By Vanessa Stevens
I always thought that creativity was something that could only be obtained genetically. You either have it, or you don’t but thank goodness I have been wrong about that. It has actually been a source of insecurity for me while in college, majoring in visual communications. When taking a wide variety of classes that challenge you to be artistic and creative, I would compare my work to others and believe that they were naturally more talented and creative then I was because their work stood out more than mine. Luckily as we have dived more into learning about creativity, I have gained my own confidence in my creative ability because I now see creativity as an intriguing challenge to develop ideas or solutions in new ways rather than just a straightforward talent with a tangible outcome. There is a process in being creative and it can become a time-consuming challenge to conquer, but it is completely worth it and in the big picture, saves time. The more time we put into tackling a challenge creatively, the more ideas that will come out and the more unique the outcomes.
This is obvious in our latest challenge “Chair Presentation” where we were tasked with making a chair of 80% of the same thing, without boxes or cushions. It was obvious who went ahead and dedicated time to brainstorming and creative problem solving because they were the ones who had chairs that no one else thought of. It is not that the ideas that overlapped with others were not creative, but that we were willing to settle early in the process to complete the assignment. With the uniquely developed chairs, there was a clear thought process and decision making that lead them to their chair of Tupperware and cardboard. The ones who did not stop and were willing to adjust their plans, their ideas stood out and everyone was surprised with them. When it comes to brainstorming there is no reason to settle for the first three ideas that make sense right away when you can dissect, an at first absurd idea, and make it realistic. The out of this world ideas can be the beginning of ingenious products.
The way I have approached projects or task at work may have not changed drastically since the beginning of this class, but the outcomes or results have changed. I now allow myself to begin projects by having my own brainstorming session with absolutely no boundaries and bang out a list of crazy ideas, some that I would never use but they became important steppingstones that led me to the path I would eventually take. Even while brainstorming by myself, these ideas stimulate future work, sometimes. unrelated to the original task at hand. For example, when our class broke out into breakout groups, we brainstormed ideas on how to advertise these awful restraints. The solutions we came up with to improve the place later helped me think of ways to spin bad situations with my residents as a resident mentor and helped us find the silver lining in this crazy era.
I used our same creative process while working at Kandiid this year. I get to make new graphics and logos for the app and the turnover rate needs o be quick. So, using what I have learned to increase creativity, I set a timer for 5 - 10 minutes and brainstorm sketches of a design. I keep the same principals of sticky note brainstorming and do not stop to edit in that timeframe. The sketches honestly look horrendous on paper but there is just enough there for me to hop on Adobe Illustrator to start making progress on a design that is actually usable. Without brainstorming I would spend 20minutes making and deleting shapes before I get something that is even mildly presentable. After that I go back in and brainstorm with other designers on how the first draft can be improved.
One thing that I think is critical in creative process, is the ability to be flexible and not be “married” to an idea too soon. Brainstorming is a great way to get things started and pick your big picture end goal, but how you get to that end point is not a straight shot, it is fluid and unpredictable. When you sit down to start putting your ideas into action, you should not get in your own way by hoping for a straight shot process. As you start actually putting plans into actions you realize small details of things that need to change to reach your goal or that certain portions of your plans need to be completely scratched and redeveloped. It is critical to understand that is part of the creative process, and you should go in expecting things to change to get you the best possible results. If I never did the second round of brainstorming on how to improve a design, nothing put out would look like the million-dollar product we want.
