Catch a Creativity Wake-Up

Imagine spending an entire day in an artist’s studio making mind maps, talking about creativity, drawing, laughing and learning. CN&CO’s Allan Bader and Colin Ford recently joined an eclectic group of Joburgers at the inaugural Creativity Wake-Up Workshop at Victoria Yards in the inner city.

The workshop was run by  leadership development consultant and creative culture advocate, Nina Pearse, and architect and entrepreneur, Celia Falkenberg, who challenged our perceptions and encouraged us to think more, play more and look for solutions in the most unlikely places.

Nina Pearse

Here’s a snippet from the Creativity Wake-Up Facebook page (which you should definitely like, by the way):

Creativity is becoming an increasingly essential and sought-after skill. As the fourth industrial revolution marches on, with AI beginning to usurp programmable work in all industries, the use of our creative brains is becoming one of the most valuable tools of our humanity.

Our perception of creativity in the West has, for too long, been relegated to artists only. Many children and students have been steered away from developing their creativity in favour of more ‘logical’, ‘practical’ and ‘scientific’ skills that will help them to ‘earn money.’

The result is a vast number working adults who struggle to solve problems, innovate and cope with change or difficulty. Our communities are full of people who often feel restless or bored, easily give up on hopes and suppress ideas and dreams to such an extent that they can barely remember what they were.

At Creativity Wake-Up we work with you and your team to begin a process of recovering a creative mindset and re-igniting the ability to use and develop creative thinking in all spheres of life.

Celia Falkenberg

“I am thrilled that we’ve launched the Creativity Wake-Up,” says Nina. “The dream of reviving and inspiring creativity in others has been percolating in Celia and my hearts and minds for a long time now. As we have worked together on the content for this first workshop, it’s been amazing to us to discover that some of the seeds of the fruitful ideas we have now were planted in our lives years and even decades ago.  This first workshop is a culmination of so much of our passion, experience and energy that it is exhilarating to see it come to life.

“The feedback from our pilot group was encouragingly positive. Overall their rating of the workshop was 9/10, so we have some loyal enthusiasts already. (Yay!) We learned a lot and, using their valuable feedback, there are many changes we are making to our second pilot, which will take place in Cape Town on 29 March.”

Here’s what some of the attendees had to say:

“The course has made me want to continue to be more creative and to use my creativity in spaces and situations that I thought I wouldn’t be able to. I’ve found more links between different areas of my life to increase creativity.” – Naledi Simon, Homecoming Revolution

“My main take away was the creativity tools. There were a lot of tools that I didn’t know about, for example the mind maps. I’m going to use them and carry on exploring them.” –Monique Etsebeth, Trans Natal Glass

“The tool that I will immediately start using is the journaling tool. The workshop has made me think of those creative areas in one’s life that get buried in the business of doing life. We need to take time for ourselves – to use our creativity. It bring us joy.” – Olenka Christie, author

“Today tickled a part of me that I haven’t acknowledged for a long time. We can all get bogged down. All the things that we talked about this morning in our initial mind map – ‘Who are you?’ – your home, your work, your family, your friends, your hobbies; those are all great to acknowledge, but there’s this bit of play that I think I’ve been neglecting. I feel that I want to go and skip around the room after today. Thanks very much Nina and Celia.” – Colin Ford, word nerd

“I think that the mind map tool to start was amazing. I loved the letter that you write to yourself from God. I could feel the universe coming through me. It was a proper love letter and that was a beautiful revelation.

“I definitely think as a business owner, in an industry that is quite well established, we have to be creative otherwise we are going to fall behind. There is a responsibility on me to innovate with my team. We’ve found definite ways of using what we’ve discovered today in business to improve it.” – Angel Jones, Homecoming Revolution

“Before the course I didn’t consider myself creative, but having thought about it more now, I have realised that there are areas in my life where I am creative. The good news is that I can actually work on my creativity and improve it. I think that’s an exciting thing to try. I found the mind mapping tool especially useful. I can now see many areas where I can get more creative and apply the tools.” – Sihle Mooi, Rays of Hope
“Our team has discussed how we can mind map the way we think about our people and our connections. We can map these connections in a new way, rather than how we have been doing things, which is very linear. So we have already translated this tool into something tangible.” – Kelsey Gauld, Homecoming Revolution (pictured right with her team mates Naledi – left- and Angel – centre)
“I’ve always thought that there is creativity in me but it ebbs and flows. The workshop today was a good reminder to carry on with it. The volume tool was very important. People often think that writers are gifted to the extent that they can sit down with a book in mind and within a year they are done, but it can take several years to complete a book. The important thing is to write every day – just write and write and write. In doing so, you will get better and better. I’d like to keep revisiting the tools we’ve talked about today. They are important in helping the process.” – Justin Pearse, Purple Group

“For me the biggest learning was the discussion on the inner critic. It’s alive and well in my life, so it’s good for me to ask those questions and work through that. I’ve always said that I am not creative, I’m just not, and other people are. I’ve realised that even if I can’t draw a stick figure, I can still be creative. I drew a Picasso today!” – Sally Cruickshanks, Africa Health Placements

“We all got the chance to be creative. Even if you are not in a creative profession, creativity is open to everyone in so many different forms. You can awaken your creativity through amazing tools that I didn’t even know existed. I think that’s awesome.” – Debbie Beech, RTSystems

So where to from here?

Says Nina, “Well, in answer to that question we love to quote the lines of Richard E. Grant as the villain in Hudson Hawk, ‘…World Domination!’ But seriously, I was discussing the Creativity Wake-Up with Marnus van Heerden from Pineapple at a Heavy Chef event last month and his first question was, ‘What’s your end game?’ This kind of stumped me and I realised that our general goal of ‘helping people to think more creatively’ is pretty vague.

“When Celia and I really put our minds to this question, it became clear that our vision is to galvanize people to break out of creativity-limiting mindsets and develop the imagination and creative thinking required to solve problems in their lives and in the world around us. We are passionate about the South African context and though it has strong creative streaks, not nearly enough creative thinking is being applied to solve the issues in our society and economy. Business tends to push the innovation agenda, without really understanding the corporate culture and personal practices required to nurture the true creativity needed drive innovation.

“It’s an exciting adventure already. I’m committed to ‘taking our own medicine’ and continually working on my own creative thinking and intentional creative practice.

“We need to be true to our message and apply all the tools and methods that we recommend. This is challenging but fun!”

If you’d like to find out more, visit the Creativity Wake-Up website or the Creativity Wake-Up Facebook page. This is a great workshop for personal and professional growth.