My good friend Giliah, a talented artist (http://www.giliah.com/), once told me that art is everywhere. You can see it in product design from clocks on the wall to benches in the park. After she pointed that out, I started to look at the world with a new eye, and discovered that modern society really does teem with innovation. It’s not just in art, either. A few months ago, I got a good laugh reading product reviews on Amazon. (See some of the best ones here and here.) People take every opportunity to exercise their creativity, even in the most unexpected places.
Living just outside Washington, D.C. (otherwise known these past couple weeks as The Land That Time Forgot), I sometimes get discouraged about humanity, thinking of all those who seem interested only in pulling the world backward, in fighting the future. But then I think about art, and innovation, and the way human creativity seems to burst out all over the place, and it cheers me up. I know that creativity in government isn’t the same as it is in design, and that human beings have notoriously used their creativity for evil, as well as good. And yet, still, the human drive to create makes me happy. Maybe it’s because I think that ultimately, slowly, and yes, with setbacks, we do move forward. That may be a strange lesson to take from ballpoint pen reviews and the bright dinnerware sets on the shelves at Target, but what I mean is that people tend to want to make things, and often, that means make them better. Here’s hoping the desire to innovate will be at least as powerful a motivator on Capitol Hill as it is in your local variety store.