By Ryan Gareis
Photography has always been one of my biggest passions, and I have found that creativity flows more naturally when it has to do with something you love. At a very young age, I was introduced to photography by my dad. He took pictures of my team during my soccer games and had done many photography projects in the past. He never worked in the business, but photography was easily one of his favorite hobbies. His love for the art inspired me to pursue it as well, and when I found my own love for it, I became dedicated to expanding my skills. When I was younger, I focused on a lot of still images. I enjoyed setting up backgrounds and photographing simple objects, such as flowers or shoes. I experimented with angles, lighting, and other factors to make the images different from ones I had seen before. I used the internet and my past projects to come up with new, creative ideas.In high school, I became very interested in sports photography, and joined the yearbook staff in order to be able to develop more skills and gain experience in this area. My creativity in regards to sports and action photography expanded greatly during my high school career. I volunteered to shoot everything from soccer to badmitten. Looking back on my work, many of my first sport photographs were simple images of athletes standing on the field. They lacked depth and movement, and these images did not stand out amongst others. Over my high school years, these images developed into more interesting action shots that portrayed motion and excitement compared to those of athletes standing in place.
Recently, I have developed a love for both portrait and food photography. Even though there is so much room for creativity in the field of photography, it remains extremely competitive. Many ideas that I have felt to be insanely unique have come up on the internet whenI searched them. In my opinion, in order to be a successful, creative photographer in such a competitive field, you have to find your individual style and niche. Over my years of experience,I have found that my photography style includes high-detail and vibrant color. This being said, I have many plans for new portrait ideas that include new poses, angles, color palettes, and movements that I have yet to try. I think those plans will allow me to expand my creativity in this art and develop my skills as a photographer!When it comes to my creative process, I always write down any ideas that pop into my head. I notice that when I sit down and try to come up with project ideas, I struggle more compared to when I am going about my day and ideas naturally occur. I keep a list of ideas, and I constantly revisit that list to see how I can add or change them to make it more my own. The location of a shoot also plays a big role in my creative process. If there is an object at the shooting location, I will try to use that in a way that enhances the image. I will test out all angles when shooting, even if it means laying on the ground to get the shot. I am a strong believer that the more you shoot, the more likely you are to get the best, most creative shot. It reminds me ofMichael Jordan’s quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Being a photographer has taught me that this quote can relate to situations far beyond the sports realm. Even when shooting, a shot may not look great through your lens, but you may find it to be your favorite later on after uploading the photographs. I believe that you will not know which shot is the best until you blow them up later on, so you should try anything that comes to mind. For instance, I almost postponed a shoot when it was super sunny outside because I was fearful the sun would
By Paige Fallon
I can’t say I have never viewed myself as ‘creative’ because at onepoint in time I was, but as I have grown older I have lost the passion forcreativity; lost it between everything else going on in my ‘grown-up’ life. Inever really paid attention to the fact that I had lost it either, which is myfault, slightly. I say slightly because there were so many people andinfluencers and leaders that could have helped me remember, but amajority of them just plagued me with busy work. Busy work that took myattention and my time away from being creative - or from at least allowingme to remember “Oh, it's time to be creative!”.I’ve always loved to draw and would, and still, constantly doodle innotebooks during classes but I never do anything with it - I never expandupon it. So, when I went to Florence, Italy this past spring semester, Idecided why not expand upon it? Why not expand upon it in a countryenriched by and full of famous works of art and passion? I ended up takingan introduction to painting class. I have always loved to paint, I’ve neverbeen good at it, but I’ve always loved it, so why not get good at it?. Well, letme preface this by saying, it’s not that easy to just “get good at”. However, Idove right in.The thing, or the person I should say, that pushed me beyond mycomfort zone and really opened my eyes to what it means to have creativity
flourishing in one's life, was my professor. She is the type of professor thatinsists you call them by their first name, the type that has decoratedspeaking signs you hold up when you wish to speak - for college students Imight add - and one that encouraged you to think outside of the box and notto hesitate. “When you hesitate you diminish your opportunity to becreative” she would say. She pushed us to become five year olds again. Forour first assignment we were to learn brush strokes by using differentbrushes to just throw paint all over the canvas. The catch, she said that if itlooked purposeful we would lose points. This was so beyond my comfortzone. I like organization and fluidity and matching colors, but her? No. andshe certainly did not encourage it either.I have always known what mind maps are and the process of beingfluid with the thoughts I am putting to paper. They were what my middleschool teachers forced me to use in order to write stories or solve problems,but I had never valued them. I always thought I could just do with whatcame to my mind - a sort of mind map in my head. This art class taught methe opposite of that and Dr. Habib has expanded on my opposition to thatidea. The class taught me to value the ideas I put to paper because the moreyou expand upon them the greater your results and solutions are bound tobe. I learned to yearn for fluidity in my creative process and desire my needto just write down a bunch of words that could turn into somethingbeautiful.
