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Creativity and Innovation Working Together, slow and steady

While I research discussions and actions surrounding creativity, a word that always seems to pop up along with, is creativity and innovation. So I’ve been digging into what innovation is and what it means for me as a creative and artistic person.

Creativity and Innovation

Innovation is the introduction of something new. I really like this explanation from the Merriam-Webster dictionary. It describes innovation, but as separate from invention, which are both intertwined within creativity…

The words innovation and invention overlap semantically but are really quite distinct.

Invention can refer to a type of musical composition, a falsehood, a discovery, or any product of the imagination. The sense of invention most likely to be confused with innovation is “a device, contrivance, or process originated after study and experiment,” usually something which has not previously been in existence.

Innovation, for its part, can refer to something new or to a change made to an existing product, idea, or field. One might say that the first telephone was an invention, the first cellular telephone either an invention or an innovation, and the first smartphone an innovation.

Looking deeper into this process, we are creative in the way we innovate. Creativity comes from the thinking and when we innovate, we are doing/making/creating that thought into form. Most often innovation is taken from inspiration or an elaboration of a creative thought or invention.

I love this video explanation from Steven Johnson who wrote the book Where Good Ideas Come From. His research and perspective in this video takes a look at the environment where creativity comes from and how patterns evolve and where hunches form themselves into innovating ideas.

Watch the video here…

In this video explanation by Steven Johnson, the pattern for creativity and innovation is called the “slow hunch”, portrayed by a turtle. As you know turtles are slow, they take their time and work things through. Turtles are always right where they need to be, doing what they need to do.

From the video above, the turtle analogy really hit home for me and what my personal creative process is currently like. I too have been sitting, thinking, and patiently waiting for my next thing, my next idea, my next creative innovation. Watching this video several months back actually helped me with a breakthrough, as I’ve been worrying about my slow waiting turtle-like behavior these last few years. As I had been creating in slower and more simpler ways, almost too slow and simple, I’d been unaware of the part creativity was playing in those movements. Frustration set in and my turtle behavior become negative and destructive, putting me into a self-pitying depression.

With this year of mindfulness and becoming more aware of my creative needs, I have now reframed the narrative of my turtle-self into a positive story. I mistook what lessons I was meant to learn from my slow waiting years. But as I switch my thinking with a positive knowing, there’s now a spark, an excitement, something flickering once again. And today I realize my turtle is who I’m meant to be, just shining a little bit brighter, a new transformation igniting my “turtle on fire”. The beginning of a personal innovation of self into the next phase of my creative process.

Watercolor Sea Turtle on Fire

Creativity and Innovation Working Together

This slow and steady behavior has now become precious and life giving, and much needed for my creative progression these past few months. I’m more thoughtful about what I want to create, how I want create, and why I’m even creating it in the first place. I see it as a way to recharge, breathe, and take notice of my mind, body, and soul in the process. It’s amazing. I’m now beginning to find my turtle colliding with other creative turtles and innovation is on it’s way! I’m excited about this new creative chapter in my life and can’t wait to share more with all of you. The thoughts that have been swirly and forming in my head are creativity and innovation working together! In the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more details, something for the coming year. It’s going to be fun!

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