Curiosity is the key to creativity.
–Akio Morita, Co-Founder of Sony
I had a couple rejections arrive yesterday, one for a client, another for myself. I sat for a moment pondering the basis for both these rejections. We were both complimented for our originality and ideas, our abilities. But we didn’t fit their agency’s mold. We weren’t what they were looking for. Somehow I got the feeling they thought we were living too far outside the box. Creative yes, what their audience wants, NO.
The rejections reminded me of Akio Morita’s quote about curiosity and creativity and
raised this question: Where does creativity LIVE and how does it find its audience? Should I be upset that these type groups, in spite of their ability to recognize creativity, are not curious about bringing new things to their audience?
Knowing that there is always such a huge divide between the act of creating and the business of selling what is created, I can’t fault a business for going with what sells. But I’m interested in how some artists and organizations thrive on living outside the box like Sony, and others huddle tightly inside the box, like the agencies I’ve just encountered. And how does an artist, writer or musician recognize the businesses and audiences that match their in-the-box/out-of-the-box creative style?
Amy Tan talks in the video below about creativity finding its way in the form of a focused question. She contends that once you have the right question, the rest falls in place in a seemingly seredipidous way. So perhaps my client and I don’t have the right question yet. Maybe we are trying to answer or fit ourselves into someone else’s box when we will always be out-of-the-box types. Perhaps just following curiosity wherever it takes us and letting our audience do the same is the key.
No doubt success stories like Morita and Sony didn’t waste time by trying to unlock their way into someone else’s box. They weren’t trying to make the in-the-box people see the benefits of living outside the box. They just followed their curiosity where it took them.