how does the internet shape your creativity? part 2: innovation


last night, i had a great visit with megan auman, from crafting an mba. we discussed business, family, life… and a new joint business venture. not a year ago, i was ogling her etsy shop, wondering about who this awesome designer was. the internet introduced us to each other, gave us the opportunity to get to know each others’ life & work, and now is allowing us to create new things & new ideas together.

the internet provides us with more opportunities for creative innovation than ever before!

innovation through collaboration

through the power of virtual collaboration, you and i are finding new ways of creating and new ways to do creative business: we are living creative economic innovation. whether we’re working together formally or not, the web gives us a platform to riff off each other, building, growing, getting inspired.

last week, i came across a new york times article that highlighted an art event that could have only happened in the digital age. it was especially interesting to me because it featured the creator of wordpress, the thing that has made the great difference in my creative success. during the event, one “technical” creator and one “artistic” creator were paired together to create an art piece (wordpress plug-in that praised you for hitting the “publish” button) that combine their strengths. they harnessed the power of the net to create something truly innovative!

while you’re creating may stay more within the bounds of traditional media, undoubtedly you’ve “virtually collaborated” with others by tweaking tutorials to meet your own needs & strengths or been inspired by others’ product ideas and made them your own.

innovation through unfamiliar ideas

as many of you rightly pointed out in yesterday’s post on creative isolation due to the insular nature of community on the internet, the internet has provided us with more opportunity to find creative ideas than we’ve ever had before. i’ve become a better photographer, a better decorator, and a better writer because of what i’ve been exposed to online.

i’ve taught myself new skills, found the inspiration to improve on them, and i am now making those skills my own, adding my own trademark style. as long as i am conscious of my need to break out of my box, i can pull inspiration from people who have diverse experiences and outrageous ideas!

breaking out of the box, of course, is the real key to innovation using the net. in the last week, have you:

  • read an article on a blog not geared to your industry?
  • held a conversation with someone who is in a dissimilar field?
  • tried a new technique based on something you found on the internet?

innovation through necessity

on the net, we’re surrounded by so many similar ventures, so many talented & interesting people, that we’re dragged kicking and screaming to innovate. how can i create something different? how can i separate myself from the pack? how can i stand out?

it’s not just about business. it’s about being recognized, making friends, finding a network. if you’re looking to get the most out of the internet and its ability to extend your creativity, you’ve probably started to innovate without even realizing it. those same blogs, facebook friends, and flickr profiles that guide you into creative stagnation can also push you hard enough to find a new passion and get really creative!

isn’t the net grand?

we each have the opportunity to take our tiny internet boxes and bash the heck out them. how has your creative process become more innovative based on the interactions & information you’ve found through the internet?

8 thoughts on “how does the internet shape your creativity? part 2: innovation

  1. Tara,

    Awesome article. I think the internet forces us to step up our game…be better at a lot of things (taking pictures, writing, crafting, etc)…to stand out…which is not a bad thing at all.

    I love being inspired and seeing the variety on the net…….I just keep honing my craft/skills ….and enjoy the creative journey (it’s fun to look back and see how far I’ve come!).


  2. Sipping my tea and thinking about where to start on how the internet has shaped my creativity… I have only had computer access for the last 5 months, and not so long ago I was living without electricity even… so it’s been huge to say the least…

    I have been completely inspired by the diversity of work that is out there and the opportunity to see new and amazing things daily is one of my greatest joys… I have been inspired to just create what I love to make and realize that there is a market for my work, there is a market for everyone’s work… and the internet has expanded the marketplace so that there is truly room for everyone… what an amazing and creative time!

  3. You know…my blog reader started out with quilters and some fabric dyers…and now it’s full of all sorts of folk (lots of whom I saw right here on SG!) I get all sorts of inspiration from all OVER the place – in fact, I most of my inspiration is from non-quilt sources, probably because the quilt sites feel a bit too close for comfort, i’m super concerned with not “copying” folks, plus at this time I’m just more drawn to other media. For years I would pore over quilting magazines and books and wail at my inability to develop my own style. I KNOW some of my confidence in my ability to do do my own thing now comes from the visual stimulation (that I obviously need) that is NON quilt related! Hoo Rah internet!

  4. I’m a 71 year old designer of modern baby dresses and clothing. I live in a Senior Citizens complex and out of 125 residents, I’m the only one who has a computer with internet access. Can you imagine? I’m on Facebook, Twitter and of course, my etsy website.

    My dictionary is dusty, my cookbooks have been donated and my computer memory is almost maxed out due to my looking everything up on the net and saving it. It’s my only “go-to” resource and I feel so sorry for those around me who are stagnating and unaware of how much the net has to offer.

    It stimulates my creativity because I search through clothing stores, pattern sites, fabric shops, etc. for ideas. My head is like a popcorn machine, just bursting with the next project and the next and the next.

    When our electricity is shut down due to high winds, I go into withdrawal–almost.
    Just my two cents.

  5. I think the process of innovation is pushed along with the internet connectivity…people can get responses and reactions so much more quickly nowadays. It seems the turnaround time for cycles and cycles of creative innovation is as fast as it can be!

  6. I find it so easy to get lost in everything that’s available on-line that I often have no time to make anything. So, while it inspires, it can also be counterproductive. It’s definitely a difficult balance.

  7. I’m thinking after reading the responses – I want to meet Linda!!! And her answer, along with Lara makes me think…speaking ONLY for myself here… maybe I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth and just appreciate what I have.
    Aren’t I lucky to have this resource at all? I remember when my DD was born over 6 years ago I was lonely living in a new town with no friends and no art community to reach out to and collaborate with…and now I have all this! Its amazing!

  8. I totally agree with Liz- the resources on the internet act as a supportive community.
    And what a community! So many people, from micro business to artists, all generous enough to share their knowledge and encourage their readers to act.
    Knowing there are so many people out there gives me the bravery to innovate, to work and to value my creativity.
    Thanks Tara for being one of those resources!

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