Many of us approach this digital age with passive acceptance or even begrudging rebellion. However, due to their unique character traits, creative people treat it differently.
Where we see screens and numbers and maybe intimidation, they see opportunity and sources of inspiration. While we often feel like slaves to our devices, creatives use theirs as new tools for artistry.
But that doesn’t mean that these unique, intriguing uses can’t be applied across the board. Collaboration is the key to creativity, and those who learn to rely on their experiences and relationships can tap into their most artistic qualities.
So even if you don’t consider yourself to be the next Matisse, these tips can help you approach technology with a new perspective, and use it to enhance your daily routine. In partnership with Skype, we’ve outlined revealing ways that creative people utilize technology. Their example can inspire the rest of us to do the same.
Lean on the internet community for collaboration and inspiration
No one ever accuses artists of being indifferent; emotion is central to the creative process. In fact, creative people often seek out stimuli that will affect them on an emotional level, which in turn helps form and inspire their art. Often times, that stimulus comes from observing and respecting the work of others.
This is not a new development among, or observation about, creative people. In fact, a Forbes article discusses the importance of “searching the domain,” meaning artists need to learn and internalize all influences of their craft. The author points to African art as a major influence on Picasso, inspiring him to bring cubism to the forefront of the art world.
However, creatives now “search the domain” beyond the real world. Blogs, Tumblr pages and other websites dedicated to personal curation lead artists through the cybersphere, allowing them to become involved, moved and inspired by what they find. To use the Internet like a creative, seek out inspiring social media websites like Instagram and Pinterest to guide your craft.
Feel free to get distracted, but don’t forget to home in on the good stuff
Ambition is pretty integral to a creative person’s development. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t get distracted by the same stuff as us. Instead, they utilize that “mental downtime” as a path toward development; plus, they are able to separate the wheat from the chaff.
In a 2010 Wired article, Jonah Lehrer discusses how being distracted often leads to more creativity: “[Creative people] are literally unable to close their mind, to keep the spotlight of attention from drifting off to the far corners of the stage. The end result is that they can’t help but consider the unexpected.”
Despite Lehrer’s own creative missteps, this sage observation is still pertinent. Creative people use the things that pique their interest, however inane, to inspire them and further their ambition -- they find ways to connect with their technological muses. Lehrer continues:
Think of the internet like an epic cocktail party, filled with chattering 24/7 conversations. Our goal shouldn’t be to ignore everything beyond earshot – that would inhibit our creativity, and keep us trapped in a very narrow world. Instead, we should keep on searching for those smart voices, so that we can remix the right data inside our head.
So if you enjoy cute cat videos and listicles, feel free to let your mind settle by checking them out.
Roll with the newest technological developments
According to Nancy C. Andreasen, a leading neuroscientist:
[C]reative people are polymaths … [they] are adventuresome and exploratory. They take risks. Particularly in science, the best work tends to occur in new frontiers. (As a popular saying among scientists goes: “When you work at the cutting edge, you are likely to bleed.”) They have to confront doubt and rejection. And yet they have to persist in spite of that, because they believe strongly in the value of what they do. This means that they have a broad spectrum of interests, and can find lots of value in different paths and ideas.
Many of us joke about being “technophobes,” and feel unease for days after Facebook rolls out its updated news feed. However, creative people don’t feel discomfort with change the way that more conventional thinkers do. Next time you are faced with an unknown technology, embrace the speed of change and see where these new directions take you.
Keep it casual
Throughout history, people who were focused on their artistic needs often cast aside societal rules, allowing themselves to bask in who they “really” are. In modern times, this trait has evolved into a kind of informality that creatives in the technological sphere wholly embrace.
The Silicon Valley uniform of a hoodie and jeans is an outward expression of this meshing of originality and informality, a general approach that technologically minded creatives take to their art.
In an MIT Technology Review article, Isaac Asimov explains that “A meeting in someone’s home or over a dinner table at some restaurant is perhaps more useful than one in a conference room. … The great ideas of the ages have come from people who weren’t paid to have great ideas, but were paid to be teachers or patent clerks or petty officials, or were not paid at all. The great ideas came as side issues.”
Informality and casualness allow these “side issues” to blossom, homing in on a creative’s need for originality. To really integrate this mindset into your life, be authentic and straightforward when it comes to new ideas, and don’t let the formality of ritual stop you from being who you are.
Use technology to combine life and art
Creatives are playful and brimming with imagination. With this trait they are able to look at mediums and utilize them in ways that other people might never consider. Unlike those who, when using the Internet, fall into the “work” or “play” categories, creative people are able to do both.
According to The Guardian, many schools fail to help children whose interests fall across the spectrum of science and the arts. As these students grow, the education system buckets them into one or the other, generally ignoring the need of the artistic to utilize the scientific space.
Creative people don’t just use that scientific, technological space, but thrive in it. They find ways of manipulating technology for art, such as music, visuals and virtual reality. They find creative spaces to share their art on the Internet, like photography websites and apps. And they take a multifaceted approach to technology, using it as a workspace but never forgetting that it’s fun, too.
Take this mindset to heart by blurring the line between work and play; allow yourself to use computers, phones and other devices in fun and meaningful ways.
Focus on privacy, not publicity
Creative people can be kind and thoughtful, but oftentimes they are not the most outgoing of the bunch. Asimov explains:
My feeling is that as far as creativity is concerned, isolation is required. The creative person is, in any case, continually working at it. His mind is shuffling his information at all times, even when he is not conscious of it. … The presence of others can only inhibit this process, since creation is embarrassing. For every new good idea you have, there are a hundred, ten thousand foolish ones, which you naturally do not care to display.
While many of us use technology to share ourselves with the world, creative people might use it as a means to be alone. They can work in their own quarters, and can be more selective about what they choose to share with others. Thanks to telecommunications, chat rooms and virtual reality, artists are now able to be physically alone, yet still find the connections they need. Take a page out of the creatives’ book and find your private space within this public sphere.
Try to create devices that inspire conversation
Not only are creatives some of the most inspired individuals, but they are also apt to develop the very tools they need to achieve their goals. They figure out how to do things themselves. In terms of “gadgets designed to elicit creativity,” Asimov says that “being by nature unconventional, the participants themselves will create devices to stimulate discussion.”
This is to say that one of the reasons the new tech world is so inspiring is because creative individuals are fueling it. They are the ones who are inspired to make the devices and the applications, and aim to understand the quantitative information that help them further their art. Consider how you can contribute to the future of technology, and use your strengths to further innovation.
Collaboration and technology are at the core of creativity. With Skype, you can call, see, message and share with those who inspire you. Skype can be used for so much more than the occasional long-distance call. Click here to download the Skype app now and explore all the amazing things you can do with Skype, every single day.