From the moment a child is handed a writing instrument, they create. Before they even understand the spoken word, they doodle within diary pages, over the faces of dolls (as my siblings loved to do to mine), or even form gentle scripture across the surface of their own skin. Their very nature is to convey what they’re thinking in some way, and mimic the world around them in order to do so through the use of tools available to them. Change is effective throughout history as not only inevitable, but necessary, especially within the form of design and art. As people grow, they develop and vary their personalities and perception, and require a way to share how they think and who they are with others.
Creativity, as I believe it, comes from the natural human urge to “express” or “explain”. In order to put our ideas out in the world, and do so in a way that others may learn and, in a sense, take part with our own unique thinking process, humans adapted a way of communicating from just basic gestures and speaking. That act of adapting can be defined as creativity, as early humans explained their stories through the method of pictures, relying on that to effectively convey what life was like for them. They themselves had to think of a way to clearly and concisely explain who they were, and in order to do so, came up with a creative process to complete the act.
In this way, Amy Tan’s TedTalk and Hara’s essay both parallel and explain each other, as Creativity and Design are one in the same. Design is the process of creativity, the blueprint of its existence. Yet this can also be contradictory depending on the person, similar to how people’s thought process goes into effect. When I created a water-colored painting of a tree for a client, they first told me the basics of what they wanted. From there, I did basic sketches of items I could put within the painting, not to be confused with actual designs. Once I had decided upon a few sketches that worked, I compiled designs, blueprinting the whole of the different paintings. From there, I continued with sketching out and mapping the designs, painting the watercolors into the image and forming copies with which I could then edit.
As Amy Tan believes, “out of nothing comes something”, and from that nothing I believe spawned design, “the very moment man started to use tools”, as Hara puts it. As man progressed, so did the tools they used within their community, and their ability to express what they thought, hence the cave drawings and carvings. From this, the pictures took the form of words, and man’s natural designs created a way to universally discuss what they thought and clearly understand what the others meant. When I was a child, before cursive was taught to me, I saw how my mother wrote. They way her hand flowed across a page, letters drastically differing from the ones currently taught to me in school, intrigued and awed me. Soon, pages and pages of my journal consisted of loops and squiggles, and though I couldn’t understand what mother was writing, I wanted to feel the same effortless flow her hand took, and as such mimicked it whenever possible.
This simple action of my mimicry and want to understand my mother evidently led to my fascination with Olde English calligraphy, of which not only could the calligraphy be considered images within itself, but indeed the first letters of every page were larger and bolder than the others, some even containing that of an image within the letter.
Thus, creativity within people comes from their want to understand or to be understood, and design in itself is a way to portray and put into effect the creativity the individual person wants to express.