My art professor in Florence, alongside the art, assigned journalsketches. We were required to complete two a week that were in responseto prompts the professor posted - vague prompts; prompts that let ourcreativity flow and do whatever inspired us. One of my favorite prompts wasone where we just wrote the first words that came into our heads for sixminutes. It embellished the idea fluency, and as defined by TeachersFirstfluency is important because it is “the first step to problem solving orgenerating anything creative is having as many ideas as possible to choosefrom. Fluency loosens up the creative wheels” (TeachersFirst, Dimensionsof Creativity: Fluency). This idea and concept was new to me, but it seemedlike a challenge I would like, and it was. I was able to analyze all theserandom words that came to me. I watched how the ones that came after theone before it bounced off of each other. How messy my everyday thoughtswere and how I don’t take enough time to really look into what's on mymind. The cool part about this assignment was that it actually led to theinspiration and creation of my final painting assignment.By the time the final painting assignment came around, I found myselfutilizing all of the creative things we had been both consciously andsubconsciously learning throughout the semester. I found myself looking atrandom things and wanting to draw them or jot them down. I found myselfmore able to let my paintbrush go where it wanted to and not where Iwanted it to - something that took me pretty much all semester to get down.It’s crazy how different I thought I saw the thing I was painting - or wanted
to see it - compared to how I was actually seeing it. I had to let walls andbarriers down that I had been building up for pretty much the last decade.This class really allowed me to open my eyes to not only the idea of beingcreative, but the power of being creative in everyday life, not just whenassigned to be.
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By Genevive Crowder
TikTok, an infamous application is taking the world by stride. Almost everyone has it downloaded on their phone; not just the younger generations. A highly controversial app, it is changing how my generation looks at creativity. For example, the app is based on 15-60 second videos where you lip sync, dance, or just talk to the camera and anyone and everyone can do it, so therefore anyone can be creative in their own way. Many young and old people have become“TikTokers”, a new phrase to describe the popular creators on TikTok. Many of the videos are seen as “duplicates” of their favorite TikTokers videos, however each one might have a different spin to it. Basically, you choose the sound you want to lay over your video, make the video, ad dwriting or a caption to describe the video to your audience, and boom, you just made a TikTok. One of my favorite things about TikTok is how easy you can go viral for your creative ideas.Unlike other apps like Instagram and Twitter, where your feed is filled with people you follow, TikTok has something called the “For You Page”. This page presents videos that the algorithm might think you would like, not just the people you follow or videos with a lot of likes. While the app has millions of users and a lot of people enjoy scrolling through the “For You Page’, President Trump has threatened multiple times to ban the app from the U.S.. His reasoning for banning the app is “He and other officials have cited national security concerns for doing this” (Brown). Although he has yet to do it, he continuously promises the public he will eventually.
Although the possibility of people scamming my information through TikTok is scary, my personal opinion is that TikTok is a creative platform that is a fun way to show the world your ideas. The biggest danger that TikTok poses in my eyes is how highly addictive it can be. I could sit in my bed, get on the “For You Page” and scroll for hours without even noticing. The app is so addictive because it is endless content that is presented in short videos that fuels the short attention spans my generation is notorious for.
