Learn to Think Differently | Abigail Besdin | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Creativity as a Skill


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About This Class

This is class is part of Skillshare's Creativity & Innovation series. We believe that creativity is a skill and a skill that you can learn. This is a short (10-minute) class that will teach you how. You'll learn how to exercise a creative mindset, paired with a repeatable creative process to actually become a more creative thinker. You'll see the results immediately. 

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Meet Your Teacher

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Abigail Besdin

Content Lead, Skillshare


Abigail is the Content Team Lead at Skillshare. She's building the world's highest quality course catalog of real-world skills. She has forged partnerships with hundreds of expert teachers and redesigned the educational experience. Previously, Abigail developed brand partnerships at Meetup.

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1. Trailer: This is a class on creativity. Creativity is a skill that we think is a 100 percent learnable by anyone. This class is going to teach you a framework, that you can use to actually train yourself to become a more creative thinker. The lesson for this class, is going to be really short. It's going to be under 10 minutes, to really put in a position where you're exercising your creativity. So, you're producing something creative and you're sharing it with your classmates, to get feedback on it. We'll, kick off this class by talking through exactly what we mean by creativity. Then, we'll actually walk through, why we think creativity is such an important skill. For us here, we think it actually is the most crucial skill to unlock. Innovation, which is a skill that we think is incredibly important for anybody to learn. After that, we'll walk through the creative framework, which is essentially creative mindset and the creative process, that you can use over and over again to exercise your creative skills. 2. Creativity as a Skill: Welcome to this quick class on creativity. More important in this video lesson is going to be doing the class project to actually exercise the concepts covered here. Share a completed project you've already worked on, or a work in progress, or just an idea that you're bouncing around. Just to provide a quick overview of what we'll cover here, I'll first share some thoughts on creativity as a skill that can be learned. Next, I'll define what we mean by creativity and explain why we think it's such a crucial skill to have. After that, we'll jump right into the creative tools you'll use to build the creative skills that you need over time. We'll talk through what it means to have a creative mindset as the first part of the equation, and what it means to follow a creative process as the second part of the equation. We believe creativity is a skill and like any skill, it can be learned. It's true that some people might be more prone to creativity than others, but creativity is not an inherent trait that some possess and others don't. We simply don't believe it works that way. Just like a lot of skills, creativity is best taught in application. It's not the sort of skill you learn by reading a manual; it's more like becoming a great soccer player or a violinist. It's a skill you learn through practice. You can actually shape your brain by exercising your creativity over and over again. When thinking about how to teach or how to learn creativity, we like to use a framework that looks loosely like this one. The gist here is that there are very simple creative tools you can learn and start exercising to produce creative work. Those tools are nothing more than a creative mindset and a repeatable creative process. If you keep exercising them, you'll actually strengthen your creativity like a muscle and become a more creative person over time. A great note here is that creativity builds on creativity, so this process gets easier and easier the more you do it. Eventually, it will just become second nature to you. By creativity, we mean using your imagination to come up with and create original ideas. With that definition in mind, we're probably all visualizing what we traditionally consider artwork; The Picassos and the Banksys of the world. It's important to understand creativity is absolutely in no way contained to the arts. It's 100 percent discipline agnostic, which is something the Scotia community has proven time and again by producing incredibly creative projects in any class regardless of the subject. Developing a new business idea or a new medical procedure is on the same creative footing as hand lettering an awesome poster. The same goes with coming up with a really great joke, or writing an article, or producing a song, or a documentary. I want to just emphasize that as strongly as we believe that anyone can be creative, we also believe that there is no one way to be creative. Artists, entrepreneurs, and chefs, or writers, or filmmakers should find the tools here applicable to their work too. There's one last point I want to talk to you before we run through the creative tools. We put a major emphasis on creativity as a skill here at Skillshare; both for our own team and throughout the class catalog and community that you'll see on the website. Yes, creativity is a great way to self-express and bring enjoyment to others. But the reason we focus so much on it is actually because we think it's the most crucial skill to unlock innovation. As far as we're concerned, innovation is the absolute most impactful skill for anyone to learn in the 21st century. We really believe that the volume of social and personal advancements in the world is directly proportionate to the volume of people applying their creativity to coming up with original solutions to new or old challenges. The more creative you become, the better you get at recognizing relationships and making connections and associations and that seeing things in an original way simply by thinking differently. Creativity is a skill that lets you see things others can't see, which makes you the ideal innovator. Okay, so with that context in mind, let's jump into the tools you need to start exercising your creativity. The first tool is what we'll call having a Creative Mindset. A creative mindset is basically a series of attitudes you can adapt to make the creative process much more productive. The second tool is a repeatable creative process. The process doesn't need to be followed linearly but it's a great framework for getting any idea from inspiration