Jeff is a creative thinker. Everyone else might need to "begin with the end in mind" but creative people just need to begin and see where the process takes them.
"We deal with time and space differently in order to be able to produce our outcomes," he says.
"Creative people engage with divergent thinking," adds his wife Julie, with whom he co-wrote Living With A Creative Mind (www.livingwithacreativemind.com).
"Divergent thinking is rapid, fluid thinking able to make unique associations. You can't be creative without engaging with divergent thinking."
"Therefore world class creative institutions create spaces for creative people that allow that flexibility and adaptability," says Jeff.
Jeff and Julie Crabtree were speaking at SPARC Conference, a gathering of Christian creatives inspired to be a redeeming influence on culture. Innovators and artists from around the world gathered in Sydney, Australia to dialogue around the creative process, examining meaning of beauty and art in a culture with shallow conceptions of such things.
"Beauty is not just the cosmetic, superficial beauty," explained influential Japanese artist Makoto Fujimura (www.makotofujimura.com). "Beauty is the beauty of sacrifice. Beauty is Christ, who was broken completely for our sakes. And that sense of beauty is something that this culture longs for but does not know where to go to get."
"When it comes to the origin of creativity, it does not have to do with whether you can buy or sell a work. It has to do with who you are and what you were built to do, and how honestly you can depict those things to point to the future. When artists are not able to do that, the entire culture suffers"
Keynote speaker Erwin McManus (www.mosaic.org) added, "Artists who change the world aren't so much about self-expression but about saying what needs to be said," before carrying on the theme of futurism, arguing that a Christian worldview should be more creative and forward-thinking than we have allowed it to be.
"As long as Christianity thinks that the future is fatalistic and determined and concrete rather than something that is dynamic and creative, we're not going to change the world like Jesus created us to."
"We are the citizens of the future. We visit the present just to create the future we have already imagined. It's time for us to stop following history, and start creating it."
Now in its second year, SPARC conference will inspire you to do just that.
For more on SPARC conference and to register, visit www.sparc.org.au.
Grace Mathew is a Sydney-based writer, speaker and presenter.
Grace's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/grace-mathew.html