“How technology influences our creative processes”
aISCOVERING OUR CREATIVITY
Our brains were built for being creative. Creativity is one of the most fundamental of human qualities. It is truly part of our basic human nature. Creativity is sometimes looked at as being rare and reserved for just a certain gifted few. Although it is often stereotyped as being the work of artists, painters, sculptors, writers, etc., we need to remember that some of the world’s most illustrious “creatives” never picked up a paint brush or sculpted clay. They wore lab coats and created their art through numbers and formulas.
University of Notre Dame anthropologist Agustín Fuentes, author of The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional, describes the process in the following way: “The essence of creativity is to look at the world around us, see how it is and imagine other possibilities that are not immediately present or based on our immediate personal experience. Creativity is seeing the possibilities and then trying to make those imaginings into material reality.”
People evolve by discovering unanticipated facts and theories. Discovering new faces and the excitement of new worlds inspires and drives the human mind to want more. It teaches us how to see multiple pathways to solving challenges.
As with many creative industries, the world of flowers constantly evolves, repeatedly reminding us not to do the same old things in the same old ways but to push them to the limit and see what happens. Experimentation, risk, originality – this is how new design styles and techniques are born. This is how new flower varieties are created. This is how we interpret what consumers desire and design for them something they could not have made themselves.
We can hardly talk about creative trends in today’s world without discussing how technology affects our creativity. How do we stay creative with our minds and hands when so much of the world around us celebrates speed, ease and automation?
People are increasingly expecting new technology to automate the boring elements of life, and the process is supposed to allow us to spend more time on interesting things. We literally have an entire world of creative information and inspiration at our fingertips. Art, literature, music, nature – all right there, waiting to inspire us. The abundance is overwhelming, yet sometimes too much of a good thing is just that. Too much. The easy and constant access we have to visual stimuli is both wonderful and complicated for the creative mind.
For today’s creatives, our devices can spur imagination, but it is also a concern that all of the visual input our screen time gives us also may slow our ability to create our own individual visual imagery. Screens can get in the way of creative activities like daydreaming. When we are bored, we now turn to our screens, leaving behind the downtime our minds would otherwise use for imagination and creativity. When we daydream, we tend to think nothing is happening; however, research shows that during those moments, our brains actually light up with creative connections. So, screen time helps to open possibilities for our imaginations, but we must remember not to become completely dependent on technology to be our sole source of inspiration.
Floral designers are pushed to be creative through their natural materials, constructions, mechanics, buying, customer service, marketing and everything else that goes along with business of floristry. We need to remember to take the time to play. Take time to enjoy the tactile quality of what we do. Grouping colors, gathering textures and adding unique elements together is all part of our creative process.
COLLABORATION It’s no longer just creatives who are shaping our visual world. According to Adobe Stock’s visual trends forecast for 2019, 95 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day, and people watch 100 million hours of content on Facebook every day.
Humans are collaborative creatures by nature. The fact that we, as floral designers, can share our creativity through social media has opened a new world of possibilities for growth and continued learning. Beyond the beauty of inspiring botanical installation work, we are able to communicate, ask questions, and learn mechanics and construction principles. The ultimate goal is to absorb inspiration from people who create with the same medium we do and let that motivation help us continue our own creative journey.
All creatives, even the most celebrated ones, draw on the work of others, influenced consciously or unconsciously by that which has come before them. We reconfigure existing ideas and forms and then manipulate those into something new of our own expression.
Share and engage fellow designers. Sharing creativity can be hard. Our creativity is very personal. We tend to covet it and hold it close. Creatives do naturally fear judgement and their point of view not being understood and accepted. It feels vulnerable to share what makes your creative side tick. One of the best gifts that techno-media brings us is the ease of collaboration. We can share with others who think like us and work within the same medium. We can inspire each other and learn and continue to grow creatively.
Bill Schaffer, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, and Kristine Kratt, AIFD, PFCI, are the creative directors behind Schaffer Designs, a floral event company. Bill and Kris are diverse contributors in the floral industry, specializing in not only trend translations, education, product development, and showroom and trade-show design but also commissioned floral installations as well as being award-winning authors. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and/or kris@ schafferdesigns.com.