys on Friday / Saturday ( Or someone on mushrooms so make sure you get yourself looked at first ! )

My attempt at creative writing in the form of a storyboard.


I'm going to do the cliche thing here which will make me look a lot smarter than I am but : What is Talent ?

Noun  1. a special natural ability or aptitude: a talent for drawing.

a natural ability or aptitude....  Someone that can easily pick up things in for example drawing... or 3D... someone that get's told a new recipe once and then manages to cook it perfectly. Talent is being able to have an advantage in the area it applies to where others usually don't.  Unfortunately people can have talent in area's their not using it in and this can sometimes be considered a wasted talent. While others struggle or simply take more time to get on the same level. I personally think people are in most of the cases capable of achieving the same things ( there's always exeptions ) however this involves time and practice. Where for me my visual design is a point that needs a lot of attention and improvement 3D requires virtually no effort when it comes to learning and understanding new things. I've faced many challenges in the last project. things that took time but considerable less time than when I would have an equally big problem with visual design.

In the industry both properties would be considered extremely important.  If an developer isn't creative you get games like the constant releases of call of duty and battlefield where as Talent is needed to make triple A games possible and find new solutions to keep players interested ( portals gameplay, the art style of Alice the addictive gameplay behind diabloIII etc etc)
So like I spoke about in the last blog post people tend to specialize in certain area's so they can excel the product in that direction and surprise players with realism or innovation.



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