CREATIVITY IS THE SUM of two processes: thinking and producing. Many of us focus on the imaginative thinking aspect, but fall short on the doing or producing. As we kick-off a new year, I encourage you to make the most of International Creativity Month and its purpose to inspire people around the globe to harness the power of creativity.
A 2012 Adobe study on creativity found that eight in 10 people felt that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth, and nearly two-thirds of respondents felt creativity is valuable to society, yet a striking minority — only one in four people — believed that they were living up to their own creative potential. Thus, there is a creativity gap that needs to be addressed.
Fortunately, Columbus has a unique assortment of institutions and organizations to start and complete the creative cycle. You don’t have to go to New York City, San Francisco or Los Angeles to find success in a creative industry. Everything you need is here. Our city is recognized as a top 10 place to start a business. Columbus is a national leader when it comes to LGBTQ empowerment and inclusion, economic opportunity, economic growth and affordability. We are home to a high concentration of fashion designers and retail innovators and a hotbed of entrepreneurs and high-growth companies. If you can make it in Columbus, you can make it anywhere.
The best place to start the creative process is to pick up where others left off. Museums and art galleries are the most obvious candidates. Columbus Museum of Art is free to the public on Sundays. How convenient! Currently on display are two fitting exhibitions to get the creative juices flowing: Think Outside the Brick and In ___ We Trust: Art and Money. Next on the list is Wexner Center for the Arts. Admission is free on Thursday evenings and first Sundays, yet this world-class institution is certainly worth the cost of admission any day of the week. If you are looking for more grit with a DIY aesthetic, then you must pay a visit to 400 West Rich Street in East Franklinton. You’ll find a determined community of local artists and creative types who are looking for others to join their ranks. While in the area, swing by COSI and be amazed by the planetarium.
For inspiration in the digital realm, check out TEDxColumbus videos at TedxColumbus.Com/Videos. I attended the sixth annual TEDxColumbus event in November and left energized and empowered with “ideas worth sharing.” If you hunger for more, OSU has a raised the bar on the democratization of knowledge via Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) that are open to anyone around the world utilizing free and open resources. I enrolled in the Technicity MOOC last year to study smart city initiatives.
Once inspired and armed with knowledge, you are ready to make your ideas a reality. Columbus Idea Foundry is the largest “makerspace” on the planet. A monthly membership fee of $35 plus an hourly fee gives you access to a multitude of tools, including a 3D printer and a laser cutter, to make your next creation or start your new enterprise. Columbus Cultural Arts Center offers a wide variety of in-depth, hands-on art classes at varying experience levels. I took an introductory screen printing course there and loved it. Columbus College of Art & Design offers a wide variety of community-focused Continuing and Professional Studies workshops of varying lengths to suit your schedule. If you share my interest in learning how to sew and knit, Dabble & Stitch is a great resource. Their introductory sewing class is quite helpful and loads of fun if you’re the only gay boy in a class of ladies!
For those who want to learn how to harness the awesome power of the coding, there are many resources available to you. Even if you think the buzz around “learning how to code” is overkill, you have to admit it’s here to stay. Why not learn it?! Columbus has its own chapter of Girl Develop It, a nonprofit that provides affordable and accessible programs to women who want to learn web and software development through mentorship and hands-on instruction.The annual DrupalCamp Ohio provides a space to learn an open source content management platform that powers millions of websites and applications, whether you’re a beginner, a developer, designer or business owner. Pencil this opportunity into your November calendar. Columbus Code Camp is a community event where software developers learn from their peers. Another fall event, look for this one in October — that gives you plenty of time to work on your coding skills.
It’s a new year; go forth and create!
Code.org exists to expand the number of students, especially women and people of color, with access to the learning tools for coding languages.
CreativeLive.com broadcasts live classes on the Internet to foster an interaction between the instructor and other students to shape the class direction.
Pinterest.com is a powerful tool at your fingertips for cultivating your ideas into inspiration and concept boards. I set aside at least 15 minutes a day to pin.
SkillShare.com is an online learning community for creators. Classes are categorized under creative arts, design, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and technology and are taught by industry leaders.
TeamTreehouse.com is arguably the most in-depth learning tool for coding and covers a wide variety of topics. That comes at a price — $25 for a basic plan and $49 for a pro plan that gives you access to exclusive workshops and interviews.