The space around ideas

Your job as a creative worker is to make space around where solutions might be.

Unfortunately we often mistake the role of the creative to be that of someone who finds the answers, who comes up with the ideal solution. Thinking that creativity is solution-driven like this restricts what’s possible.

When we set out to find a solution we miss the opportunity to see all of the other possible solutions that exist just outside where we’re looking. Our focus and intent restricts us.

Instead, the role of creativity is to make elaborate spaces around where solutions or answers might be, then letting the picture we paint show us where the novel solutions lie.

Like putting together a puzzle without knowing what the end result will be. Eventually you’ll start to see the bigger picture. It’s harder to do if you think you already know what the picture looks like, however. You may be wrong. So, instead, you shouldn’t look for answers, but instead explore all of the pieces of the puzzle.

To do this, we have to create vast environments that allow for play, that encourage experimentation, and which empower us to be resourceful.

If you’re a creative individual, your task isn’t to come up with one solution or idea. Stop thinking that it is.

Your focus should be on exploring the world (both literally and figuratively) around the work. Explore, ask questions, poke and prod, tinker, doodle, discuss, and relax.

Working this way makes it easier for the best ideas – the truly original and valuable ones – to appear on their own.

Remember that you’re not looking for an answer, you’re looking for all the pieces.