Saturday, March 6, 2010

Be an Artist

You are an artist believe it or not. You don't have to be a modern day Picasso to be one. All you need is curiosity and creativity, and I believe everyone is born with them. It is curiosity that leads you to learn and discover how and why the world and people exist around us. Then it is creativity that inspires our imagination so we can understand how to make sense of everything. Famous movie director James Cameron is a great example of that. His insatiable curiosity for insects, animals, oceans, and the environment as a child inspired him to create amazing movies such as Aliens, Titanic, Terminator, and Avatar.

Now remember the time when you asked your parents about why the sky was blue? Or how could fish breathe underwater and you couldn't? We were all born with curiosity and creativity as a child, however, one problem is that we lose those instincts as we grow up due to influences from our parents, friends, and even school. Yes... even school. Sir Ken Robinson, a recognized leader in development of innovation, declares that schools kill creativity because of the standardization of grades and courses used in schools and universities today. Since public education was created to fill the needs of Industrialism, the whole purpose of education that time was to create mass produce, obedient factory workers. Unfortunately, that is still happening today in the form of office workers. Seth Godin, a well-recognized marketing guru and entrepreneur, also mentioned during his talk at the Art of Marketing Conference on March 2, 2010 that the problem of school is that it teaches us obedience and conformity. We are taught to follow orders and meet the expectations of others (i.e. your grades, professors, boss). However, in this day and age of mass layoffs and recession, it is no longer how many A's or degrees you can boast... or even how well you obey orders. But rather how creative you are in making meaning and change for others. This can be a uncomfortable and challenging to many, but in order to succeed, that's what it takes to be an artist. So are you good at following orders or... are you an artist?