By Adam Brouillette
The older I get, the more the concept of “creative community” comes into focus. The world’s desire and need for creative individuals is becoming increasingly important. But our society and educational systems have been designed to teach us rules—suffocating affective learning and replacing it with standardization. Standardization has led to complacency and lack of innovative progress. In order for us all to develop, I believe it is important for society, businesses, and individuals to understand the values associated with creativity.
More importantly, I believe it is the responsibility of creative people themselves to value what they offer and to assert that value with a common voice. The concept of “thinking outside the box” has become a catch phrase, something businesses are proud to say so they sound like innovators. Creative people need to reclaim their place in that phrase. Truly creative minds have the ability to offer different perspectives, to pioneer, and to execute. When we learn to speak collectively of unconventional thinking and action as desirable skills, we move from the fringe of an operation to the forefront.
I’m not suggesting that this is an easy task. Creative individuals are often just that: individual. We have to remember that central to the concept of community is a willingness to accept the ideas of others. To partner with other disciplines and learn from other methods. To execute together. This cross-pollination and blending often serves as a catalyst to the creative process. A truly creative community does just as much listening as it does speaking or acting.
Throughout my experiences in college, as part of a collective, and in entrepreneurial endeavors, this concerted voice has been a driving force. I have seen firsthand the benefits of a unified creative community—repeatedly. I have seen the change that this confederation can bring to the individuals, businesses, and cultures it reaches. Creative community is as imperative to these stakeholders as fiscal responsibility or social consciousness. Ultimately, our willingness to accept that fact, both as a culture and as creative individuals, will determine our ability to make real progress.
If we can listen, share, and work hard, we will be the leaders of the future—together.
Adam Brouillette was a Fine Arts major at CCAD and earned his B.F.A. in 2002. Since graduating, he has been part of many group initiatives, as well as continuing to produce work independently as an artist. He currently serves as president of Couchfire Collective, co-chair of the Ohio Art League’s board of trustees, manager of Junctionview Studios, owner of littleINDUSTRIES, and executive director of Wonderland Columbus.
Published in print twice a year, CCAD’s IMAGE magazine shares stories about our creative community, whether here in Columbus or around the world—what we’re doing, thinking, and planning next. The IMAGE blog brings those stories online for transmission at the click of a mouse.