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OPINION


deputy Editor, training journal @LightbulbJo


Cook looks i


love creativity. It can be fun. It can be messy. It can also be a real challenge,


especially if you feel you aren’t creative. It’s interesting to think about what that term means to people. My mum says that she isn’t


creative or artistic, yet she bakes beautiful cakes, grows wonderful vegetables and stunning flowers, and knits patterned cardigans and jumpers. Feeling comfortable being creative isn’t something my mum does. “Oh, I just followed a knitting pattern,” she’ll scoff. Yet when she was a childminder, there were whole afternoons where she would host the most messy, experiential, creative fun for the children in her care. With that in mind, I look at my





own creativity in a different way. True, if you’ve heard me sing you wouldn’t want to again, my painting is best left to redecorating the house and I struggled monumentally when I tried my hand at pottery. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel creative, I just recognise that this comes out differently – two ways are in my writing and design of learning solutions. I feel vibrant and alive when I am grappling with developing and


Jo Cook reflects upon what it means to be creative


Being creative can sometimes be a painful activity, especially when something hasn’t turned out as you’d envisaged. Tat’s part of the mix – failing and trying again is a form of creativity. Sometimes when I’m grappling with those learning design elements, it’s really hard work. At the end, though, there’s a creative solution that makes me happy. You don’t always need physical


space to create. You might like the idea of your own studio in which to splash about your version of art … but that isn’t necessarily realistic. True, now that a few of my projects


That’s part of the mix – failing and trying again is a form of creativity


designing, for example, classroom activities for learning solutions, or approaches for the supporting elements in a more blended approach. Tey might not be an oil painting, but knowing that I’m creating an experi- ence in which someone might have a learning moment is truly wonderful. Creativity takes many different


forms. Tink about where you’re putting your passion, emotion and energy, and coming up with something different and unique to you. Tat’s where you’ll find creativity.


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have finished, I’ve got some more brain time, which is useful for strategic thinking. But not having that time can also be creative. It was during one of my busiest months of the year that I was at my most prolific with blogging and writing, and felt particularly insightful on a number of topics. I certainly didn’t have the time for it, and not always the energy. But it happened, and it didn’t happen in a vacuum. I was creative due to stimuli and it came out positively. Don’t wait for


the big studio or that sabbatical, don’t focus on being an artist – focus on where your creative strength is today, tonight and tomorrow morning; then express it, how- ever it’s displayed.


Jo Cook is the


deputy editor of TJ and is responsible for www. trainingjournal.com/ webinars and the online community. She can be contacted at jo.cook@ trainingjournal.com


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