Going through the many layers of TikTok would probably take about 50 pages in total, but one of the biggest things right now is how Generation Z is making a living off of it. Some of the biggest names on TikTok are Charlie DeMelo, Addison Rae, Dixie DeMelo, and the list goes on. These teenagers being as young as 15 are living fabulous lifestyles over night just by simply making a 15 second video. One of the trends for these teenagers is to live in “Content Houses”, a sort of safe haven where teen TikTokers from around the globe come together in a mansion and collaborate to put out creative content on the app. Some of the more well known houses are TheHype House, The Sway House, The Clout House, and many more. However, these teenagers are not just living in your average house together, some of these houses are listed at a market value for over $30,000,000 (Leggate). These teenagers, now living these luxurious lifestyles, were once just normal kids who went to school and worried about college. Now however, they are basically the hottest celebrities of this day in age.
These types of “rags to riches” stories are what influence kids who might only have 5 followers on the app to consistently post original content throughout the day. You never know on TikTok if your idea might just go viral. While most parents believe TikTok to be a waste of time in their children's life, there is no doubt that it is making a huge impact on Gen Z creatively. The app itself is not very user friendly to use, so when first starting out, you have to mess around with the effects to really get the hang of it, and it’s providing kids and teens a platform where creativity and originality are the only thing that matters. While all social media platforms can be toxic in the physical appearance department, TikTok, I believe, does not put too much stress on this aspect of the media age. As I scroll through my “For You Page” while writing this blog post, most of the users' videos popping up are not the infamous TikTokers that have grossed millions of followers. Instead, it is mostly typical college students like myself just making videos for fun in their dorm rooms and college apartments, complaining about school work, doing popular dances, and posting relatable content for my age range. All in all, I believe TikTok could potentially be one of the most creative social media applications this generation has ever seen.
by Elisa Mahon
The app released in 2016 known as TikTok has become wildly popular
especially in the last year. The app has gained attention from advertisers
everywhere due to its popularity and outreach capability to all audiences.
This platform has become a prominent element of today’s pop culture and
because of this it’s all anyone’s talking about. I created a profile about a
year ago and since then I have built somewhat of an addiction to it. What is
great about the platform is it’s “For You Page” feature. This feature
incorporates the algorithms of the platform and uses them to show videos
related or of interest to the specific viewer of each and every account. The
feature also makes it possible for any person, no matter how many followers
they have, to be able to go viral if they’re video gets enough engagement. It
is because of this feature and the possibility to create pretty much anything
you can think of that the app can become so addicting.
In the past few months, the ad share on the platform has become
more and more frequent. Advertisers will contact influencers, or users with
very high follower counts, and create brand deals with them essentially
offering products or discounts and in exchange they ask that the influencer
posts TikToks with their product. The most common company that I have
seen being advertised on TikTok is “BANG Energy.” The well-known energy
drink company has brought on so many TikTokers to their influencing team
that pretty much every time I open the app, I come across at least one video
in which a person implements the drink into their content. The same goes
for brands of every product you could think of and the advertising truly
works. Since the app became popular to the point where pretty much
everyone you speak to has some sort of understanding on it, I have heard
the phrase “TikTok made me buy it” or “I heard about it on TikTok” more
than any other response. I personally have ordered at least a dozen
different products just due to the fact that I watched a TikTok video where
someone either was using a product and I liked the result or they were
raving about how great a product they tried out was for them and I
immediately would purchase one for myself.
The advertising doesn’t stop there. The platform actually has a feature
called “TikTok For Business.” Businesses can pay the platform to broadcast
a sponsored advertisement for let’s say, a day, and every time a user opens
the app the first thing they see is a professionally produced short video and
if they click on a certain button, it takes them to the business’s website or
full video, whatever they’re trying to advertise. The last one I saw was a
couple weeks ago and it was sponsored by the NFL due to the new contract
signed between the social media platform and the National Football League
basically saying the league is back even through Covid-19. This brand deal
will increase viewership for both platforms while also spicing up the
entertainment produced by the NFL in featuring TikTok related
Advertisers have seen immense success through the TikTok platform
but I believe that there is some untapped potential specifically in relation to
politics on the app. Gen Z makes up a large portion of the voting population
and I think it would be helpful from both an educational as well as
promotional standpoint if politicians expanded their campaign to TikTok as
well. They can take several approaches ranging from videos that educate
the public on their standpoints to videos encouraging people to exercise
their rights, all of which would positively affect their campaign. I think my
generation especially lacks education when it comes to politics. This has a
lot to do with how controversial the political topic is in today’s day and age
so people often choose the route of disassociation because they would
rather ignore and be uninvolved and that causes a lack of knowledge. It is
because of this that I feel like politicians could use TikTok to their
advantage as an opportunity to get those who don’t want to be involved or
educated on the subject to become intrigued and in doing so more
motivated to get out there and vote.
