Why we never use the word "art" to describe creativity
It's so much bigger than that 🧠 Plus, a peek into a new launch in the DD Universe that has *nothing* to do with effort
DD HQ here. Have you ever wondered why we never use the word “art” at Daydreamers?
Maybe you’ve never noticed. Or maybe it’s always irked you a bit - if they’re a startup focused solely on helping adults reconnect with their creative brain, why don’t they ever talk about art, you might wonder?
If we’re being honest, expanding our societal definition of creativity was the first choice we made at Daydreamers - and one that’s at the core of all we do. It’s not merely our preference; it’s rooted in psychological research, neuroscience and even indigenous history.
Before we dive into all the reasons why creativity doesn’t only = art, let’s be clear about one thing: Creativity is an innate, cognitive process that we all have access to - and has shaped the human species for thousands of years. It isn’t related to skill or output; it “speaks to our need to reveal, heal and transform. It allows us to transcend our normal lives, and imagine what’s possible.”
In simpler terms, creativity is openness. Expansion. Our wild imagination. It’s all the things that make us fully human.
The reason this message feels especially important to share with you today is because we’re getting ready to launch something pretty awesome within the Daydreamers Early Access Universe - and we want to give you a peek into our thought process. This new feature expands our creative brain in ways you may have never considered creative (and some may even call ‘lazy’ 🤷🏽♀️ - tbh, if your curiosity is piqued and want access to DD, you’re in luck).
The word ‘art’ was historically used to separate and divide - not always unite. So before we dive in, think of it this way: creativity isn’t what we put out into the world; it’s returning to what we already are. Here’s why.
Did you know that in ancient, indigenous culture there is no word for “Art”?
We aren’t kidding. When historians look back at indigenous cultures around the world, there was never a single word for “art” - not because it didn’t exist; because it was so integral into one’s being, there was no separation between creative expression and self-identity.
Back then, creations weren’t purely for status or decoration. They were meant to be integrative, practical and always evolving towards the needs of the community. In other words, all participants in a creative act were important and valid; not just the “artist.”
Everything shifted when the word “art” was first developed in the 13th century. It came to mean “a skill as a result of learning or practice”; something that one could be good or bad at. But let’s be honest, creative expression existed long before European society did in the 1400s 🙄
When we look at creativity from a scientific perspective, like we do at Daydreamers, it’s literally defined as “openness to new ideas and experiences.” Our creative brains span art, science, imagination and curiosity. They help us get to outer space and appreciate the flowers in our backyard.
And yes, unlike we’ve been taught, simply by savoring beauty we’re activating our creative brain.
This is the part of creativity we’re most fascinated with lately at DD HQ: being an observer. An absorber. An active participant, no matter how much you’re expressing yourself in the moment.
We see creativity as a spectrum - and much of the Daydreamers Universe right now is focused on exercising your creative brain in an active, transformative way. But, our team has began to expand our own POV, because what if we could be lazy and creatively rejuvenated?
The act of beholding creativity and letting your own imagination run wild is a growing and bustling field in scientific research called ‘neuroaesthetics.’ It was first discovered in the 1990s, and centers on understanding the impact of ‘aesthetic’ (or creative) experiences on the mind and body - which includes everything from listening to music to looking at architecture.
And, the early days of research are astounding. Some studies have shown that observing aesthetic experiences aren’t just impacting our brain’s dopamine centers, reducing pain or expanding positive emotions - but literally increasing our longevity. One study showed that adults who engaged in one aesthetic, creative experience a month increased their life expectancy by ten years. Ten years just by making space to let your imagination run wild.
Most importantly to us: there’s no ‘skill’ in this type of creativity - it’s the great equalizer.
Everything we’re building at Daydreamers is meant to push the creative bounds, and our own expectations of what’s possible. So, no matter if you’re in the mood to lay on your couch or whip out all your creative supplies; sit in the park and ponder or cognitively offload onto a scratch pad - we’re building a universe that’s meant for all of us. And, we couldn’t do it without all of your active, creative brains supporting us on this journey.
As we expand our spectrum of creative effort - we want to expand our definition of who gets to be creative, too. And, from our POV: creativity isn’t just for artists; it’s for everyone.
Using your naturally creative brain more often, in whatever way feels accessible to you in the moment, is the starting point for rebellion - whether in your own mind or out in the world.
With us? 🛸
Katina + Dupi
and the entire team @ DD HQ
Since our West Coast friends missed out on getting their first creative well-being intro session with Katina last week, we’re extending a few extra spots - see if you’re a fit.
An idea to noodle on 💭
Beholding beauty is a form of creativity
THINK ON THIS: There’s a range of ways that we can benefit from aesthetic experiences - and not all of them rely looking at a painting. At DD HQ, we’re big fans of soft fascination, which is literally soaking up the beauty of the natural world. In scientific terms, it’s called ART (no pun intended), and just looking out a window at nature can send our brain into stress-reduction mode.
…MAYBE NOT THAT: You don’t need to express yourself to be creative. The new field of neuroaesthetics has shown that just by looking at “art” or savoring a moment of beauty, we’re using the parts of our brain that are associated with creativity - our default mode network. Doctors have even began prescribing going to museums for everything from loneliness to dementia.
Inside our brains at DD HQ 🧠
Going on walks counts as aesthetic experiences (see a name in here that looks familiar?!). Does working less mean we’re living more? Sounds like a DD POV. On that note - has ‘workism’ replaced religion? The most fascinating take on happiness, from the World’s Happiest Country. There’s a new (strange) science behind ‘felt presence’ and we’re here for it. Speaking of ancient ‘art’ look what these researchers just discovered. BTW…Is there a dark side to creativity?
What’s new in the DD World this wk 🛸
A member reco we’re into: This week in our DD private community, we exchanged our favorite playlists + moments of soft fascination we love in the background while creating. Regardless if you’re mentally transported or not, this might be the most magical aesthetic experience we can get:
shout out to DD Early Access Member, Lori! 🛸
BTW - pondering, thinking and exercising our creative brain within the Daydreamers collective has been one of our favorite parts of 2023 so far. If you’re craving a space to express yourself and wonder - together - join us here.