A few days ago, my boyfriend sent me a link to a video he said I absolutely had to watch. He first saw it in a seminar at work.
The short video introduces viewers to Dewitt Jones, a National Geographic photographer, who shares some of his thoughts on creativity and, essentially, everyday life.
In the video, he talks about a key lesson he’s learned: There are amazing things for all of us to see every single day. Whether we actually see these remarkable things depends on our perspective, or as Jones says, on our ability to be creative.
We all have the ability to be creative, he says.
I’ve talked before about creativity and about connecting to my own creativity on my body image blog, Weightless. (Many fantastic bloggers talked about it too.) I’ve said that creativity is inside all of us. That it’s not just in our brains, but also in our bones. In our souls. In our spirits.
Creativity can be in everything we do from pouring our coffee in the morning to taking a walk at lunch, to playing a game with the kids, to cooking dinner, to writing a two-line poem before bed.
But how do we access our creativity, Jones wonders. “How do we bring it out every day in everything we do?”
Most of us know that thinking outside the box is creative. It’s seeing a problem or, as in Jones’s case, a landscape, using a different perspective. Going beyond what’s in front of our eyes.
Jones says that the key to creativity is realizing that there’s more than one right answer. There are a thousand ways, he says, to come at any challenge, an important lesson he’s learned from his photography. Still, he notes that it’s a lesson that’s tough to apply to the rest of his life.
You may feel exactly the same way. You might be able to harness your creativity when making a scrapbook but forget that you can apply that thinking to a problem at work, a meal at home, or a short walk where you savor the beauty of the moment.
Or maybe you think you’re devoid of even a kernel of creativity. That creativity is for others, yet you problem-solve like a pro.
In the rest of the video, Jones uses his stunning photos to illustrate how seeing another answer, another perspective, can really open up a multitude of opportunities (and scenes), leading to a breathtaking image. To an image that captures the essence of that scene.
Photographers shoot settings, objects, animals, and people from many different perspectives and with several different lenses. They rarely capture an image in one single shot. It takes a lot of tries. By trying out a variety of perspectives and angles, they’re able to find those right answers. We can do that, too.
For instance, when he first took a shot of Yosemite Falls, Jones featured the entire falls. But to him, the photo just seemed off. So he asked himself, what about the falls truly inspired him? What made him so excited about taking this photo? It wasn’t the entire falls, but a snapshot of something else.
When he changed his perspective and found another right answer, he found his photograph.
I think the point is that there’s no correct step-by-step way to be creative.
Instead, there are many views that are just waiting to be seen and interpreted by your own idiosyncrasies and quirks. And you can do this with everything in your everyday life.
That’s what’s so fresh, exciting, and freeing about being creative. It’s keeping your eyes open, keeping curious, and keeping an open mind. It’s experimenting and trying new things.
I highly recommend watching the video. It’s incredibly inspiring.
What did you think about the video?
How do you define creativity? How do you access your creativity every day in everything you do?
Photo by Netsnake, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.