Recently, there has been a fair amount of controversy surrounding the
platform dealing with security and privacy issues as well as concern with
the obsession that can be obtained especially with adolescents within the
platform. There is concern that creators and coders of the app are taking
personal information from user’s accounts and the U.S. government has
discussed banning the platform several times. Parents are also concerned
with the amount of time their kids are spending fueling their TikTok
addictions and watching possibly inappropriate content. The government is
now working with creators and executives of the platform to find solutions
and ensure that the app is a safe environment for all users so that the
banning of the immensely loved platform doesn’t have to occur. Every
platform has its own faults and issues, but I believe this one has the
possibility to create good and I know that it already has just due to the way
creators express how it has helped them personally.
As we’ve began this semester, I entered with a pretty open-mind in my opinion, but I feellike some of my writing was an antithesis of my own thoughts. My first reflection piece on“What is Creativity” was very surface-level. The commentary from Professor Habib truly stuckwith me once I made the claim that creativity cannot be taught, since it is so broad and hasendless possibilities. Once she responded with “challenge accepted” it really got me thinking intothe steps of the creative process that we’ve been taught so far, and how it could help me in myday-to-day life. One think that I participate in on a daily basis is listening to music. I’ve been afan of music since a very early age, and have been listening to music daily since about middleschool. One thing that it inspired me to do was make music of my own. The creative process iscertainly prevalent when it comes to songwriting and performance and that can range from anamateur level to the professionals.Several rappers have discussed their own writing techniques ranging back from 90slegends such as Nas to modern day hitmakers like Logic. As the illustration displayed in the“The Creative Process” lecture displayed, the most difficult part of songwriting in my ownpersonal experience was tripping over myself and my own ideas. Music is all about melody andrhyming, and I can’t even begin to count all the times I’ve written and rewritten verses because Iwasn’t a fan of the rhyme scheme. If you make music of a certain genre, it can be human natureto want to box yourself into a certain general subject matter or sound, just because that’s what
Simmons 2provides the most mainstream appeal. Once an artist make the decision to box themselves in, itcan hinder their creativity.Some artists have their own way to write their music, Nas and J. Cole have both said thatthey had a writing book to physically write down their music compared to Logic who types hisout on his phone. J. Cole further delved into his creative process with a process similar to theidea-throwing stage. Cole said in an interview with Fuse that his technique to write his 2013studio album Born Sinner consisted of him waking up and freehand writing three pages of openthought, ranging from something as small as what he did that day, to just random thoughts in hishead. The point was to get as much content on paper as possible, since it is proven that writingsomething down helps your memory more, and base his work off of making rhymes, edits, andchanges to his writing book. I could definitely relate to Cole when it comes to how I plan forprojects and discussions. Once I get locked in, I just write down whatever comes to mind,ensuring that I don’t leave out a single thought, and the rest of the tasks flows in effortlessly. Ihaven’t yet tried that method in terms of songwriting, simply because my plate is so full of othertasks such as school to dedicate hours a day freewriting.Another world renowned rapper who has discussed his writing matter is Eminem.Eminem is notorious for spending hours a day studying a dictionary to add more words to hisvocabulary and add to his ridiculously unique rhyme patterns and schemes. It’s absolutelymesmerizing and incredible seeing some of the lyrics that Eminem has been capable of creatingover his tenure within music, making rhymes out of obscure words like orange. Using adictionary to expand your vocabulary has been viewed as unorthodox amongst the musicindustry, but it can definitely trigger that creative process of repetition. Once you see certain
