Inside the creativity

Written on March 12, 2013 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News

“Being creative is a source of tremendous power and sense of well being”. This conception has an owner: Denise R. Jacobs.

She is an author, speaker, web design consultant, and an true creativity evangelist. Based in Miami, Florida, she is the author of The CSS Detective Guide. She also co-authored InterAct with Web Standards: A Holistic Approach to Web Design and the newly-released Smashing Book 3 1/3. Masaaki Hasegawa, IE´s student of Visual and Media Communication Program, has interviewed her.

Enjoy it!

Denise Jacobs

MH: How have you started to give workshops about creativity?

DJ: After I wrote my book, “The CSS Detective Guide”, I had realized I am the creative person that I wanted to be. I thought it is good, during the period of time that I wanted to be able to share that feeling with people. So, I started this workshop and started focusing on the creative process, because I wanted to start helping people converse more on their creativity and feel empowered about their creativity.


MH: Are you much more creative than others by nature?

DJ: I do not think I am intrinsically more creative. I think I have more focused on creativity than other people. Being creative is like a drug for me. It is like a feeling that you get rushed when you create something or bring something into the world. For me, I keep having that feeling and keep seeing what come through me into the world; what I can bring it to be in the world. So, I think everybody is creative, and all in different ways, everybody has a creative genius of some sort. Some people are more in touch with it than others. I am happy with helping people who are not in touch with it.


MH: Do you really think everybody can be creative?

DJ: I think everybody is already creative. If you really think about it, every act of living itself is intrinsically creative. Every day, you have a new set of experience that you haven’t happened before, and you interactive with people and say things that you didn’t say a day before, and in ways that you hadn’t said before. It makes you a new person. So, every moment you are actually creating your life. Some people are aware of that and make certain choices based on that, and some people are not aware of it that they may feel lives are being creative for them.


MH: Being aware of it is the most important thing to determine whether you are creative or not?

DJ: Being aware that you are creating every moment potentially helps you make different choices that have potentially different outcomes. Some people are being aware of and are more in charge of their life. Feeling a part of choices that they are making and realizing that they can affect the outcome of situations to the degree that they want are important.


MH: Some people insist that handwriting and hand drawing are important to enhance their creativity. Do you think digitalization prevents people from being creative?

DJ: I do not think so. For example, in my case, typing allows me to get different ideas from handwriting and using Photoshop and Illustrator lets me get different ideas from hand drawing or sketching. Thus, digitalization just has brought us different media to reach our creativity.


MH: In order to be creative, sometimes it is necessary to face your deep inside, which is scaring for some people. How they can overcome that first barrier?

DJ: One thing that is important to remember is that fear is actually a construction of your brain. It is not necessarily a real thing. It is usually an acting of your response, that you think it is going to happen in the future or something that happened in the past.  But, usually it does not have anything to do with what is happening in the present moment. Because of that, I think people can have the kind of perspective where they realize that it is something that their brains are doing. You can separate what your brain’s reactions to certain thought, and then therefore change the thought and change the brain’s reaction. It is very empowering that you can do a lot more because you know you actually control it. When you feel fear, there is actually a chemical and bioelectrical reaction that dumps in your creative and generative impulses. So, if it is getting on top of your fear, then you can create more.


MH: Do you think people will start concentrating on what they really like to do, using their creativity, in the future?

DJ: I think they will. There is definitely kind of a socially cultural shift that people come to different generation that they have a different set of goals, a set of how they want to live or structure their life, and a set of what is possible. I do think we are actually coming into a place for generation of new workers and people who are interested in entering and working in industries to start challenging those ideas, and who are starting to question why it has to be the way it has been. And, actually we are forging and creating a new path.


MH: Many people cannot find what they want or like to do. How can they find it?

DJ: I think they can start with small things, because that issue comes from habit of suppressing your likes and desires for a long, and they are even not in touch with it anymore. That is why they can start with small things such as what they like to eat or who are people that you want to be around you, really focus on it, and find how do you feel about it. Once you find it, try to think about how and what can keep that reinforcement: dopamine, and then increase the complexity as you go.


MH: Once they find it, how they can follow it?

DJ: In most of cases, it is very rare that somebody actually tries to keep you away from what you really want to do. There is nobody who grabs your close to stop you going your direction. So it is giving your self-permission and trusting that there would be something that you are suppose to experience. And life is not actually supposed to be hard or duties but to enjoy and follow your good feelings. Good feeling happens because you are trying to get more good feelings. Sometimes, people imagine something bad will happen if they follow what they like to do, but it is often the case that it ends up happening better things. You usually meet people who want to be around or get the job that you do want to do, because you are being who you really are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.


MH: Do not try to find permissions by others.

DJ: That is it. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if I do the things that other people want me to do, then I will be more valued and get more love. The irony is more who you are more you are valued, and more love you get. If you are wearing a dog costume to be liked by others though you are a cat, take that dog costume off, and be a cat.


[…] in from Madrid, Spain expressly to take the workshop (he further interviewed me afterwards to get Inside the Creativity), then left soon after it was over to catch his flight back […]

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