Digital (and) creativity

I don’t believe in the myth-making around creativity as some spark of genius, some innate talent or something that appears out of a stroke of inspiration. That much is clear.

I also don’t believe in the myth-making around “digital” — especially as some still insist on using the word, as a marker of separation from the “physical” (or IRL as we web-types call it).

As Erica pointed out in a comment on my last post, creativity is work too.

“Digital” has transformed work and we are all experiencing that change. Don’t get me wrong. Work, in essence, remains about creating or extracting value for stakeholders, almost always with too few resources and too little time, while working with people we may not always like.

But work is no longer about a place, or the time one clocks in and out, or even the tools we use. That is the “digital” difference. Including the difference made to creativity and its outcomes.

Creativity is not organic. Creativity is no longer solitary.

It is how we rip, mix, burn.

Sometimes it is just about hanging out, messing around, geeking out.

The creative folk fluent in “the web” are collaborating on cinematic storytelling, iterating works of literature. Even creating music across space and Earth. No really!

Creativity is collaboration, iteration, creation.

Enabled by the web.

The web is open all hours; out of our control; and has its own rules, relationships, frictions and fall-outs, and its own language. But most usefully the web is frictionless, scalable and, well, cheap.

Collaboration is creation. Iterative is creative.

Suddenly it doesn’t look like work at all!

(This post is one-sided. Creative businesses have consumers too. And the relationship between the creative business and its consumer has been completely rewritten by the web. More on that after I return from Paris.)

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