Simmons 3words or ideas repeatedly, and figure out the correct context and verbiage needed to use them properly, you can expand your own writing horizons.Grammy-nominated artist Logic takes a more Gen-Z approach to his songwriting process, opting to write in his Notes app on his phone. This is the process I mostly identify with as I write on my laptop. In an article posted by rapgamenow.com, they went in-depth on Logic’s creative process in the studio and what he does to create his music. The process to write on a mobile device presents the opportunity to change words, verbiage, and make edits on the fly, which can be difficult for many artists. It also presents the opportunity to write anytime, anywhere since your book is always with you. However, it can hinder your creative process and sharpness a bit.Logic touched on that on a YouTube livestream in which he said “there is something that is so different about writing on paper.”For me, ranging from music to creative writing, to journalistic writing, I turn to the musicI listen to as an inspiration on ideas that I can use to expand my own process. Those tips and tricks seem simple coming from the horse’s mouth, but once I’ve seen the process behind those ideas spelled out to me in this class it is very intriguing. It makes me wonder how many other recording artists, best-selling authors, or screen writers use the creative process in their drafts.
By Enrico Mastronardi
Something that I have really enjoyed so far this semester was the chair
presentation. One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was because the
critical thinking and problem-solving skills I had to use while doing it. When I
first read the project last week, I thought it was going to be a simple
assignment that I would be able to complete in an hour or so. However, when
I re-checked the assignment the day before the due date, I realized that this
was not going to be the case. When I saw all of the restrictions and other
rules, I started getting worried that I would not have anything in my room
that could work as a chair. This caused me to walk around my room multiple
times and write a checklist of what I did have and what I didn’t have. I made
two columns of items that were not restricted and things that were
restricted. When I realized that this did not make things much easier for me,
I started looking for large objects that were not restricted. That led me to
find the shopping cart by my front door. I didn’t know at the time what it
would be used for, however, I wanted to incorporate it any way I could as I
believed no one else would have that idea. Afterward, I began searching my
room for other Items to use. I was pretty stuck until I came across my empty
backpack. I realized that none of my roommates have in person classes and
that we all played baseball so we had backpacks for that as well. I decided to
stack up 8 backpacks to make the chair. Although I could have been done
there, I still wanted to get the cart incorporated into my chair. I decided to
flip the cart over and use the front of it as a back rest. Although it seemed
like a simple solution for a chair, it caused me to really use my critical
thinking and problem-solving skills in order to complete this assignment.
One thing that really caught my attention over the last week during
this course was learning about the CPS Model and all the stages of it. I had
never thought of there being 6 stages of problem solving but after we looked
at the graph it made a lot more sense to me. What surprised me the most
was that I use most of these different stages of finding when I am lost and
need a direction to get back on track. Without even realizing, I used this CPS
model when completing our Chair assignment. Although I skipped a step or
two along the way, it’s crazy to think that without even knowing I was using
a model that advertisers and other critical thinkers use when they are lost
and need some help. A time recently when I unwarily used the CPS model
was with my job with Head and Shoulders. For my job, I am supposed to go
to high schools surrounding Columbia and give the football athletes benefits
of Head and Shoulders and giving them free samples to use. When I was
diagnosed with covid about a month ago, I was beginning to stress as I could
not deliver any samples to schools for two weeks and my position is only
until the end of September. In order to get through it, I went on google maps
and highlighted the rest of the schools I have to visit over the next two
weeks. I then began emailing 5 a day that were in the same area and telling
them I would be coming to the school to drop off the supplies tomorrow. That
was about half of the job I needed to complete as the other half consisted of
me figuring out a way to present the benefits to the athletes. I ended up
creating a video that highlights the benefits and sent it to the school AD and
asked them to share it with the athletes at his earliest convenience. While it
is not exactly the way I wanted to complete the tasks, I had to get creative in
order to finish the task.
