What We Learn in Art Class
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Alex Descotes - Graphic Designer
As kids, most of us were given the opportunity to be creative. Art class was part of the curriculum, and students participated in creating their own masterpieces to be displayed on their parents fridges. Through the practice of putting paintbrush to paper, kids were able to learn the process of making something out of nothing, of thinking outside the box. Sure, some kids were able to portray their family better than others, but I believe that even the kids who painted stick people families with oddly shaped heads went home carrying their family portrait with a feeling of pride and accomplishment.
Somewhere between childhood adolescence and becoming a working professional, many of us have lost touch with this creative process. Whether it is due to lack of time or lack of interest, I think it's a shame. I would argue that distancing ourselves from the creative process can impact our problem solving skills, perseverance, and dedication in everyday work and home life.
Creativity promotes confidence and problem solving. For many of us, a fear of failure and embarrassment keeps us from trying new things. When we challenge ourselves with something new, like learning a musical instrument, our skills are developed and we gain confidence in our own abilities. Not only that, but when we participate in creative activities, we are constantly being challenged to problem solve and come up with different solutions. We learn that there can be more than one way of doing things. This is an important skill set in our professional careers as well, especially when a pitch is fast approaching and we need to present a client with multiple solutions to their problem.
Creativity promotes perseverance and focus. Not to burst your bubble, but the chances that you paint as well as Rembrandt on your first try aren't great, but each time you try, you'll get a little better. If you stay focused, new windows will open and you will pick up new techniques and start to feel that with hard work and patience you'll someday reach your goals. This will teach you how to persevere and stay focused and to not give up as soon as things get tough. In an increasingly competitive world, where we are constantly having to develop new skill sets to remain relevant, these traits are an asset.
Creativity promotes dedication and accountability. When we practice following through with artistic endeavors that result in a final product, we learn to associate hard work and dedication with a feeling of accomplishment. It builds habits like being on time, staying organized and doing your proper research in order to have a successful end result. It also teaches us that we must be accountable to our actions and how they may affect other people in the workplace if we do not maintain this level of dedication.
I'm not saying you should force yourself to engage in something you are totally uninterested in, but maybe it's time to challenge yourself and try to learn that something that you've always wanted to. Expand your knowledge bank, try your hand at a new skill set and see how it affects your confidence, perseverance and dedication in other corridors of your life
Ugg the Cave Man started it all...
Friday, December 3, 2010
As humanity evolves, each generation brings forward its best and brightest ideas to improve quality of life, add entertainment value or solve problems.
The past 30 years has seen an astounding range of technology put in the hands of everyday people; gadgets never before conceived or dreamed. Older generations are heard to say, “what will they think of next?”
I started to wonder if “they” would ever run out of ideas. What’s next in technology? How do people dream up things that don’t exist?
The answer is evolution. New generations are there to pick up where older generations leave off. When our grandparents couldn’t imagine a device that cooks meals in minutes, a new group of people were right there with the microwave oven. The difference is context. Microwave oven inventors didn’t start from open fires, circa the middle ages, as their models; they created microwaves after electric stoves had been in use for many years.
Ugg, the caveman, could never have invented the cell phone. That’s just way too much pressure for a caveman! But for Dave, who was sitting at his desk and accidently cut the phone cord, it’s not such a stretch.
Each generation is really no smarter than its predecessors; it just begins solving the challenges of the day from a new starting point. This continual improvement pushes humanity along, developing answers to problems we didn’t even know we had. Rinse and repeat, as they say.
So, don’t be concerned that the world has run out of ideas. A new generation of fresh talent is waiting just around the corner for their turn.
It was ever thus.
Posted in: creativity, communication