out to final product. Let's start with the creative mindset, which is the sum of five key attitudes that you'll need to adopt. Some of these are really easy for some and some are more difficult for others, but they're all within reach. The first attitude to embrace is what we'll call Divergent Thinking. The attitude here is that there is no one right answer to any given challenge, and actually, that's what makes the challenge fun, that there are an infinite number of ways to respond to it. The second attitude is to be willing to Murder Your Darlings, as they say. A really common pitfall in any creative process is getting too attached to any one idea too early on. Chances are, your first idea won't be your best one, but it might be the one you feel most invested in. It's crucial to be able to detach yourself from it if new directions come up that are worth exploring. The third attitude for the creative mindset is Withholding Judgment. This is what I personally spent a lot of time working on because it's so easy to react to an idea as soon as it's presented to you. The attitude here applies mainly during the idea generation step in your creative process. It means holding off and dismissing any one idea or direction until all ideas and directions have been explored. The fourth attitude is to be willing and able to Spot Opportunities. What that really means is to never assume that things are stuck the way they are. It's an attitude that everything can be improved upon and you're eager to punch above your weight to find out if you'll be the one to make that happen. The fifth and final attitude is an eagerness to Collaborate. Not just to collaborate with others that look think and talk just like you, by collaborate, we really mean seeking out a diversity of opinions from as many disciplines as you can, because you truly believe your work will benefit from such a dynamic set of perspectives. Now, let's move on to the other half of the equation. The Creative Process. The creative mindset we just talked through is a set of attitudes. To actually become a more creative thinker, you'll need to adopt that mindset and apply it to a process of doing in creation. It's important to note that the steps here in this process are often done in this order, but they don't need to be. It's not linear. You can repeat the same step multiple times. You can move these steps around. You can also spend 99 percent of your time on one step for one project and only one percent of your time on that same step for the next project. Adapt this process to what you're working on. The first step in the creative process is Inspiration. Inspiration is the step where you first discover you want to create something at all. Inspiration can be triggered pretty quickly by a curiosity that crosses your mind or something you observe through an experience you have. It can also be triggered by an external prompt, like a class challenge, or an assignment at work. The purpose of the step is to double down on whatever that spark is that's triggered this process for you. What you need to do to make the step a success is collect more inspiration and do more research to enrich your understanding of what it is you want to create. To tie this to a simple example, you can see something on your walk home that you think would make a great poster, or a funny joke, or a great scene in a movie. To complete this step, you double down on that spark by exploring what it is about what you've seen that you find so inspiring and why. Without fully hashing out your vision, you'll need to understand what these sparks are directing you to create. The next step in this process is Ideation. To be successful in this step, you need to generate as many ideas as possible in response to the inspiration you found in step one. This is the step where it's most crucial to withhold judgment and see where your brainstorming takes you. You might have found yourself inspired to design a better supermarket experience, let's say, in the previous step. Here, you'd start coming up with all the ideas you have for what would actually make a better experience. A lot of the ideas you come up with here won't be fully fleshed out. They might just be words or associations but it's honestly all fair game. You're aiming for volume here so that by the end of this step, you have a pretty long list of ideas to choose from and are able to select one idea you'll fully pursue. You've succeeded at this step if you have that one idea. The third step in this process is drafting. In this step, you're going to start drafting a few iterations of the idea you landed on in the previous step. If you're a writer, you might be making your way through some rough drafts. If you're a designer, this is likely where you'd be sketching, and if you're an entrepreneur, you're probably figuring out where your MVP is. To be successful in this step, you'll need to be able to get a sense of what your idea will look like if you were to continue down this path. The fourth step in this process is Incubation. It's often the most skipped step but arguably the most important. To complete this step, get some mental or physical space from your idea so you can reflect on it. You want to be able to confirm that your work is still on the right track. Most people find taking a walk or a shower a great way to find the space that they need to reflect on their ideas so far. The fifth and final step is Execution. This is a step that honestly warrants a whole class unto itself, but for the sake of this lesson, let's just focus on the role it plays in the process. The most important thing to understand is that this is the step where all your previous work comes to light. It's your opportunity to turn what's only been an idea up until this point into something others can experience. Whether that's see, or read, or hear, the level of polish you want to apply here is totally up to you. But imagine, you're leaving this step at the final product that you're proud of. Let's return to that framework one more time so that it's clear how to learn creativity as a skill. We just covered the creative mindset and the creative process, which together make up the creative tools that you can exercise to build your creativity. You now have the tools; the only next thing to do is to exercise them. Get started with your project for this class. If you haven't yet, upload a creative work of your own for feedback and weigh in on your classmates projects too. Remember to exercise your newfound creative mindset and process. Reference it when you're giving feedback to your classmates. Keep doing this and you'll be a more creative thinker in no time.