By Cristina Scolaro
Leo Burnett said that “Creativity is the art of establishing new and
meaningful relationships between previously unrelated things”. Previous to
this class, my definition of creativity was far narrower than this. I thought
creativity was mostly defined by the High C category, as defined by Robert
J. Sternberg. High C encompasses the fine arts; art, music, and
architecture. I soon realized that creativity is not just a beautiful painting or
structure. My major is Sport and Entertainment Management, so I was glad
to learn that creativity does not just mean visuals. Creativity is problem
solving, it is things you do every day, it is pushing yourself to think outside
the box, it is taking risks and being curious. By using this broader
definition, I am confident that I can take the skills I am learning in this
course into the business world.
Creating a new and meaningful relationship between two things that
were previously unrelated is what fosters the best solutions to problems.
Recently, I was tasked with creating a stable chair out of household objects.
The catch was that I could not use anything that was readily available to sit
on, no boxes, no cases of water, the chair had to be comparable size to a
regular chair, and it had to be 80 percent made of one item. I thought this
was going to be easy. I certainly thought I was creative enough to whip up a
chair in no time. Sadly, I was mistaken. This chair took me way longer to
create than I had anticipated. My biggest road block was finding enough of
the same material to make the chair 80 percent one item. Brainstorming
was getting difficult, so I consulted with friends and tried some Osborn style
brainstorming. Osborn brainstorming encourages piggybacking, it does not
criticize ideas, it has no limit on “wild” ideas, and it prefers quantity over
quality. Once I began using this method, things got easier. My first attempt
at the chair was just a hamper filled with blankets until it was strong
enough to sit on. This was too simple and did not challenge me enough. I
ended up creating two more chairs, having three prototypes in total. My
third chair was the one I ended up using for the project. Having a larger
quantity of ideas is what ultimately lead me to my final one, even though not
all the ideas were quality. By piggybacking off of my roommates’ ideas of
using cups, I was able to think of plates, which is what I made my final chair
out of. Plates was a wild idea that did not seem practical, but it was
successful. The entire chair consisted of plates, placemats, cans, and an
ironing board. These previously unrelated materials made a new
relationship by becoming a chair and ultimately solving my problem. I hope
to work in creative marketing for a professional sports franchise one day.
When I am presented with a challenge in such a job whether it be creating a
new marketing campaign or trying to come up with ways to increase our
budget, I will know not to stop at my first idea and I will take all ideas, no
matter how crazy, into consideration.
The chair assignment was the most challenging for me so far, but the
assignment that was like second nature to me was an in-class assignment
where I had 5 minutes to draw a portrait of a classmate. I absolutely love
drawing and it is something I am very familiar with. It is an example of what
my old definition of creativity was before this class. Art is my creative
outlet. I practice it often, so this task did not intimidate me. After the
portraits were done, I was told to do another drawing. This time it could be
of anything, but the catch is that I could not pick up my pen from my paper.
It had to be a continuous line drawing. Just when I thought things were
simple, I was pushed out of my comfort zone again. It was difficult for me to
not lift my pen because it was not what I am used to. I felt like I was just
scribbling. Despite how this type of drawing made me feel uneasy, it made
me realize that part of creativity and problem solving is being
uncomfortable. If I don’t get pushed out of my comfort zone and I am always
drawing or completing tasks how I always do, I will not produce unique,
innovative, and creative results. Drawing a portrait was safe for me, but
continuous line drawings and building chairs were not. If I am lucky enough
to contribute my ideas to sports franchise, I will be sure push my limits of
comfort in order to produce results that make me stand out amongst other
employees and I will do my best to remember that it is okay to be
Had I not chosen to take this course, I never would have been exposed
to trying these new things, forcing me to interact with the unfamiliar,
pushing me to be more creative. I would have just stopped at my first chair,
I would have lifted my pen from the paper. I wouldn’t have pushed myself
to try and think outside the box. By learning new ways to be creative and by
being taught steps I can use as guidelines in my creative process, I have
become more confident in my abilities to solve a problem that I am
presented with. I am excited to take these skills into the real world and
apply it to any job that I get. Creativity, innovation, and strategic thinking
are universally important and will benefit me in the classroom, everyday
life, and in the sports management world.
