Meet Generation C – A Generation of Creative Generalists
Since a little over 7 years, I’ve been introducing myself as a Creative Generalist to all and sundry to little effect. The term although widely the most appropriate title is yet to be truly understood or fathomed in context with the generation that grows with every advance in technology today. In fact just the other day, I was asked via the newly adopted Facebook Questions how I would define a person who creates content for the print, web and mobile mediums. Answers ranged from Digital Content Designer to New Media Warrior and some old skool and new age funk thrown in for good measure. But the question really is about how this new generation of digital creatives is remaking the way we buy, sell and communicate with the world.
Jack of All Trades – A Case Study
The quote ‘Jack of all trades, Master of none’ no longer holds true in the context of rapid creation of content in all forms, for all media; not necessarily by different people. Which means that we are heralding a generation of creators who embody best what Leonardo Da Vinci practiced and preached. What better example than the Italian polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer? Often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”, he is what we all as creators must study as an inspiration. Though widely revered as a painter, his technological ingenuity led him to conceptualize a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, the double hull and even outline a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. He went on to make important discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics.
The Swiss Army Knife
This ubiquitous tool finds its way in every household toolkit simply because of its tremendous value in a world where technology and machinery rule the roost. Creativity today entails not just abstract thought, but technological wizardry as well. Gen C creates original content, forms communities to communicate and connect. Their creations are broadcast on their own terms. Complexity and creativity work in tandem while adapting mass market products in acts of co-creation. So today we have lone artists, inventors, programmers, designers and bloggers creating content which springs from a singular source, but reaches out to a community of like minded kindred spirits who comment and criticize and compliment in a social spirit. The interaction doesn’t end there since the dialogue initiated unfolds like nuclear fission resulting in collaborations and cloud-inspired projects of massive proportions.
The Big C
The C here can mean anything and everything from Content to Community, Creativity or even the Complexity of our digital lives today. One may even argue that it refers to the Cloud since we are moving closer to a world of pooled resources and revenue streams. You can each come up with a dozen or more C-words, but the important thing is to understand that we are very much a part of this creative, connected and complex world and our contributions are like pebbles thrown in a pond causing ripples that echo in eternity. While the Chaos Theory (another C!) or the Butterfly Effect says that even the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can cause an earthquake on the other-side of the world, it’s not too far from the truth as is exemplified by the connected world we live in. So how are you using the C in your life today? The smallest change (yet another C) you make today can create tremendous value in the world tomorrow.
The stereotype of the lone creator, inventor or eccentric artist locked away in his studio has fallen in the face of young dynamic creators who collaborate and co-create concepts amidst much camaraderie. Copyright issues and patent suits not withstanding thanks to the much used Creative Commons licenses, artists today are not hesitating to join hands and venture forth into projects of singularly impossible dimensions. Whether it is the blogger who posts a question on Twitter inviting opinions for his next blog post or the behemoth of a brand that asks the world to shoot snippets on their mobile phones for their next big advertisement film which will be created as a collage of the entries received. Graffiti artists joining together to throw up a piece of rival styles in an effort to connect and create. Nothing great was ever created by the efforts of an individual alone. Teams are vital in the accomplishment of goals of grand magnitudes. The Beatles had it right when they sang ‘Come Together…’
Cast Away Your Limitations
Bruce Lee exemplified his philosophy of ‘Having No Way as The Way, Having No Limitation as Limitation’ in his martial art, his film making and his life. Did you know that he created the illustrations for the books he wrote or that he wrote the script and even directed the opening Shaolin Monastery fight sequence for ‘Enter The Dragon’. The lesson to learn here is to create outside of one’s comfort zone. If you are a blogger, try creating illustrations to better express your ideas. You may choose to record your own voice as a podcast or start a YouTube channel to offer your audience a more vivid visual experience on your blog. If you are a film-maker, perhaps you can try your hand at creating your own soundtrack using the many tools available on the digital realm with the many copy-right free sound bytes and effects available on the Inter webs. The possibilities are limitless and the power is at your fingertips. What are you waiting for?
Cruzine is a medium that intends to inspire and instigate creativity and is a growing community of creators who connect to draw inspiration from the words, images and ideas. How do you use this inspiration in your own creative endeavors? How do you intend to inspire others in return and give back to the community of like minded individuals? Profound questions you say? Well riddle me this – How many C words did you count in this entire article?