Channeling CreativityPosted: September 25, 2008
Following up on information overload and the need to filter well, (Read this from Matt on the Spark and then come back) I submit the following on filtering for creatives. This isn’t meant to actually answer Matt, you’ll notice. It just (sparked something) got me thinking.
1. Be very broad in your stimulus intake until something sparks. Let your influences be varied and intersting. Don’t rule out stuff out for less than very, very good reasons.
2. When “it” occurs and you have an idea you can work with, quickly narrow your focus down to the few things that can speak to the idea and improve it. Set the rest aside.
3. Keep going back to what sparked the idea in the first place. That “first love” idea has merit for creative work as well.
4. Be dogged about it and finish strong. My weakest area is the finish- so i don’t have any ideas for this.
5. Unless your work is music, consider a soundtrack. Make a playlist that captures the feel, mood or message of your work and put it on repeat- even if it’s only two or three songs. My college roommate and i did this. We would repeat a song, or two or a whole album. This would last an evening… and up to a month or two at a time, the same music and message would be pounded into us until we got it.
6. When your flame starts to flicker, consider taking a break and doing something completely different. For me, it’s yard work. I come away refreshed, energised and well, really tired. But yard work doesn’t interfere with any creative stuff going on in my head. It just gives my head and hands a break while staying occupied. And the sprinklers are mesmerising… TV doesn’t even work as well for me.
7. From Kim Thomas: Leave ripe tomatos. She might spell it with an e. Not sure about that. When Kim is painting, she doesn’t do all that’s in her mind to do. She leaves just a little something- a detail, a door, a colour- so that when she comes back the next day she can pick up the brush and start right in. Get the mind and heart moving again by action rather than staring at the canvas waiting for inspiration. Inspiration comes in the doing- rarely in the staring.
If you’ve got a moment for a good thought or two, which will lead to more good ideas, read this from Andrew Jones.