By Alexandra Weber
Most people believe creativity is something only artists, children, and people working in
creative fields need to use on a daily basis. However, creativity is also functional and problem
solving. Creative thinkers understand when there is a problem and use the skills necessary to
come up with the best solution to solve their problem. Creative thinking is necessary in all
careers and in everyday life. I use creative thinking at my job in student housing as well as at
home when coming up with solutions. There are many different approaches to solving problems but the steps are always the same. You first must define the problem, then look for solutions, then evaluate solutions and implement the solution. If you fail to accurately define the problem it is hard to come up with the right solutions to the problem. It is important that everyone understands the problem first before moving onto the next step. Once you have defined the problem then it is time to look for solutions.
According to Harvard Business Review “most companies aren’t sufficiently rigorous in defining the problems they’re attempting to solve and articulating why those issues are important” (Dwayne Spradlin). An easy solution to this problem is using the 5 Whys. This technique requires creative thinkers to first ask what is the problem, why is is
happening, who is in charge of parts of the problem, where is the problem located, etc. This helps everyone understand the problem and look deeper to understand the issues. Like many other businesses, the student housing business requires its employees to use a lot of problem solving techniques to help solve problems. I have personally worked in student housing for nearly two years and have come across numerous problems that need to be solve. Just as the Harvard Business Review stated, I often immediately jump into solutions rather than taking the time to accurately define the problem. Accurately defining the problem ensures that you think of the best solutions to solve that particular problem and makes the solution process easier.
Once a problem is defined, it is best to come up with a large quantity of solutions first and go back later and find the best solution. It is best to come up solutions with a diverse group. A diverse group will have different beliefs, backgrounds and understandings about the world. This is important, because it helps create a large variety of different perspectives and ideas. Flip charts, sticky notes, alphabet brainstorming and SCAMPER are all great techniques that can be used to help brainstorm and solve the problem. SCAMPER stands for substitute, combine, adapt, magnify/modify, put to other users, eliminate, and reverse/rearrange. SCAMPER is a great technique that allows a large group of diverse thinkers to take possible solutions and further evaluate them. This technique also helps eliminate some of the bad ideas. In the student housing business we often use sticky notes to help solve problems. As a group we come up with solutions and stick them onto the wall. Once we are done we evaluate all the sticky notes and remove the ones that would not effectively solve the problem. Although we are going through the problem solving steps properly, I believe we are lacking a large diverse group. Many of us have the same beliefs and backgrounds. If we found a more diverse group that matched our residents it could help us solve problems better. Since we do not have a diverse group, I think an external member should participate during our brainstorming sessions to give new perspectives to the problem we are attempting to solve.
In my experience during class, when we are given a problem it is extremely helpful to hear the opinions of everyone in the class and as a group we form better solutions that cover the entire problem. In addition to coming up with a large variety of solutions in a diverse
group, many people forget that it is okay to leave the problem for a little and come back to it
later. When trying to solve a problem it is important to understand flow. Each person solves
problems in their own unique way. Many people sit and try solving a problem all in one time but sometimes it is best to stop and come back. For example, sometimes when I am sleeping I come up with best solutions to problems I have been struggling with for days to solve. By stepping back you can allow yourself to come up with new solutions when you are least expecting it. Once you come up with the solution you must implement your solution and see if it is working.
Many creative thinkers fail and try again so it is important to understand that it is okay for your first solution to fail and come back again and go back through the steps to find another solution. In student housing not every solution we come up with works right away. If it fails, we go back to find new approaches and new solutions to effectively solve the issue.
Creative Thinking & Problem Solving
Fall 2020 class, students contribute posts.