Innovating Through Artistry

The art of questioning???

In Creativity and Innovation on April 12, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Today I was wondering what the definition of an artist is? I did check Wikipedia and I get all kind of definitions going from person who creates art as an occupation to a person who’s skilled at some activity. Of course we are all artists but a lot of times, in everyday speech (and certainly in a business environment), an artist is associated with the entertainment business. It’s at the opposite side of the ‘seriousness level’ in the business world. At one side you have the accountants, strategic thinking, … and at the other side you will find more ‘soft’ skills like creativity, innovation, artistic expression. And I have a feeling that these kind of skills are moving on the ‘level of seriousness’ towards the middle.

I believe that skills in the more artistic domain can make a difference today. Everybody is talking about the ‘crisis’ and that we can’t solve it in the logical way. Most people know the quote of  Einstein ‘No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it’ so maybe now is the moment to listen/talk/experience/learn in a more artistic way. The artist has no answer but (s)he has a lot of questions. And we need those questions to break the fixed thinking patterns. Questions help us to look from another perspective to a situation. I would like to share one powerful exercise that I use in my workshops about creative skills. Try to ask at least 20 questions about the next picture:


Most people will notice that -in the beginning- your questions will be questions about facts. Who are those people? where is that place? What word can you read on the blocks? … but after a while (that’s the reason why I ask to find at least 20 questions) the perspective of your questions will shift and you’ll get questions like: What’s behind the mountain? Are there more seats like that? What’s the relationship between those people? Why am I doing this exercise in a blog? These kind of questions generate a different way of thinking and maybe also new solutions or ideas. So let’s ask ourselves 20 questions about the ‘crisis’ and maybe can shift the rather negative perspective of a ‘crisis’ to a broad range of opportunities.

Did you like this blog? Are you happy now? Am I happy? How many minutes does it take to fly from Belgium to the US? Will we meet each other? Do I want another Belgian chocolate? 😉

  1. Ok, how hard was it to get the sofa in the middle of the desert? The block letters look photoshopped.

  2. No it was no photoshop. It is a picture of the Burning Man festival that I attended twice in the Nevada Desert. Absolutely great experience.

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