Creativity Video: The Playful Search for Beauty [TED Talk]

Each Wednesday, for a while, I’ll be sharing a creativity video from TED. Some weeks I’ll choose a TED talk directly about creativity. Video choices on other Wednesdays might focus on creative people or creative ideas.

If you’re like me, you love TED, but don’t get as much of it, or as many creativity video presentations period, in your life as you’d like because you don’t think of it or you don’t have time. And you miss some videos you’d love just because you don’t find them. So, I’ve appointed myself our TED Talk/creativity video provider for the foreseeable future.

Today’s creativity video from TED features Eva Zeisel, a lifelong artist, on “The Playful Search for Beauty.”

The Leonardo Trait – Subtrait One: Deep and Inherent Creativity [Book Excerpt]

EXTREME Creativity is the defining characteristic of Leonardos - The Leonardo Trait - Angie Dixon

The Five Subtraits Series: Part 1

There are five weeks in March this year and five subtraits of The Leonardo Trait. Coincidence? I think not! So I’ve decided to reprint the five subtraits directly from the third edition, The Leonardo Trait: How Creative People Can Turn Creative Eccentricity into a Life You Love.

So here we go….

[In case I wasn’t clear, the below is an excerpt from The Leonardo Trait: How Creative People Can Turn Creative Eccentricity into a Life You Love.]

The first sub-trait of Leonardos is creativity. I’m not just talking about being able to draw a recognizable picture of a thumb in Pictionary. With Leonardos, creativity is the first quality people name when they think of that person. “She’s very creative.”

I once was challenged to make a smoking jacket for a friend who continually dropped ashes on herself. No one but me took the challenge seriously. I’m not allowed near sewing machines because I might sew my thumb to my lips.

But I made the smoking jacket. Out of kitchen trash bags. And I made a sash to go with it.

That’s the kind of creativity Leonardos have. We think of the completely unexpected, and we make it happen.

Now, don’t start thinking that because you would never have thought of a trash bag smoking jacket, you’re not a Leonardo. Leonardos’ creativity may display classically, like a passion for writing or art. It may be quirky, like making smoking jackets out of garbage bags. It could be a gift for physics or auto mechanics.

The thing is, whatever the gift is, the Leonardo is very innovative with it. He doesn’t fix the car, he turns it into a submarine. She doesn’t paint a dog, she paints a herd of sheep chasing a Border Collie.

It’s the depth and the innovation of the creativity that amazes me about Leonardos. And I’m not alone in recognizing these qualities, or in being fascinated by them.

Dr. Michael Kirton, in his work on creativity, describes two kinds of creativity: Adaptive/Resourceful or Innovative/Original Creativity (Kirton, 1994). Every Leonardo I’ve ever known is extremely skillful at both kinds of creativity, and can make, do, find or fix just about anything. Except that some of us are not allowed around anything that might catch fire, explode or glue our fingers together.

I won’t say it’s always a piece of cake being this creative. Sometimes people think I’m odd. I am odd, but I don’t like people to think that. Growing up was very difficult, because I was, quite frankly, a weird kid.

I laugh at things most people wouldn’t find amusing. I draw connections people can’t follow, and when I explain them, they still can’t understand how I got there. One time my best friend said she needed to replace the battery in her cordless phone. I said, “That reminds me, I need a new clock radio.” She usually doesn’t ask, but this time she had to know how I made that connection. “Electronics department at Wal-Mart.” “Oh.”

It can be socially awkward. Sometimes it can seem like I do too much and overwhelm people because I have so many ideas, and implement them so fast, and do so much. I’ve only recently come to really appreciate that who I am is okay, considering that I am extremely…unconventional.

So, there are positives and negatives to being this deeply creative.

But in the end, creativity is perhaps the most valuable gift we can have. It makes us who we are. It makes us interesting. It makes us able to learn more, do more and be more than we otherwise could.

And it’s fun.

Subtrait One | Subtrait Two | Subtrait Three | Subtrait Four | Subtrait Five

Pancake Image Courtesy of Gratisography Image created by Angie Dixon.

Pssst…. You’re Supposed to Be Different! You’re Not Weird. You’re a Leonardo

Pssst…. You’re Supposed to Be Different! You’re Not Weird. You’re a Leonardo - The Leonardo Trait - Angie DixonIf you’re anything like me, you’ve always known that you’re not “like everyone else.”

I first realized I was different at about four years old. I didn’t have words for it, of course. But by the time I got to kindergarten other kids knew the words for me. “Weird.” “Crazy.” “Dumb.” “Stupid.”

But the favorite word was “No.”

“No, you can’t sit at our table.”

“No, you can’t play with us.”

“No, you can’t eat lunch with us.”

And the big one: “No, you can’t be my friend.”

I wish I could say all of that stopped after kindergarten. Instead, it just got worse.

I longed to go to college far away, to escape the differentness and the “No’s.”

But of course wherever you go, there you are. I faced the same struggle with my different personality even after college. In fact, when I was 25 a woman several years older than me made a mutual friend move to another break room table rather than sit by me.

I eventually resigned myself to my fate of being different and weird and left out.

At that point I started to develop relationships with people who loved who I was.

I’m convinced that feeling of security, of being loved for myself, helped me discover the Leonardo Trait.

Once I did, I realized something crucial to my life, and yours.

We’re not like everyone else. We know that. What we don’t know or maybe don’t believe is that we’re not supposed to be.

We’re not inferior versions of anyone else. We’re perfect versions of ourselves.

If you’ve read The Leonardo Trait, you probably believe me about this.

If you haven’t read it, why not grab the free shareable copy I have available right now and take a look? I think you’ll find exactly who and what you’re supposed to be.

How would knowing you’re supposed to be different change your life?