The Creative Leaders Series spotlights teachers, artists, and business professionals who demonstrate extraordinary creative potential and achievement.
In my photography, I attempt to make things look as if they were imbued with a dramatic underlying force. I photograph to discover traces of the luminous fingerprints of the divine. Photography takes me out of my head and into the world of light and shadow, form and composition. I seek source imagery–those images that for me are emerging from some fresh spring of the world right now. There is a relationship with memory, dream, and reflection to be explored, photographed, suggested, and known.
Creativity is more than important to me...It is vital to for me to tap into my brain, soul, myself. Being creative helps me find an inner peace, self confidence and self awareness that I quickly lose in this fast paced, work and go, world. When I sit down with a project, painting,collage, piece of jewelry or anything artistic I am brought back to a sharper more mindful state of existing. When I am creative I am a better friend, co worker and teacher. Find what is pleasing to your senses.
The ability to create is what makes us human. To be able to imagine, dream, plan, and think, then take those ideas and bring them into fruition is an amazing experience. The result may not always be beautiful or easy, but it’s about the experience, that path that makes the journey so important. Find others who are doing great things. They may be in your own building or you may have to travel farther, but find that person who can support you to continue following your instincts.
I read, write, draw, doodle, listen to music, and share any crazy idea I have with family, friends and colleagues. Recently, I have been doing my own “idea marathon”. I had attended a session at a conference on creativity in which Japanese researcher, Takeo Higuchi shared the idea of an "idea marathon”. It is a daily process where you think of at least one idea, write it down and talk about it with someone. It is actually great fun, especially the part about sharing ideas with others.
I think many believe science to be a rigid thing or maybe just a required class in school. However, scientists are to me the greatest explorers. They are always pushing to understand more of the universe around us. Looking at the world in a different way helps break out of ruts we can get stuck in. AND once again, sharing and networking with other creatives might be the greatest benefit of all. I find it so rewarding to talk to other creatives and talk about this common thread. It helps to understand we are not alone in the struggle.
In an increasingly multiple-choice, high-stakes educational environment, I feel it is essential for both students and teachers to express themselves through creativity. Each school year, more and more students come into my classroom without the ability to "think outside the box" or to problem solve.The Practice Creativity Challenge helped me to realize that I have to be intentional about my passion for creativity. If I try to wait for the perfect time to be creative, there will always be something more pressing that must be done first.
I think creativity is imagination in action. It is the brain finding a surprise hiding in plain sight. It is connecting dots we didn’t know were in the same picture. It is how the old becomes new. The known becomes known anew. Start now. Don’t wait. And keep doing it. Make time for it. People make appointments to have their car’s oil changed or to have their hair cut, but think they don’t have time to be creative in a focused way. But also be ready for those spontaneous flashes.
I often give gifts that involve something creative to do, like a craft kit, yarn, play dough, building blocks… I like to have creative experiences with my kids especially by including recycled items or items found in nature. Perfection is not the goal, the creative process and satisfaction in the process is what it's all about. At work, I encourage creativity in each team member by allowing each of them to find a way to make things easier, more fun, and to learn from failure and try again.
Creativity probably qualifies as a religious practice for me. I consider the Creative Act as the fundamental purpose of Humanity. Well, that and Love. I guess you could say that Creative moments are really acts of Love. When a group of people hold space and provide their energy and intention toward a common goal, those are sweet, fleeting moments of Communion for me. Nothing is absolute. That has been so liberating for me as a teacher, and I think that translates to students.
Creativity is deepened through inquiry, reflection, and experimentation. It requires patience, percolation, and failure. We cannot standardize and manufacture creativity any more than we can standardize personalities and life experiences.Teachers are the best bet. When teachers know and do better, kids know and do better. Investing in our teachers by providing opportunities for them understand and foster their own creativity is paramount. This means training teachers the three main tenets of creativity: awareness, empowerment and practice.