Every day, hundreds of thousands of people commute to work in large offices, then spend all day sat at a screen. When I think back to 1987, when I left school and started working, that wasn’t even a ‘thing’!
For many people, this work is repetitive, following systems and processes, or a software system that controls what you do, when you do it, what you say, and how it all gets recorded. Mind-numbing stuff. This is the ‘service economy’, and it makes up the lion’s share of what passes as work today in the UK.
However, the flip side of this shift in how we work is that we no longer create things. We’ve forgotten what it means to be creative. As a nation we’re losing our ability to innovate, and our education system is, on the whole, not doing anything to address this – they’re focused on producing graduates who will slot into the available jobs today. We’re not designing graduates for what lies ahead of us.
I’m 48 next month, and in the past few years I’ve become more creative than at any point in my life. I like to think that I’ve always been an innovator, however that’s been about creating new business models and disrupting old ones. Until recently I hadn’t actually made anything.
Then, in September, I finally bought my first DSLR camera – a Nikon D3300 that I’ve been spending time learning to use. Not just as a camera, but also to film. My friend Julie helped me choose a camera that would do both. I’ve been working on a few ideas for projects and am excited for the Spring and the better light that it will bring.
I’ve also bought a Canon point-and-shoot – a Powershot G7x, the vloggers camera of choice. This week will see me publish Vlog 005. Early days, but each one gets better as my confidence in front of the camera improves and I try new ideas. I’ve been watching vloggers and film-makers, like Casey Neistat on YouTube and getting inspiration from their work too.
I’m thinking more about the stories I want to tell with my cameras and planning the shots I want to take. Again, the more I do, the more creative I become, the more ideas I’m generating, and the better I’m getting. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
And do you know what? The more I create, the more ideas I have for my business. It’s like by exercising the creative muscles they’re getting stronger. The more I practice, the better I get.
So, if you’re like many of us and your day involves large chunks of time sat in front of a screen, then I’d urge you to spend time creating. Maybe for you it will be jewellery, painting, or embroidery. Whatever it is, find your creative passion and explore it. You won’t regret it!