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What is 'Creativity'?
Author: Michelle Dalley

The other day I was talking to an Accountant, let’s call her Lisa. Lisa was telling me that she is “not creative” at all. I asked her why she thought that and she told me that she likes lines and spreadsheets, plain paper and freedom of space freaks her out.

The conversation reminded me of being at senior school and being told that I was not creative, because I couldn’t draw, I wouldn’t sew and that was it. Seriously. OK, this was MANY years ago but I left the education system with my seven GCSE’s and a clear understanding that I was not creative.

Back in the day I wonder if creative was as simply defined as can you draw or not?
Fast forward 20 years and I look at my career and smile at the lack of creativity that my teacher’s recognised in me. I spent a good portion of my corporate career creating menu ideas and dishes for Chefs, restaurants and pubs, I was able to do this by understanding their market, their competition, their consumers. I then worked with a team of awesome Chefs to bring the vision to a deliverable product for the menus. These started as small clients and went onto major high street names such as Harvester, Vintage Inns, Frankie and Benny’s, All Bar One, Wagamama etc.
Working with Chefs is absolute creativity…but back at school “home ec” was not creative???

For the last five years I have been a Director of a creative design agency – Creating Media and latterly our specialist food brand – Umami Design Sense for Food. And the lack of creativity at school seems not to have hampered my ability to understand what clients need and then work with a team of Designers to communicate the vision for them to create and enhance. That works across illustrative work, logo and brand design and websites.

So. I have come to the conclusion that I AM creative but I seem to have a form of art dyslexia. I see it in my mind but it won’t come out of my pen / pencil / mouse. The GREAT news is that I am a born communicator so I can talk to creative such as Chefs and Designers. And that has delivered creative results and success for the clients, and THAT is what it’s all about.
As for Lisa, I am going to help her find her creativity and the place to start is lego… but she will need to throw the box and instructions away first!

Blog by Michelle Dalley, good with lego and fuzzy felts

See this fab infographic on how to stimulate your creativity on our pinterest board!

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