Where’s Our Creativity Going? – The Glove-Slap Follow Up

Last week our Senior Art Director Justin Jordan started a conversation surrounding an article by Mashable.com writer Sam Laird, which addressed Adobe’s recent study of the creativity gap around the world (read the original article here, and read Justin’s response here). Unable to curb his ranting, our Social Media Strategist/ Sr. Account Executive Simon Trabelsi has decided to weigh in with his thoughts


As I remove my proverbial glove and prepare to issue an online glove slap-challenge for Mr. Laird, I’d like to list the claims/ topics from the linked articles and studies that I will address in a three part rant series:

  1. Is the digital age hampering our creativity?
  2. In general, people around the world feel like their creativity is being stifled
  3. Why I’m right about everything


1. Is the digital age hampering our creativity?

The argument here is that apps like Instagram are neat, but constant disruptions such as social mediums, emails and other communications obstruct our ability to creatively focus on one task.

Not so much.

Sammy, you’re a Millennial like me. It’s well documented that Millennials are a generation of multitaskers – some have called us “The ADD Generation” – and this trait typically lends itself well to creativity. As an artist trapped in a cubicle-dweller’s body, I’ve produced some of my best works when affording my brain the luxury of unlimited free association and non-linear thinking. 

Furthermore, the creative opportunities with the digital age are endless. Technology has heightened the accessibility of various creative outlets, from music, video and photography to writing and illustrating. The ease with which one can share one’s work also creates an online ecosystem of artists rapidly spreading their art and drawing inspiration from one another. So if the digital age providing an easier road to self-expression somehow equates to killing our creativity, I guess maybe I’m just wrong (except I’m not).

Case-in-point through a personal anecdote: I’m a musical artist, and one third of an Electro/Hip-Hop group called Blänk. The other two members of the group reside in my native Sweden so as one may imagine, our creative process can be complicated. Luckily, we have tools like Skype to conduct meetings and keep each other informed on updates regarding both music and business; if I have a sudden rush of genius lyrics I record them on my iPhone and share them instantly with my bandmates overseas for feedback; if I’m humming a melody I’d like to bring to life through more skilled musicians, I can simply figure out the chord progression through Chordbot, Chordelia, Pro Chords or any other similar smartphone app, then share it with any instrumentalist in my list of contacts. If I don’t know anyone, guess how I can look someone up in a heartbeat? You guessed it – THE INTERNET (I guess I should say “digitally” to really drive my point home).

When members of Blänk can’t all be in the same location to record, we simply record our sections separately in whatever part of the world we may be in, then upload the audio files to our shared DropBox online.  When it’s all said and done, a song may have been written between Atlanta and Stockholm, recorded in Las Vegas and Luleå, mixed in Chicago and mastered in Malmö. Our opportunities for collaboration are plentiful, our sources of inspiration are endless, and the pace at which we can produce music allows for constant flexing of our creative muscles.

But the fact that an email notification can pop up while I’m mentally frolicking through an infinite selection of eclectic sounds and images means that my creativity is dying?

No way bro.

Sorry Sam, I’m over here doing the Aaron Rodgers “Championship Belt” move on behalf of myself and our generation right now. On that note, I’ve got plenty of snarky comments and  for you if for some reason you think you’re correcter (yea that’s right) than me. You’ve just been glove slapped by the Rant Boss. Game on.


The opinions within this column are those of the writer and contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IMAGES USA

Join the conversation! Does the digital age really damage our creative thinking or simply provide opportunities to cultivate it? Comment below or Tweet us @IMAGESUSA


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