Saying You’re Not Creative Is Like Saying You’re Not Human

Creative AdaptationThis is part two of the Creative Adaptation series.

Humans create. It’s part of our makeup. It’s what we do.

You could even say that everything in our purpose for being comes down to 2 desires — to experience and to create.

We are inspired to create by the things going on around us. Inspiration floods our perception constantly.

Occasionally some particularly compelling piece of inspiration will drive us to do something with it.

The Inspiration of Creative Adaptation

I’ve never painted, never written, never taken photos, but I’ve always thought of myself as a creative person. Business is my canvas.” ~ Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop

When someone tells me that they’re not creative, I ask them what drove them to that conclusion. The typical answer is that they can’t draw, or write. They don’t seem to possess any obvious form of “creativity.”

Yet these same people may be geniuses with numbers, or science, or business, or teaching.

Creativity comes in many forms — and so does the inspiration provided by creative adaptation. When you see, hear, touch, smell, or taste something that triggers an idea, that’s creative adaptation. Sometimes the inspiration is obvious, other times it’s not.

We can even stick them into a few broad categories. In reality there will be some overlap, and a form of inspiration may fall into more than one category. But along with being inherently creative, humans also like to categorize things:

  • Direct Adaptation – The more obvious forms such as the adaptation of a book into a movie, a painting from a photograph, or a parody.
  • Loose Adaptation – Where a work inspires another, but it’s not directly adapted, and may not resemble the original at all. Think of how a small sample of music inspires a whole new piece, a snippet you read triggers an idea for an article, or an architectural detail in a building becomes the basis for a logo.
  • Pattern Adaptation – Seeing the patterns in one work which are taken and used to create a new work. Patterns are common in software development. Other examples might be precedents found in the law library that reveal an approach to a new case, or how a good tax advisor can see patterns within the convoluted tax code to find ways to save you money.
  • Foundational Adaptation – A work or style that is built on the basis of another. In quantum theory, Einstein built on the work of Max Planck. Matisse’s style was inspired by the work of postimpressionists like Cézanne. And although Eddie Van Halen stands out in the mind of many as the tapping-god, his style was crafted from what Harry DeArmond came up with in the 40’s, and Emmett Chapman was doing in the 70’s.

Creative Inspiration and Synchronicity

Awareness is the key to inspiration. As you begin to notice the things that inspire you, you’ll see patterns of synchronicity. You’ll start to see ideas everywhere, and many will point to the same types of projects.

Trust your creative mind, and let creative adaptation be a catalyst for new ideas.

In part three, we’ll explore the value that the constraint of creative adaptation offers…


Creative Adaptation Series