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Creativity, Plain and Simple

At Manifesto13, we’re all about creativity.

As humans, creativity is our little wonder drug: the benefits are manifold—heck, it required a lot of my creative juices to even use the word manifold right (I think even Shakespeare found the word a little too olde…).

If we really get down to the nitty-gritty, creativity helps gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, responsiveness (both physical and mental), and the like. Creativity makes the mind elastic, as you could tell from my usage of manifold.

The good thing about creativity is that it’s not about getting it right; it’s about trial and error; it’s about messing up, finding your way, and then finessing your style. The man who would one day become England’s most celebrated post-war poet spent his adolescence writing 4 or 5 full-length novels, which he then burned. As a child, the makeup artist Rick Baker, who worked on Star Wars, Men in Black, the Thriller music video, King Kong (just to name a few), spent his childhood in his room making (and messing up) monster masks. He retired from moviemaking with 7 Oscars. It’s about progress, not perfection.

So, reader, let’s test your creativity:

In his “Test Your Creativity: 5 Classic Creative Challenges”, journalist Todd Andersen writes about something called the the Alternative Uses Test:

Developed by J.P. Guilford in 1967, the Alternative Uses Test stretches your creativity by giving you two minutes to think of as many uses as possible for an everyday object like a chair, coffee mug, or brick.

Reader, give me all the uses you can think of for a paintbrush—but before you go on, Andersen tells us that a good answer contains these 4 things:

  • Fluency – how many uses you can come up with

  • Originality– how uncommon those uses are

  • Flexibility– how many areas your answers cover

  • Elaboration– level of detail in responses

Or FOFE for short.

Ready, set, go!

(P.S. There’s no better place to start being creative than at Manifesto13. Check out PRE-FOUNDATION and ART FOUNDATION for your little ones. They’ll engage in all kinds of activities specially designed to develop gross motor skills. And here’s something for the older crowd: wanna get better at art? Well, take a private lesson with us! Watercolor, acrylic, oil, digital—whatever you have in mind, whether you’re experienced and looking to keep your skills up to snuff, or if you’ve never held a paintbrush in your life—we’ve got you covered, supplies and everything!)

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