Living Life Using Creativity

Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. Red chalk....
Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. Image via Wikipedia

How do we use creativity in living our lives? Everyday…

1. In our thinking--Imagining…many times life presents us with situations that do not follow a typical path. For example, the economy downturns and the professional positions we have trained for evaporate…a spouse becomes ill just as the children graduate from college…the safety in the community where we live has been compromised. Creative problem-solving helps us to consider possible solutions.

2. In our hearing–We respond to the sounds around us. For example, in engaging in conversations we have with others…as we play an instrument and create music…in singing a melody. We both make and respond to sound in creative ways to express our emotions and ideas.

3. In our visualizing–What we see as shapes and colors impacts our daily lives. For example, we can visually study the characteristics of something to better understand it…artists sketch as a way to design and work out the details of their creation…we watch someone else do something and imitate them. Leonardo da Vinci was a master at using drawing as a way to think about how a machine might work or how a bird flies. Using our sight, we visually take in information about the world around us that can be used to design and create in our daily lives.

Leonardo da Vinci, drawings of machines
Leonardo da Vinci, drawings of machines. Image via Wikipedia

4. In our life experiences and family interactions–Whenever we change from what is to what could be. For example, reaching a new stage of life and making some  changes…parents finding positive ways to teach their children good behaviors…adult children helping their older parents adjust to a disability. We can use information and design the future to be different from the past, bringing into being something that is new, or novel in its perspective.

One of my favorite books on using creativity and holistic thinking is How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb. Gelb presents the ways da Vinci used a holistic approach to create major works of art, as well as to understand the subjects of science. Da Vinci was ahead of his time in using art and science to inform one another.

So, in answer to the question, How do we use creativity?

People use creativity everyday to meet the challenges of daily living and to design and create new ideas,                                                                                                                                                         solutions,                                                                                                                                                         conversations,                                                                                                                                                         music,                                                                                                                                                              visual works of art,                                                                                                                                          life stage transitions,                                                                                                                                                and family traits & values. 

Be Inventive!

The other day an article in our local newspaper, entitled “3 THINGS you should do today”, caught my eye. Number 2 was “Be inventive”. On May 22nd, 1906, the Wright brother’s US patent was issued for their invention, the “Flying Machine”.

First Flight, John T. Daniels via Wikipedia Commons

Reading the article made me think about how the brothers had to dream of flying, imagine what it would take to soar above the ground, and experiment with many different ideas to make it happen…The brothers’  invention of the flying machine is a perfect example of human creativity and the design process necessary to not only imagine but actually succeed in inventing something new.

Bela Banathy (1991), an educator, systems design scientist, and author, writes that we create the future by the process of designing what we can envision…This is a skill each of us are called upon to use everyday in our families, our work—as artists as well as other occupations, and the communities where we live. Our survival and quality of life is hinged upon our ability as individuals, and collectively as a society, to use our imaginations. Imagination leads to new, novel ideas and inventions that meet the challenges we and our children will face in the coming years.

Technology is one field where change is happening rapidly. The world has had to realize the changes this industry brings and envision ways its benefits can be used for the good, negating any negative effects.  Living @ a research university with its questioning environment inspires me to think of the possibilities–considering new answers to complex problems.  Whether it be…                                                                               at home…                                                                       Flying Bird                                                                                                    in the studio…                                                                                                                                                                           or in our communities…

                                             Are you ready to fly?

…(2011, May 22). 3 THINGS you should do today. NRV CURRENT, THE ROANOKE TIMES, p. 3.
Banathy, B. H. (1991). Systems Design of Education: A Journey to Create the Future. New Jersey: Education Technology Publications.

Image Citation–By John T. Daniels [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Quote…Imagination Or “The Wisdom of a Child”?


“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all  we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”                                                                                                          Albert Einstein                 

(Quoted in interview by G.S. Viereck , October 26,1929. Reprinted in “Glimpses of the Great”(1930).)

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