Mijeong contributed an article + activity about how to exercise creativity and perspective taking in the first issue of the Ottiya Magazine. Learn more about Mijeong below:
How would you introduce yourself in less than 10 words?
Educator and researcher interested in people and a better world.
What was the most important factor in nurturing your creativity when you were growing up?
What a wonderful question for reflecting! Countless factors have contributed to developing my creativity, but perhaps one of the most important were the open and creative adults around me. For example, I believe thinking critically and questioning allows me to explore new thoughts, and my father was excellent at patiently listening to and answering my numerous questions as well as asking me questions that pushed my thinking. Another example are my wonderful, artistic elementary school teachers who would beautifully decorate our classrooms and design countless creative activities in all disciplines. I have been extremely fortunate to have mentors of various fields encouraging me in my creativity and curiosity.
Where do you draw your inspiration from today?
I draw my inspiration from everything around me, including the people around me as well as my experiences from the past. I’m always collecting pieces of ideas, and they fit together in different situations and times. Of course, there is also my lifelong source of inspiration, nature.
Creative potential: nature vs. nurture? What’s your take?
I believe it’s both. Every single individual is born with creative potential in some capacity. There is no non-creative person. “Creativity” might look different, but I believe everyone is capable of it. However, what creative potential or ability one has is shaped by the environment, thus nurture can and does have significant impact.
The theme of the first issue of Ottiya is ‘community’. What is community to you?
Community to me is a place of acceptance and give and take. It is the next step after your family, a place where multiple families and entities learn from and support each other to come together as a larger piece of society/living in the world.