Last weekend my company, Blu Maya, held a small conference at our office building. The theme of the conference was the process of animation. The event was great, but it could have been even better. Here’s why…
One thing that stood out for me the most, was how most people don’t go to conferences/talks unless it is about their core topic of interest. This is not new, I was expecting this human dynamic to happen. I just wasn’t expecting it to be so obvious.
For example, if I invited a non-animator/artist to the conference and asked them if they were coming, it was normal to hear them say: No, because I’m not an animator.
Others thought that animation means drawing cartoons. And therein lies the challenge with developing a culture where everyone innovates. If you don’t breakout, you won’t grow. Sure, specializing deeply in one topic is gratifying. But even most people don’t dig deep into a topic and reach a level of mastery. So this is asking too much.
Because creative ideas are born at the intersection of other ideas, you need to develop fluid intelligence to innovate and remain relevant. And, the only way to do that is to develop as many skills as possible. These ideas will not flow from your mind if you hang around the same old box. Go out there and seek new knowledge.
Here’s another way to look at it, do you think every activity we do can be approached creatively? If you answer yes, then you surely want to know everything there is about the creative process. Including how people outside your core topic solve problems creatively.
For most people, this is asking too much. And here’s why:
That’s right, you have to fight your brain’s tendency to take shortcuts. It is best you become aware of how the brain works and not take it for granted. That way you are prepared to “shock and awe” it. Go ahead, take a chance. Surprise yourself. You might find something you thought you weren’t looking for by attending a different type of conference, reading an unknown book or talking to someone you are indifferent to.