Creativity Reflection 15: Iowa and back

Sometimes creativity is a spur of the moment thing. Sometimes it is born out of an immediate need. This past week for my capstone presentation, it was a little bit of both as we hustled at 4:30 in the morning to figure out how we wanted to split up the part of the presentation that one of our team members who overslept wasn’t able to do.

Creativity sometimes comes at not ideal situations. This wasn’t ideal. I honestly just wanted to sleep since it was 4:30 in the morning and I went to bed at 1 a.m. because I was so stressed. But instead, I had to take on a new part of the presentation and look it over. I feel asleep for bit because my body won out over my racing brain. The missing team member called not long after I woke up and apologized. My creativity kicked into gear to have me not sound like an incredibly bitter and upset person and instead I had to solve the problem at hand. My team member couldn’t get to Iowa to present with us at Meredith Corp. because she didn’t have a car so we had to take on her part, but I had to make sure she wrote us detailed notes so we could take on her parts without sounding like idiots.

When we got there, we presented and it wasn’t too obvious that we were missing someone. Sure, us explaining her parts weren’t as smooth as I would’ve like it but we improvised so our diction and syntax made it seem smooth and part of the presentation. All in all, our content and idea for our magazine capstone project was what got the judges excited. That creativity shone through and it proved how a good idea and hard work can really come to life.


Creativity Class Reflection 15: Last ever

Lately I have been more peeved with being in attendance for my Creativity class because of a lot of outside stressors. Heck, I skipped once last week because I thought I was going to pass out from anxiety overtaking my body if I went there instead of working on the multiple things I had to finish in less than 24 hours. But, for the majority of the semester, this class has been a much needed escape.

I went into the last ever Creativity class (before we present during finals week) on edge about my capstone presentation I had to give to the publishers at Meredith Corporation about a magazine I helped create with four other people. But this last ever Creativity gave me the clarity and ease of mind that I needed to go into the crazy Friday I had ahead of me. We meditated for a bit and were asked to summon our muse and see what they showed us for the future. We have envisioned our muse multiple times this semester and my muse is feminine and almost made purely of light. This time in my time of need she gave me a bottle of this elixir that acted almost like a prism. All the negativity and stress was filtered through it (and mostly taken on by her) and then streamed as light and good vibes. The overall feeling was harmonious and calm and hopeful.

This encounter with my muse and then me drawing her out and what we envisioned for the future was probably the best way for me to (temporarily) calm down before my presentation. Walking around and see how hopeful most of my class was for the future through our drawings was encouraging. It shows how this class has opened our minds to creative solutions to problems that could plague our futures, thus making us more hopeful.

I just want to thank this class for being something different. Although some days were long and sometimes I felt like they were pointless, they helped me break away from my academic routine and improved how I thought about other classes. Creativity class changed me, and I couldn’t be happier.

Creativity Reading Response 15: Based in history

There was a book I had to read/use multiple times for summer reading assignments for my honors English classes in high school called How to Read Literature like a Professor that had multiple chapters over how almost all literature alludes or draws from the Bible, Shakespeare, etc. I know from studying fashion that almost all clothing that goes down the runway is part of a cycle of a trend that was around maybe 20 or so years ago. They are all creative takes on tried and true stories and outfits, but they aren’t completely original. It’s hard for anything to be completely original as we continue to build upon existing technologies.

Ogle says in Smart World how we are all “children of the Renaissance” (56). According to the reading, “we all routinely rely on a whole web of cultural and social practices and knowledge to guide our behavior” (54). It makes sense, honestly. We all use experts or models to help us figure out what might be the best path for us to solve our own problems or create something of our own. Even basic creative enterprises, such as crafting or knitting, have people using patterns or tried and true techniques and stitches. These give us the base to be able to play, develop and be creative. It’s hard to conceptualize a house until you have the foundation laid (or at least know how big that will be).

For us to go forward into the future we have to be able to learn from the past. Geniuses like Einstein, etc. learned from their predecessors and in turn we must use what they gave us to create a new tomorrow. The possibility of flying cars can’t even be thought of if it weren’t for Da Vinci thinking that humans could fly in the first place.

Creativity Reading Response 14: Mathletes

I am not awful at math. I actually was in honors math classes in high school but they weren’t the highest level I could’ve been at. My brother who is a year younger than me was in the same classes at the same time. Actually, all three of my brothers have been better at math than me all of my life, so I have always shied away from fit because it never felt like my place. I found it interesting that Piirto said that “first-borns make up more than half of active scientists” because I am a first born but all of my younger siblings are definitely more science-minded than me (257). I could always edit their papers or do other more creative pursuits.

I guess, technically, math and science can be considered creative. Piirto in Understanding Creativity talks about the process of mathematical insight, saying: “First there is the mental preparation. Second is the incubation. Third is the illumination. Fourth is the verification” (253). This is very similar to how you go through creative processes and creative problem solving. You use arts and math to solve a variety of problems and math formulas are innately creative. How? Because someone had to go about many different processes to figure out what could best work consistently to explain phenomena.

Gender has been tied to arts vs. math since the beginning of time, which I think has entirely to do with how we are socialized. Women are not consistently welcomed into the STEM sphere, which affects how much they want to develop their ability in those areas or not. Piirto says it has to do do with how more women are low in ego-assertiveness and most men are high in it, thus women don’t have “the drive” for math and science. I think that has completely everything to do with the fact that men have always been given more of a voice in the classroom and workplace. Most young girls feel unsure or turned away from STEM by the time they hit middle school because they are pushed to be more artsy and let the boys be good at math. I think the world needs more of the scientific and mathematical creativity that women bring to the table since they view things in different ways than men.

