Today, creativity is more than ever appreciated and actively developed in both professional and other spheres of life. This is taking place when a shift from values that accord priority of meeting immediate material needs to ones that stress belonging, self-expression, opportunity, environmental quality, diversity, community, and quality of life is clearly noticed (Inglehart, 1981). Those who have been treated as peculiar mavericks or bohemian before, these days are placed at the very heart of the process of innovation and economic growth.
In this case, it is vital to define clearly how a Creative person could be measured. It is certain, that this person has an inner need to constantly invent and, at the same time, to turn the ideas of inventions into a subject of material value, to come up with solutions that ultimately provide the benefits from the decision itself. And the most important, this person has the skill to provide variable and diverse solutions and ability to select the most valuable and interesting among offered.
In his book, “Rise of the Creative Class”, Richard Florida identified these people as the Creative class – new economic and social unit that has enough power, talent and strength to play a significant role in transforming the world. Scientists and engineers, actors, artists, designers, architects, researchers, analysts, and other opinion makers now have the opportunity to turn their introspections and soul searching into real energy for broader renewal and change of society. It can be argued that the Creative class defines the contemporary code of conduct which differs from traditional society rules. The individuality and self-expression, tolerance and openness to diversity take advantage over uniformity, conformity and aspiration to be like everyone else. However, this phenomenon has some drawbacks as well. The competition between representatives of the Creative class may be described as congestion. The most common market strategy “The more is better” is not applicable. In this case, the Creative person must effort on finding a whole new market space they can own, express themselves, defend, thereby be profitable over years instead of months. In other words, it would be a mistake to perform something that already exists. It is impossible to be a leader by following leaders. Instead, the space between fielders must be found. One of the best pieces of advice was given by Marty Neumeier who pointed out that the best rule to follow when searching the unique niche is to forget about so-called best practice which is usually just common practice. As far as the individuality is a core for the creative person, it is pertinent to underline the importance of such characteristic as self-esteem. Creativity requires self-confidence and ability to risk, at the same time it demands to have ideals, values and stick to them, even to the detriment of oneself. Dean Simonton in his article “Creativity. Cognitive, personal, developmental and social aspects” highlighted that it is the intelligence enriched with all sorts of impressions and views on life that contributes to creative development. Furthermore, true self-esteem is a performance made in spite of laziness, fears, and insecurity. That is the reason Richard Florida characterized the representatives of the Creative class as hardworkers setting high goals and striving to succeed.
Often, creative tasks are of the external origin as it comes from a person or a group of people with a need, concern, dissatisfaction, but usually from an entrepreneur who wants to get profit, benefit and different forms of success by solving the problem. Nevertheless, the greater goal is to create the experience that induces delight for those who determine the true meaning and value of any objective – people, who eventually will utilize the outcomes of those creative tasks. It can be stated that today people are tired of intrusiveness, empty claims and clutter, but the reliability and trustworthiness are truly meaningful. In other words, nobody cares about the identity and personal development of a creative person, but they are wondering how the personality could influence all of them, and how such individuality could dissolve in significant and valuable reflections and creations.
One of the most important steps for the creative person who wants to build the reliability and trustworthiness are to look inside and figure out where the real inspiration will come from. Under the pressure of competition, just a wish to make something has little value without knowledge, experience, credibility, and passion. In this case, it is reasonable to focus on true people’s motivation and feelings than an abstract unbuilt product.
It is noticed that society returns to the world-of-mouth culture with the impact of social media where even commercials look like a conversation rather than a sales pitch. People are choosing to spend time watching and communicating with their “online friends”. 41% of Gen Zers are influenced by Facebook ads, 30% by what they see on YouTube, and 26% by Instagram — and that doesn’t include the additional boost delivered by seeing brands in influencers’ feeds (Faithpopcorn.com, 2019). Thus, it is pertinent to think about identifying “A unique buying tribe” (Neumeier, 2015) or “Micro clans” (Faithpopcorn.com, 2019) — a small group of people with commonly held beliefs who mostly seek a tribal identity rather than just features and benefits.
A tribal identity can take various forms and often requires the acceptance of the very different contradicting meanings and value systems at the same time. Thus, social mobility and sociocultural adaptability are becoming mandatory for a person. This may cause the problem with both self-perception and understanding the world around. As a result, the existing reality is no longer meeting a person’s sociocultural needs and leading him to create a new reality. This phenomenon has come to be known as Escapism.
