By Stephen Wilson

Dan Goodman ’20 believes all people are creative. 

“It may be a side of themselves that is pushed away because there is no money in it or it falls outside their self-definitions,” he says. “But pushed away or not, it is still there.”

As a Creative and Performing Arts (CaPA) Scholar, he knows about a host of arts, art clubs, and artists. But Goodman also sees a hidden side—people who work outside the traditional classroom and extracurricular activities.

“I want to unify the creative community so it doesn’t feel so segregated,” he says.

Goodman’s vision for cohesion is Get Creative Week, a showcase of daily events that feature student, alumni, faculty, and staff as presenters and panelists.

Get Creative Week includes several events, including “Break the Barrier,” a student and faculty panel on what creativity looks like across all disciplines; “Intersections in Art,” a drawing and discussion session on social identities in art; “What’s Your Spark,” a panel of artists who speak about their inspiration; and a gallery show of student work.

Here are some student panelists as they discuss creativity and the importance of the week.

Image of Simone with gray background and purple linesSimone Khalifa ’20
Electrical and computer engineering and art

What is creativity?

Creativity is something that uses everything we’ve gathered in our lives—connections, perspective, and personal. It is how we see the world or what we have been taught to see. It is what we define on our own or has been defined for us based on our family values and life experiences.

Where does it come from?

It originates from all we are involved in as we discover who we are and discuss ideas.

How do you use it?

As an engineer, I have an opportunity to incorporate art into every project—either the design of it or a graphical interface or even the aesthetics in technical layouts of wiring.

How do you express it?

I express it through printmaking, photography, drawing, and painting. College has given me an opportunity to branch out. In my painting, I use grids and focus on the small details. My capstone project has me painting people’s most valuable objects.

Why is Get Creative Week important?

Lafayette has an interdisciplinary emphasis. Creativity isn’t limited to art. There are other ways to be creative and showcase it in a manner that brings all of us together.

Image of Zach with green background and yellow linesZach Freiheiter ’23
Music
CaPA Scholar

What is creativity?

It is another way of thinking that allows you to express yourself and how you view your surroundings.

Where does it come from?

It is intrinsic—each person has his or her own creative drive. It is also nurtured; I come from a musical family, which has helped me as a musician.

How do you use it?

I use it the moment I wake up and create a plan for my day based on my schedule and mood. I use it with homework to help me think more abstractly.

How do you express it?

I’ve been playing trumpet since age 10. Charlie Mingus is my favorite. I get creativity from him. How you view your day can open up your eyes if you actively view your surroundings and draw inspiration from there.

Why is Get Creative Week important?

It’s a chance to see what your classmates are doing. Seeing that gives each of us more empathy and makes us more human. We get a better sense of who we are and how to draw inspiration from others.

Image of Dan with blue background and blue slanting linesDan Goodman ’20
Biology and economics
CaPA Scholar

What is creativity?

Creativity combines different parts of our interests and skills and applies it somewhere … There are millions of forms it can take and no two ways of doing the same thing.

Where does it come from?

It comes from the world around us as a reflection of how we view the world. When inspired, we use it as a springboard to learn something else. That internal drive combines with how we interact with and in our world.

How do you use it?

Anywhere I can, incorporating it into what I do whether a PowerPoint slide or art. I can always use creativity to make something more engaging and digestible.

How do you express it?

I feel more like a craftsman than an artist though those terms can be one and the same. I like to make my work precise and clean. While I may not be sure of what the final result will look like, I know that my personal standards will guide me there. 

Why is Get Creative Week important?

CaPA has exposed me to many creative people, so I have friends in many art clubs across campus. But many creative people I know are not in any of those groups and do smaller, more individual projects. I want to change that presence on campus. I want to help people know it is here, interact with it, and show it off.

Image of Kymble with magenta background and white arching linesKymble Clark ’22
Art
CaPA Scholar

What is creativity?

It is an innate sense of perceiving the world and different ways to express it.

Where does it come from?

It comes from anywhere and everywhere whether inside yourself or influences. When an idea is born, the head interprets it and begins processes to bring it to life.

How do you use it?

I use creativity for everyday things and to help understand the things around me. For example, it helps me memorize material for class exams. I might draw something that helps me show connection and relationships.

How do you express it?

Printmaking. Specifically relief printmaking by carving into a plate or raising an image off the surface. I draw a lot too. Recently, I have been exploring contour line drawing

Why is Get Creative Week important?

Art is often a misunderstood subject. People might think it is a zen-like process, but it breaks down barriers. I want to alter the perception of what art can be. Art exists in every part of nature. Consider the golden ratio as seen in the nautilus shell. That design is not a medium or a subject. Instead it is the innovation, beauty, and art in nature.

Image of Casey with yellow background and green dotsCasey Goodwin ’21
Mechanical engineering and art
CaPA Scholar

What is creativity?

It is expressing yourself in an unconventional way. Instinct is where most creative efforts are born; it comes naturally and can’t be forced.

Where does it come from?

Anything can provide inspiration, but it must make you feel something.

How do you use it?

As an engineer, we use it in the design of a product and the design process itself as a means to an end. It is especially important when the process goes wrong in order to make the design work. In art, creativity should create empathy to make people talk more about human nature.

How do you express it?

Photography. I take studio portraits, often of myself since I’m a subject who is always available. CaPA has helped me create a studio in my garage at home and extend my travel during my semester in Madrid. Seeing more of the world helps creativity grow.

Why is Get Creative Week important?

It’s important to find time for creativity. I take photo classes as a way to learn more and make me make work. A week like this might help others get their creativity off the back burner and remember their passions outside their majors.

Image of Clark with orange background and purple linesClark Addis ’20
Mechanical engineering and art
CaPA Scholar

What is creativity?

You define a problem and think of a few ideas to solve that problem. After picking one, you try it out and see if it achieved the goal. If it doesn’t, then you try a different idea. If it does, great! Now how does it inform your future steps? It is a loop that we constantly go through. As an engineer, we are often given the problem. In art, we have to come up with the problem and solution.

Where does it come from?

It can come from experience—the problems you solved in the past or how you saw others solve those problems. It can come from mentors, channeling their voices as you consider how they would solve a problem.

How do you use it?

I use it as a study skill. When I get a test back, I can see what went wrong and create strategies to do it better. In research, I can collect a bunch of data and continue to collect data when I reach a sticky point. But it’s better when I step back and think about the bigger picture. Thinking globally can help me more than just repeating the steps that aren’t getting me anywhere.

How do you express it?

I am a maker. I have used charcoal, graphite, oil, acrylic, plaster, clay, screenprinting, and laser cutters. I’m really material agnostic. I select a medium for how it can communicate what I am wanting to communicate.

Why is Get Creative Week important?

Creativity is important in every field so every week should be seen as creative. But there are ideas that cannot be communicated in any other ways but art. If you are not exposed to art, then you can be cut off from ideas. Art can help you understand experiences you haven’t lived. It’s hard to know yourself if you don’t know the stories of others. For me, I like to make art and want people to see my art; if not seen, it can be meaningless.

Categorized in: Academic News, Art, Campus life, Featured News, Innovation and Research, Interdisciplinary, News and Features, Student Profiles, Students, The Arts
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