Technology gets a lot of criticism for taking away our creativity. This is understandable – with screens producing countless forms of entertainment for us, on demand, we don’t have much time to get bored, or to be creative.
But what if the opposite is also true? Isn’t tech also actually empowering us to do creative things we wouldn’t normally try? Can it also enhance our creative processes in surprising ways? We think so.
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Here are four ways technology is actually encouraging and improving our collective creativity…
1. It increases our reach
Before we were all connected via the worldwide web, there were very few ways of getting our art out into the world.
Musicians weren’t discovered on YouTube. Writers didn’t find an audience via blogs. Artists and creative types had far fewer places to share their work, or to connect with like-minded people.
Nowadays, artists of all ages and nationalities can find common ground through the internet and social media, inspiring each other, learning, and encouraging one another throughout the creative process.
2. We can do it ourselves
Tech has made some creative processes much more accessible for the ordinary person.
Just think about how photography used to be the remit of professionals with expensive equipment – these days all of us can snap photographs with our phones, edit the images and then share them.
Similarly, with graphic design, we now use apps like Canva to design invitations for example, and no longer have to rely on designers for everything.
Another company using the power of tech to allow for creativity is South African furniture manufacturer Mable, which has developed an online tool that allows you to quickly and easily design your own stylish shelves, choosing the dimensions and colours.
Tech opens up our minds by bringing us new ideas, concepts, and voices, allowing us to educate ourselves further in whichever disciplines or categories we’re interested in. And online learning opens up whole new worlds of creative pursuits to us.
Perhaps we want to learn how to ice a cake a certain way, attempt a Kandinsky-inspired painting or knit a jersey?
Tech can show us step-by-step videos (from experts – mostly for free!), so that we can do all of that.
Skillshare is a popular platform through which people are learning creative skills that they previously couldn’t access. Meanwhile, other online course platforms are also making creative skills more accessible to people around the world.
We aren’t talking about robots replacing the creative human spark here. In fact, the ability to think way outside the box is what makes us humans so irreplaceable.
No, when we’re talking about automation, what we mean is that tech can make certain parts of the production process more efficient and more affordable, enabling us to produce more of something at a lower cost.
Mable uses custom software that triggers an array of processes once an order is placed. One of these is an algorithm that optimises the use of materials like the wood they use, which minimises wastage. It also generates very specific instructions in the form of a unique code, that an industrial CNC machine understands and then uses to cut the wood.
This is an example of how businesses can use tech in ways to make their product more unique and creative. This goes against the stereotypical idea of technology being a vector for identical mass production that lacks creativity.
Meanwhile, platforms like TinkerCAD even let entrepreneurs and ordinary consumers tweak and create 3D printing designs for free. These can be then used to create unique products unlocked by the potential of 3D printing tech.
Technology can make help us be more creative
It’s clear that creatives don’t have to be afraid of tech, rather we should work with the tools that technology gives us, letting it open up whole new worlds and opportunities to us.
With that sort of power at our fingertips, along with the unique perspectives inside every one of our brains, it’s clear that anything is possible – especially as we step out bravely into an entirely new future.
Feature image: fauxels/Pexels