What Drives Creativity?

I’ve moved into a creative mode of my life and I’ve been looking around to see if this is an environmental change or something in the works of my anatomy.

When I designed the Squirrel I was in a more creative mode as well so I’m reflecting on that too. It was an awesome time despite a divorce and loss of my step son. I moved from a relationship (with an unhealthy person who was in love with drugs and other bad behavior) to a more constructive and creative mode. I left the marriage a happy person but knew divorce had risks to well being.

I made sure I took care of activities that brought myself and others happiness and added value. With the extra time I had after separating I reinvented my model airplane hobby and took up new activities.

Joy in Simplicity

By summer of 2004 I was enjoying simple model airplanes again. I brought them to picnics and other socials. My new friends loved the planes and joined me at cool places like this senior residence. It contributed to the well being and social of everyone involved.

Simplicity meant anyone could join in. Some people took it as a hobby and were able to do so with minimal investment. I even made up kits that had a supply of balsa, materials and tools for some of them without too much cost. Some people just enjoyed it when we were together or when we were at events where I brought the planes. There were no barriers to this activity since it was simple.

Career and Related Social

I kept in touch with my existing friends and continued with social surrounding my software career. Of course many of my new friends had related careers so there was mentorship and ongoing improvement in that space.

All my friends from the software community were very supportive of my new activities. I have gotten to know some of them better. Especially those who have branched into a more artsy and creative areas.

New and Challenging Activities

One thing that came forward was ballroom and salsa. This brought a large and diversified social group. Especially since my policy was to take lessons everywhere rather than staying at one place. Also to attend practices and socials.

Dancing brings exposure to a wide range of music that I’d ordinarily have never come across. This was technically interesting since you learn more about music in a dancing context than just listening.

Dancing has another dimension of partnership and even team work. Today I only do dancing for social and not as a hobby but still enjoy being friends with all my friends in the dance community.

Choir was another thing that came forward. This is serious exposure to music since there was a lot of areas of music that were new to me. Also you learn the music and not just consume it. You see angles of beauty you never even knew existed.

There is also teamwork and social nature to choir. Another great arena for personal growth, the discovery of new people and things and building relationships.

Music is an interesting business and the people I’ve met through that activity have given me a different view. Not only of music but business in general.

My interest in art flourished as well. I visited the National Art Gallery regularly and began to travel more since I didn’t have anybody else to worry about.


I was sharing model airplanes for the love of the hobby. As I widened the circles of sharing and ventured into new venues (community centers and so forth) it gave me a good taste of volunteering. This blossomed into doing work for a variety of organizations for model aviation and also general volunteer work. I eventually did regular volunteering. I discovered the importance of many of the organizations and learned more about the wider community. I did work at the Ottawa Mission, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brother and Big Sister, and many more interesting organizations.

Cross Pollination

To some extent I was a hub bringing people and information from each of these activities together. I’ve always been a very social person but my circle of friends became more dynamic and diversified. There is also some economy in cross pollination.  Instead of doing a choir social and then a ballroom social, I could just bring my choir friends to the ballroom. Or the other way around.  Further the things I learned in one activity was helping me in the other activities.

I learned about social network theory and policy through my career as I had started to specialize in social media and social tools. I learned to be able to assess individuals for a given fitness not by their apparent selves but more by health of their networks and social policy. I learned that all the things and the information you want are only a handshake away in  your existing healthy social network.

Everything that truly made me happy came my way. Relationships came forward and my love life flourished.

The Squirrel model airplane came out of this (and many other things).  I believe the project became very successful and well known because of a few things. I didn’t patent or protect it. I shared it. I didn’t employ selling tactics, in fact I helped those who wanted to make it who couldn’t afford it. I truly enjoyed model airplanes and like everything else I was doing it I shared it for the love of it.

So that’s was my environment at the time I designed the Squirrel. So Squirrel is not just a model plane to me but a bit of an artifact left over from a process of starting my life over.

More Challenge

I think it pays to have a good look at your activities and network all the time. Do you do this?

I understand more about the conditions in which I can thrive so I set various boundaries to stay in the right zone.

I have lots of model airplane (and other) projects in the works and I’m really looking forward to sharing them with you! Stay tuned! Or join me!