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Last summer on a drive from Minneapolis to Denver* I encountered 3 striking visual examples of creative ways to make making something new and different, all in South Dakota.

A Different Creative Combination

The picture at right shows what can only be described as a college boy’s fondest dream come true–a place where you can gamble, drink beer and get a clean shirt all at the same time. Two thoughts spring to mind: 1) the definition of “casino” in South Dakota is slightly less grand than it is in Las Vegas, and 2) a laundromat is not the most natural companion business to a bar and a casino. But remember, at one time we believed the most natural place for a gas station was as part of an auto repair facility, not in the front yard of a small grocery store.

A Different Creative Material

“Sudz” is in Mitchell, SD, which is also the location of the Corn Palace. It is not only a figurative tribute to corn, but a literal one as well. The sides of the building are covered with ears of corn and stover. While not the most typical of building/artistic materials, they are certainly appropriate to the place and purpose. And it gives you a great reason to get off of I-80 and drive into downtown Mitchell.

A Different Creative Perspective

Like you, I have seen the traditional image of Mt. Rushmore my entire life. Four presidents, full-face, huge and seemingly viewable from miles away—like a huge billboard.

On that trip I expereinced it in person and it showed me a different creative perspective. You catch only a distant glimpse of the figures on the drive up the mountain. You can only begin to see them well when you are really quite near, less than one mile away–after you have parked your car and left it.

But that doesn’t make it any less impressive, in fact it makes it more striking. You have to make an effort to even get that good a view and then you need to walk a good deal further to see those fantastic carvings up close.

And finally there was one additional gift of a different perspective. As you begin the drive down the mountain there is a small pull off area where you can see the profile view of Washington alone. It is not a view I had seen before or was even aware existed. As you stand there it seems as if this giant (and I mean that both historically and in size) is walking along and is about to emerge full-figure from the other side of the mountain.Barrett Sydnor

*It is a running joke around The Brainzooming Group that if business travel destination is more than 100 miles away, Mike automatically looks at a flight schedule, while if it is closer than 1,500 miles I look at a road map.

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4 Responses to “3 Creative Ways to Be Different: South Dakota Edition”

  1. tannerc says:

    It’s amazing what a simple change of perspective (getting off the freeway, driving around a side road, etc.) can do for inspiring creativity, isn’t it?

    • Barrett says:

      You do get to see things in a different way. I used to make a semi-regular trip from Michigan to Missouri. It was going to take an entire day no matter the route. So I often would drive the entire way never getting on an Interstate. Saw lots of interesting parts of the country that way.

  2. Jim Joseph says:

    Love your focus on creativity these last few days, Mike. Creativity has to be fostered and nurtured to keep it alive and all your great examples are certainly doing that.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s interesting Jim how much attention the creativity posts are getting. That may be what the Brainzooming book/ebook needs to be about!