According to Elena Trufanova, Escapism is not a special case of manifestations of the psyche which is found in crisis situations, on the contrary, it is one of the basic, inalienable abilities of the human psyche, inextricably linked with imagination, fantasy and cognitive instinct. At the same time, Jinna Letinskaya noticed that these days research focuses on the analysis of Escapism as a form of escape from everyday reality with its increasingly complex set of social requirements for the individual. Meanwhile, Ekaterina Skirdacheva stated that Escapism, as a social phenomenon, is characterized by the rejection of the individual or social group from the values, norms and standards of society for the formation of their own socio-cultural reality. As seen, the “Escapism” notion can be actively used in various disciplines such as sociology, psychology, pedagogy, medicine, etc. Also, it cannot be identified as a modern phenomenon. Lubov Melnikova at her dissertation “The existence of escapism in the culture” presumes that Escapism is a constant feature of the human culture. Escapism is becoming a significant trend of present days. The idea of freedom as the highest value received hypertrophied development with a help of modern technologies that provide incomparable opportunities for escape from daily routine. The concept of stability and uniformity that definitely was valuable for past generations is no longer attractive. The main thing that individuals are actually looking for in life, and what makes a person “escape” all the time, is a craving for diversity. Back in 1915, Arthur Benson in his essay “Escape” defined that the urge to “escape” lies in the eternal dissatisfaction of a person with his current being and the ongoing desire for having new wishes.
It is important to recognize that Escapism has little to do with just travelling or shifting in space. This notion is characterized by the analysis of changes in self-awareness and perception of reality that this shift causes. The emotions, associations, images, impressions arising in connection with the new environment are truly important. Escapism is a creative activity that enables self-realization to those who feel its lack in everyday life.
Undoubtedly, a certain paradox in Escapism can be noted. On the one hand, it implies that an individual’s separation from others is a consequence of the free choice. On the other hand, the current social situation is prompting to make this choice. It causes a certain crisis of self-identity and requires not only striking a balance between free will and responsibilities to others, but also changing identities and acquiring new ones throughout the lifetime (Litinskaya, 2012). This complexity and inconsistency are of interest and can be considered as the starting point for the development of the niche for the creative person.
Every year people become more and more selective and want to know exactly how and what the goods they buy are made of. The leading companies are moving towards transparency and ready to both explain the way they work and clearly demonstrate it. Moreover, they are willing to share their creative secrets.
Since the financial crisis hit ten years ago, the design industry’s relationship with craft has been undergoing a sure and steady shift. Out of an era of unsustainable excess, comes a time of reflection (Morris, 2019). One of the possible ways to explore craft these days is to percept it as something cultural rather than a primitive process. In spite the craft production admits certain level of imperfection, craft things acquire their own identity and individuality and can express the personality of its owner especially at a time when highlighting a certain level of distinction is required by sociocultural environment. The significance and opportunities of craft for creative professionals is emphasized by different foundations such as LOEWE Craft prize. Jonathan Anderson, a creative director of LOEWE, stressed that the imagination and technical skill of the contestants testify to the crucial role of artisans in the ongoing construction of cultural heritage.
Another way to percept crafts is considering it in the context of these days social and economic problems, namely, from conversations surrounding mass consumption and landfill, to the lack of social connection due to reliance on technology and the feelings of loneliness, depression, and detachment that it can bring about. The core craft principles actually respond to quite a lot of these questions. Current reality is very different from twenty years ago. The questions about resources and repair have become routine. As it was mentioned before, a routine is something that a human being is consistently trying to avoid and escape from. In this context, a creative class can be those who convert routine into something that both makes people happy and allows to remain in harmony while focusing them on awareness and responsibility.
Faith Popcorn, founder and CEO of Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve, once said that it is very hard to make money and live in the future, because nobody will pay you for it yet. In this case, the iconic question “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” seems not exactly appropriate. A creative person, who utilizing analytical thinking as a foundation for creative approach, can invent a lot of answers. The true question is: Does this person really need these answers? Does it truly important for the person who is mainly guided by internal motivation and seeks to get genuine satisfaction from their work?
As it was mentioned before, the disintegration of social structures, the weakening of social control and unification means the growth of personal freedom, expands the possibilities for the formation of new connections and communities. At the same time, expanding the boundaries of personal freedom increases the responsibility for their social integration. This could lead to the conclusion that instead of speculating about future, the first priority for a creative person is to establish personal reputation, which by the way lies outside of individual’s control.
Secondly, it is vital to recognize the values and principles that will not change during your professional performance. It can be argued that it is a waste of time to utilize personal creative approaches just for making commodities for mature infants. Identifying a creative task based on the social, psychological or cultural problem or pain point, searching a variety of solutions and choosing the most innovative might be benefiting both emotionally and materially.
And finally, the solution for many pertinent problems could be found in the past. In a time of mass production crisis, traditional craft approaches can bring a creative person to a whole new and unique way of creativity. It is believed that craft products can not only help to express the individuality, but also show and share passion, versatility and sometimes the controversy of a creator.