WIAD video talk: Foraging for creativity

What are the sources of creativity and what's the origin? How can we empower ourselves and wake the creativity within us.

Creativity comes directly from the self

Throughout history, the definition of creativity has been changing. For ancient Greeks and Romans art was the making things according to rules. It contained no creativity. As for them “Genius”, mystical being had lived in walls of studio and gave them inspiration. In medieval times everything was focused on religion and for them “Creatio is God’s act of creatio ex nihilo” – creation from nothing. But in renaissance, for the first time it is said that we don’t have genius, instead we are the genius. Creativity is something within self.

Tin Kadoic @ WIAD 2014, Zagreb (Croatia)Tin Kadoic @ WIAD 2014, Zagreb (Croatia)
Tin Kadoic @ WIAD 2014, Zagreb (Croatia)

Tin quotes Darwin:

We’re not particularly strong or fast, but we have the ability to have a creative mind.

Further he added that if we are meaningfully, deliberately and consistently using our minds, we will rise its strength and we will be more successful in solving everyday problems and complex situations that occur in our lives.

According to him, innovation is process that consists of four steps. In first we identify problems, needs or opportunities. After that we generate ides to address selected problems, needs or opportunities. In third step we approach to realization of best ideas and in last we generate value from those ideas. But creativity is the ability to make connection that result in ideas.

Creativity is a skill and innovation is a process.

Jim Link

So to some, an user experience designer differs from an IA (information architect) in that the practitioner has an added focus on a creatively lead brand experience as opposed to an approach based solely on solid usability principles and the organization of information.

In progress

René Redzepi, it is said one of the top chef’s in the world, during the 2013 published the book “A Work In Progress”. While reading his book, Tin realized that inside the book there are 3 main subject matters about which René wrote about. And they are not only related to cooking but applicable on almost everything. How to help yourself and others in everyday life or job.

Kadoic seems to be very fond of one of the René Redzepi’s quotes:

Creativity is the ability to store the special moments, big or small, that occur throughout your life, then being able to see how they connect to the moment you’re in.


In foraging we gather the food from the wild world around us. But where can we find that in creativity, how it fits into foraging? It is about how to gather creativity from surrounding world around us. For that, we have 10 methods according to René, and Tin tried to relate 9 of them to User Experience.

  • Starting with courage. Because the biggest enemies of creativity are fear and conformity. We must be free. Free from fear to be able to think out of the box.
  • Limitations. Any sort of limitation motivates us to be creative within certain restraints defined by some set of rules.
  • Teamwork. If we work in teams on any way, interaction with other people help us to create something more. Much more.
  • Rhythm. When we are in the rhythm it helps us for discipline, creation and contemplation on ideas.

    I live in the rhythm of ordinary things. I do the dishes, cook, iron clothes. I love that because there isn’t a single thing on my mind when I do this stuff. It’s only after I have become completely empty that I am capable of creating something.

    Haruki Murakami, interview with Die Zeit
  • Fun. What is creativity without fun? We need fun. Fun make us doing things with ease.

    Creativity is intelligence having fun.

    Albert Einstein
  • Guts. A personal, intuitive feeling is likely to be the best answer to the situations we are in. We just need to listen to it and follow.
  • Hard work. Very rarely is there any way around it. Creativity is achieved through hard work, and sometimes it really wears us out.

    But the gods wouldn’t have spoken to us if we hadn’t been hard at work, if we hadn’t surrendered to the task…

    Rene R.
  • Positive mindset. One of the most important method is pattern that René noticed in every creative momentum: We only really progress when we’re in a positive state of mind.
  • Side projects. Having them we have multiple benefits. We shift the focus, explore new areas but stay fresh on main project. All that gives us new experience which helps us on everything we do on job and in everyday life.


What are the tools that help with creativity? The first thing Tin mentioned is sketching. Sketching is not drawing; it’s an expression of thinking and problem-solving. It’s a form of visual communication, and, as in all languages, some ways of communicating are clearer than others are. It’s a skill: the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it.

Tin Kadoic @ WIAD 2014, Zagreb (Croatia)
Tin Kadoic @ WIAD 2014, Zagreb (Croatia)

The second tool for Tin is “thinking underwater”. More precisely, there are moments when we can clear our minds easily, like when we are in the shower, swimming, running or hiking in the mountains – when we are alone with ourselves, without distractions.

Sparking is a tool by which one uses a mood board to express thoughts, aesthetics and an approach to problems. The point is that creativity doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It requires inspiration and research to effectively harness your imagination.

The fourth tool is instant feedback: Tin emphasises the importance of having a direct connection with the object of creation.

Another interesting tool is lists: writing out lists of terms causes better things to surface.

And the last tool is the resources around us, everything in the world. We just need to explore them.


Instead of trying to come up with a better or more complete conclusion for this session, I will just quote Tin himself:

We were born to be creative. We don’t have to wait for our creativity to magically appear. We need to take what is inside us and expand that while we are alive.

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