Bonnie Harold on How New Tech and Old-Fashioned Human Connection Inspire the Creative Mind.
The co-founder of GENIE discusses curiosity, the potential of digitally-generated art and why bringing passionate people together unleashes creativity.
When it comes to creative minds, Bonnie Harold has a unique perspective. As co-founder of the AI-powered jobs platform for the creative industry, her working life revolves around pairing the right creative minds with the right teams and businesses.
Curiosity is an important component of the creative mind – Bonnie talks of sponge-like qualities – and that curiosity has taken art into a world of strange and potent digital tools and algorithms, which Bonnie finds both exciting and a little bit scary. However, much like GENIE’s combination of algorithm and the human touch, little beats the inspiration that comes from collaborating with other creative people.
LBB> What do you think makes a ‘creative mind’, to you?
Bonnie> One that’s like a sponge, constantly absorbing the world around them and then expressing it in new and different ways.
LBB> Do you think the creative mind is something you’re born with, or something that’s learned, developed and nurtured over time? If the latter, where do you believe it’s learned from?
Bonnie> I 100% believe we are all born naturally creative – that’s what makes us human. Naturally curious about the world and instantly looking for stimulus. Creativity without boundaries and restrictions or self doubt is how children explore, learn and express themselves. There is a freedom to play and not have preconceived ideas about outcomes.
LBB> What do you think to the findings from GENIE’s research into the creative mind?
Bonnie> I don’t think it’s surprising that there was a high percentage of people who believed the best creative ideas happened outside of an office! The need for a quiet place to think or let ideas percolate was high up in the findings, as was travel as a source of inspiration and more productive creativity. I think this has always been an important factor and hybrid working has become far more accepted. I think we’ve all had a moment of clarity or an inspired thought while lying in bed or staring out a train window – the brain works in mysterious ways!
LBB> Is there something specific that inspires your creativity?
Bonnie> Headspace – for me that might be yoga or a walk, occasionally a run.
Also other creative people – talking to inspirational and passionate people or seeing other’s ideas or projects always rubs off on me positively.
LBB> How do you think the modern world is changing what creativity looks like, if at all?
Bonnie> I think humans have and always will have a need to express themselves artistically and in new and surprising ways. With more tools and ways of bringing to life virtually anything in your imagination the possibilities are endless. Digitally generated and AI art is fascinating as is the whole metaverse space… I find it mind blowing and scary in equal measure.
LBB> Have you seen a piece of work that you feel exemplifies how the creative mind looks at things differently?
Bonnie> Recently I saw Cornelia Parker’s exploding shed installation at the Tate and it’s an image that really stuck in my head! I loved the way a lot of her work was about taking ordinary objects and then radically altering the way we look at them. The shed and everything in it was literally blown up and then re constructed by bringing together the various burnt remnants which were suspended mid air in a fascinatingly eerie but beautiful way.
LBB> How do you think technology like GENIE enables creativity to thrive, if at all?
Bonnie> Genie is about bringing together great people with great people. In a furiously fast and chaotic world, the technology behind Genie allows the right talent to come to the fore in a moment’s notice. Saving time, taking care of the boring admin stuff and being a mobile agent means more time to get on with the fun stuff like being creative.
This article was originally published in Little Black Book on 15th Aug 2022.