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Share It Like You Are Seven

by Gavin Heaton  |  
October 26, 2007

There are many books about creativity, there are exercises, websites, tools, tips and techniques. And yet, despite all this... we are still endlessly fascinated by the concept of "creativity" and desperate to unlock its elusive secret.

One of the best tips I have ever had, was to look through the eyes of a child. Try to experience something anew ... as if you are seeing it for the very first time.
But what does this mean? What does it take? Is it even possible?
At the upcoming InterestingSouth conference in Sydney, I will be presenting on the how you can look through the eyes of a child. Literally.
I will be showing some of the digital snaps made by my four-year-old daughter. And I can tell you, they are fascinating. Fresh. Interesting.
For a start, the composition is askew in almost every photo ... the angles are unexpected, always looking up or zoomed in close. Others are looking down, macro-style, examining the minute detail of the world. There are artful arrangements, candid moments and a lot of blurry, out of focus shots that seem to capture the subject out of the corner of your eye.
Now, I don't know whether these shots SEEM better because they were taken by a four-year-old. I don't know if they FEEL more interesting to me because of my relationship to the photographer. I don't know whether the STORY of the process is more important than the end result.
But the randomness gets my heart racing. The generosity of the subject matter and the sheer number of shots is compelling (I still have over 1400 photos to wade through). And there is a great excitement in the sharing of these. I get that personally, but I also feel this right now as I write this post.
Cam Beck has a great post on sharing and ideas ... he argues that you need to "share like you are seven". And looking at these photos, I can't help but agree. Share like you are seven ... or give it away like you are four. I bet you will receive more than you bargain for!

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Gavin in VP & Principal Analyst with Constellation Research Group. He possesses extensive international experience in driving measurable outcomes via digital customer experience platforms, digital strategy and executing innovative content driven campaigns. With a background in enterprise technology innovation, digital strategy and customer engagement, Gavin connects the dots between disruptive technologies, enterprise governance and business leaders.

Most recently, Gavin led the customer experience, communication and social media programs for SAP's Premier Customer Network. And over the last 15 years, he has been at the forefront of innovative digital strategies for some of the world's leading companies - from IBM to Fujitsu - and on the agency side, leading the global digital strategy for McDonald's.

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  • by Cam Beck Fri Oct 26, 2007 via blog

    In addition to being as cute as a button, unless she's the luckiest 4-year old in the world whose success at taking interesting pictures can be attributed to random chance, your daughter also has a great eye for photography! Thank you for sharing, Gav!

  • by Claire F. Kuhl Fri Oct 26, 2007 via blog

    I love the idea of seeing literally through a child's eyes. I designed and deliver a creativity course intended to help left-brained folks tap into their right-brain gifts. And one classic tool for doing that is to intentionally introduce randomness. For example, in problem-solving, take the standard list of symptoms, pull some random words out of hat, stir briskly, and see if trying to make sense out of the new list trips any unexpected solutions. I imagine the randomness of the angles, subject matter, grouping, and sequence all add to the fizzy brain jazz effect of seeing the photos. So are you going to get on Flickr and post a batch for all of us to enjoy?

  • by Gavin Heaton Fri Oct 26, 2007 via blog

    Thanks, Cam. I think you are right, she has a great eye ... but I only shared the good ones ... there are hundreds that are out of focus (but the composition is mostly very good)! Claire ... yes there is a link in the post. There are about 60 photos there.

  • by Bill Gammell Fri Oct 26, 2007 via blog

    Cam, Watch our world, Livvy is on the loose! These are very nice shots. I love to see what kids focus on and what they were thinking about at the time.

  • by anne Sun Oct 28, 2007 via blog

    i loved this post; it gave me some great ideas on how i might look at things differently. thanks so much for sharing---and your little one is precious.

  • by gianandrea Mon Oct 29, 2007 via blog

    Gavin, I do remember my nephew playing tetris not to do the highest score but to design a colorful wall. That was a lesson to learn.

  • by Gavin Heaton Mon Oct 29, 2007 via blog

    Gianandrea ... great example. We are often too busy rushing to the end result to see the beauty in the process!

  • by Neil Anuskiewicz Mon Oct 29, 2007 via blog

    Very cool, Gavin. I like creative ideas like this.

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