How to become a Creative Genius – A three-step guide for people in a hurry
When you think of creative genius, your mind likely wonders to thinking about great masters of the past such as Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and great innovators like Marie Curie, Jane Austen or tech gurus of recent years such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Elon Musk. The truth is that many of these prodigious human beings were every bit normal – and weird, as you and I are. Defining what makes a creative genius may forever remain a mystery, however, taking a leaf or two out of some these pioneers playbook and applying some of their hacks may just be what you need to transform your pet project into a masterpiece.
First things first. Ask questions! American astrophysicist and creative genius Carl Sagan should reassure you,
"… Every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question".
A genius is not about knowing all the right answers, it is knowing how to ask good questions. An imaginative mind, which Albert Einstein held in higher regard than knowledge, is a questioning mind. It could as simple an exercise as asking yourself “Where does the word chocolate come from?” or “Why do I keep seeing brand outlet store sales on my Facebook newsfeed?” or “Why did Rob Janoff (designer who came up with the logo for Apple Macintosh computers) choose the now-iconic half-eaten apple?”. Any of these questions should take you away on a broad range of topics covering the history of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, advanced computing algorithms to history of Western mythology, alchemy and the dawn of the information age – which, other than making interesting cocktail party conversations, will result in broadening your mind and see the world from a different perspective.
The phrase “It’s on paper” is there for a good reason. When you write, you literally bring those electro-chemical neural magic in your brain via your muscles on to paper which can be read later, be tweeted or transfer onto a billboard in Time Square or appear on a New York Times headline. The mind reinforces the idea and lets you imagine its various applications simultaneously –like you just did whilst reading the previous sentence. If you recall, the European Renaissance – the beginning of the modern Western civilisation, took off when some inquisitive Italians started translating Arabic manuscripts of Greek science into Latin. Write your ideas down. You never know where they may end up.
Imagine this. The year is 1450 and you are in Madrid, Spain. In front of you is a panel of stern faces of the Inquisition. They have just confiscated a strange device from your pocket – a device which allows you to connect to library upon library of information, images, moving images, mostly of cats, and also let you speak to your cousin who is supposedly doing a sabbatical in Amsterdam. How would you defend the charge of witchcraft and escape rather severe public spectacle? Connectivity is the defining characteristic of the 21 century. There is more technology in your smartphone than that of the entire Apollo mission that landed us on the moon. The power of digital technology enables you to access a mind-numbing amount of information at the touch of a screen. Beyond those amazing Snapchat filters and the kick of getting more than 11 likes on your latest Instagram post of your avocado sandwich, digital tech allows futurists like Parag Khanna to crunch large amounts of data and present them in a powerful, easy-to-digest visual maps. Connecting and fusing ideas in your messy idea-journal is the way to the future. In your next coffee break perhaps, have a go at googling some interesting questions like “How to choose a colour for a logo?” or “How to draw moonlight reflecting on water?” You don’t get points taken off for asking silly questions here. Get creative!
Finally, do something. Perhaps you decided that there is not a single “artistic” bone in your body because you can’t do more than stick figures, or you’ve decided that you and technology don’t get along past occasional social media post, the odd email and contouring tutorials on YouTube, you are selling yourself short. Perhaps you are looking to start your own exciting new start-up business and don’t know how to make it look good, appeal to the masses and make it successful. Perhaps you are getting your collection of doodles and artwork into a neat portfolio to land that cool creative agency job. Perhaps you are a dormant genius who is in for a breakthrough. Whatever your definition of creativity is, whatever your grasp of technology is, right now is the best time to explore and push the limits of what you thought you could or could not do. You now have access to smart technologies, digital tools, learning methods that enables you to learn faster, retain more information and bring your ideas into reality.
Find out how you can begin to tap into the hidden genius in you by cultivating some good habits – asking good questions, writing down ideas, familiarise yourself with or challenge yourself grasp of digital tech and making it happen in small steps. Get online and/or connect with like-minded individuals who are already exploring creativity in their own way. Here at NZSE, we run workshops designed to spark, nurture and challenge creativity. With more and more industries embrace creative technology, and businesses look for those who think outside the traditional norms to solve everyday problems, provide better customer experiences. As a category 1 education provider, we stay in front of the latest industry-trends and promote a culture of creativity and real-life problem solving. If you are looking for a bit of inspiration or wanting test things out, get in touch with our Manukau campus on 0800 99 88 11 or simply visit the website to learn more about our free workshops and a range of certifications and diplomas on offer.