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Where does Creativity thrive?

The other day, while I was participating in one session of a closed group that aims to help and hold each other accountable for injecting some energy into our creative process, I heard something that has kept me thinking and reflecting about it.


That day concluded with a reflection that what we need to enhance our creativity is to find a safe space, mental or physical, or both.


Despite that all the other participants consented to that, I left the online encounter feeling something else.


During my reflections in the following days, I first started to explore that idea further and somehow understood the reasons behind it. I can see that for some people this is what they need or feel they need to boost their creativity.


However, the more I reflect on that idea, the more I feel the contrary. For me, the biggest trigger, that I have observed and experienced, to boost and enhance creativity is precisely the opposite of safety.


I have seen this in conflict settings and in underprivileged environments where children and adults develop incredible levels of creativity to survive and to make their lives a bit better despite all the difficulties they face daily. Brilliant coping mechanisms, musical instruments created by simple cardboard, or balls made of recycled materials to name a few.


I have seen this in some of my friends during their harsh times of economic stress, mental health struggles, or professional transitions where their creative process received a boost precisely as a consequence of them not being in a safe space but in one that is more at the edge. Business leaders suddenly discover and develop some artistic skills that they did not know they had, new entrepreneurship ideas, and even radical decisions to dedicate more time to pursue that idea that has come from a dream they had.


I have experienced a boost in my creativity while working under really hard conditions during my time as a humanitarian worker sometimes due to the insecure contexts, sometimes due to the scarcity of materials or isolation of our bases, but also in other professional contexts due to close datelines, due to my struggles to get more income as an independent practitioner……….



Undoubtedly my peak of creativity has been during the busiest times in humanitarian projects, where I wear several hats at the same time (logistician, admin-fin, field coordinator) and there was no time to pause and reflect but act fast and creatively to run the projects that served population in need and distress.


While writing this entry my reflection gave another hint about my creative process and it is the fact that when I’m co-creating, collaborating, and working closely with others, my creativity peaks and reaches a more meaningful dimension for my ideas or to transform and enhance others' ideas.


My final reflection, for the time being, is that maybe the statement of the need for safe space to boost creativity is valid and necessary for many people (not for all) but for me is quite the opposite, I need less safety and more adrenaline for my creativity to thrive.


Or perhaps that safe space for me is precisely that one, a space at the edges, out of the comfort zone.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…….


my creativity peaks and reaches a more meaningful dimension for my ideas or to transform and enhance others' ideas.

Where does Creativity thrive?