Creativity isn’t really defined by subject matter, so those subject matters shouldn’t try to define who can be creative within them.

Creativity Reflection 14: Sweet Home Chicago

I almost cried when I pulled into Chicago for my friend’s fraternity formal. Sure, maybe some of it might’ve been due to the fact that I was tipsy from drinking on the bus ride up, but this is the place I feel the happiest and the most creative.

I am inspired by the skyline and how it varies in shapes and sizes. It is historic and dynamic all at the same time. Lights were documenting the city being NFL Draft Town and Grant Park was transformed to a football paradise (which had me hyped more than anything). It is amazing to see how they creatively used this park space for multiple events throughout the year. It is forever changing and I never feel like I am entering the same park twice because of Taste of Chicago, Lollapalooza and other events.

These events bring more people to the city and the city absorbs their actions, inspirations and feelings to continually adapt and be more vibrant with each passing day. No matter the season, the reflective view from The Bean, or Cloudgate as known to very few, is always beautiful. I am honestly in love with it most when there is a perfect snow cap atop it and the city is sparkling with ice crystals. I can feel the wind making my cheeks numb and rosy and my body feels strong against the bitter wind. Nothing makes me feel more alive.

When I was just there for formal, it rained all day on the Saturday we were there. I hate the rain but there was something so peaceful about walking through the city I knew and loved with the soft rhythm of the pitter-patter of the raindrops. It created a misty fog that hid the tops of the buildings from view and made me daydream about the kind of mythical creatures hiding in the precipitation.

This is my place. It is my forever home.

Creativity Class Reflection 14: Creative competition

I am a pretty judgmental person. My Meyers-Briggs personality type is ENTJ with that J standing for judgment. I use standards for almost anything I do. I subconsciously will compete with my peers because I have a hard time figuring out quality without some sort measuring tool.

When it comes to creativity, it is hard to do that. But, we had a guest speaker that made us judge different things and pick the most creative. First it was different running shoes and my little group of three people looked at shoes that we found to be the most innovative or unlike what is already on the market to determine what is the most creative. A couple other groups agreed with us, which shows how creativity can viewed similarly for products that we all have a lot of work with.

We then had to look at Olympic logos. This was interesting because some of the newer ones are things that we have seen shared and critiqued on social media, which could cloud how “creative” we considered them. Instead of using things like innovation as a judging factor, we considered how well the logos integrated the idea of people/countries being together and the colors of the rings. We were more attracted to ones that didn’t look exactly like rings because it seemed easy to just shove the Olympic rings somewhere and call it a day.

The last things we had to judge was probably the hardest and it was Apple products. My group made arguments for a couple different products for being the most creative based on if it was the first of it’s kind or if it revolutionized the current technologies. Our choices would probably be very different than our parents since we have  grown up with more computers and similar technologies than they have.

This class really made me stretch what I thought about creativity since I alway just considered a black and white you are creative or you aren’t. But this helped me realize that you can think of legit factors that you can qualify what makes something creative or not. It is similar to how I approach word choice in stories because there are always so many better words than unique that can actually qualify whatever you are trying to describe.

Creativity Reflection 13: Hair-brained

I am identified by hair quite frequently now. It’s strange to think that since that was never a thing about four years. My hair wasn’t special. It wasn’t ugly, but it just wasn’t notable.

But now my hair is very me.

It’s short and spunky. I now have an undercut that makes the sides of my head fuzzy like a puppy. My hair is never the same color all year round. It’s constantly slightly changing. Cutting it all off after my high school graduation was like a creative way of marking my life transitioning. It was also to prove a point to my shitty boyfriend that I would still look hot.

The color of my hair has really always been fascinating since I don’t dye it. It just just changes in the sun, pick up bright blonde highlights that trickle down to my dark eyebrows to make them salt-and-pepper colored. It reflects to a young, baby Vee with hair the color of sunned straw. Blonde is the color that makes me happiest and Winter brings a brown that makes me look sallow in the face. I get this ever-changing color from my daddy, whose hair is now a permanent brown that only sees peeks of blonde when he stays in tropical locations for work trips and in his eyelashes.

Recently, people have been complimenting me on my dark hair and asking when I dyed it. I didn’t. I am slightly horrified that they are saying how dark it is. My hair was so blonde from a summer of being in the sun daily walking around campus as a Summer Welcome Leader that the fact that it hasn’t started shedding it’s winter layers/my haircuts have been revealing the areas the sun hasn’t seen is kind of a drastic change. I have always identified as a blonde, heck, I buy John Frieda Blonde shampoo. I liked the cliche of blondes having more fun because I felt lighter and happier when my hair was blonder.

But, stupid, silly, cliche me was forgetting the point of what people were saying to me. They were complimenting me. Telling me I looked good. Saying I was pretty. I was creatively avoiding the positives because it was easier in the moment for me to be mad at a change I wasn’t used to then just accept people being nice to me.

My hair has always been a symbol of self love, but now it has taken on a new meaning for me to allow others to praise me when I deserve it. Humility is important but fighting compliments isn’t cute. But, thanks for telling me my hair is.