[Lack of] Curiosity killed the [creative] cat
Whenever there is a moral to a story involving curiosity, it’s always shrouded in negativity. In Greek Mythology, Pandora was given a box that she was told never to open. Many believe it was Zeus’ fault (and masterplan) that curiosity finally got the better of her, for he gave her a box that she was instructed never to open. Unsurprisingly, she eventually cracked and the box was opened. And what happened? All hell broke loose and all manner of negativity was unleashed (plague, sorrow, poverty to name a few). But what is often unreported and overlooked is that the final thing Pandora released from the box was hope. So her curiosity wasn’t all bad!
‘Curiosity killed the cat’; another phrase designed to incite fear in all of us for exploring the unknown, venturing where we haven’t been before, testing the boundaries. While the origin isn’t completely clear (though Shakespeare may have been the first to adopt a version of the proverb in Much Ado About Nothing), it always implies to me that you should stay in a safe place.
For anyone working in a creative environment, this historical and long-standing negativity around something that comes so naturally to us is, in my opinion, absolute tosh.
And thankfully, there have been a few famous voices on our side. Einstein embraced curiosity in his thinking and philosophising; “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence”. He was famous for saying that he didn’t have any special talent, he was just passionately curious.
I’ve always worked with people who are quick to say “I don’t have a creative bone in my body” but I firmly believe we are all creative, it just manifests itself in different guises. It’s not always about coming up with amazing campaign ideas, or building something that looks pretty. Ever have to solve a problem or overcome an issue? That often requires creativity. Ever throw dinner together with a few unusual ingredients and it somehow works? To me, that’s creativity at work again.
At Cirkle, we’re really lucky that creativity is something the company invests in. Creativity isn’t a-given; it’s like a burning fire that needs fuelling. We have access to some fantastic resources, from online case studies of global campaigns to field trips. We were recently lucky enough to go along to visit Bompas & Parr’s British Museum of Food and Alcoholic Architecture installations alongside Borough Market. From a multi-sensory journey through a small intestine (yep, really) to a butterfly farm and finally breathing in cocktail mist, the installations really do challenge the way you think about food & drink. We’ve become very set in the way we assume we should do things, so to have that conventional view tested is really quite refreshing. Even if you don’t necessarily ‘get it’ (guilty), my big takeaway from the experience was that things aren’t always what they seem and that we shouldn’t take things for granted; we often don’t really connect with the simple functions and motions we go through each day.
I have this insatiable appetite to discover more. From finding out new things, experimenting with doing things differently, questioning the status quo, every day is a school day for me! I don’t believe curiosity ever has a bad place in the world of communications and PR. If we’re not curious, how will we keep the fuel of our creative fire burning and keep discovering new (and often better) ways of doing things?
Be Pandora and open that box. Stay curious…
Digital Account Director