Thursday, February 28, 2013

Forcing Creativity? (Creativity Part 2)

I'm not sure if people know this, but a lot of the images that you might expect from a regular Google search just aren't there. The reason being is the folks who get together, do the research, take quality pictures, and organize them in an easy to reference way, are the same people who strap all that hard work to a book and sell it. Those images don't exist on the inter-webs, people.

That's why it's good to have a nice and healthy reference library. Here's one to add to your collection, Firearms The Illustrated Guide. I wish I had time to draw more guns, but for now I just drool at all the pretty pictures.

This is part 2 of "Take Charge of your Creativity" You should read that one first, or maybe you're one of those creative types who doesn't like to follow the rules. 

Forcing Creativity (OK, OK, I'll do it)

Last week I asked if it was possible to force or promote creativity. I would be hard pressed to find someone who didn't reach a point in their life where it was hard to be creative. Many artists are terrified of the dreaded "Blank Canvas," or "Creative Block." Is there any way around it?

In response to these creative road blocks we wind up with things like "Brainstorming," where they stuff a bunch of people in a room and allow them to free think with no criticism or reticule. Sounds nice, but it turns out that it doesn't work so well.
In fact, simply
allowing people to challenge each other increases creative output by 20%. But still, while these groups are effective at handling a solution to a problem that already exists, they're not so good at breaking new ground. So can you force creativity by brainstorming, not really.

This is because brainstorming focuses the conscious mind which is not very good at being creative.  If you sit around and try to be creative, you have just engaged the wrong parts of your brain. This also forces you into an environment of group think. It takes a special mind to ignore social pressures to look good, and that's a creativity killer
right there

So if groups don't work, then it's best to work alone, right? Well, the data says yes, but there's a big caveat. People are more creative when they interact with others, just not when it's a part of a group effort to be creative. Meeting and exchanging ideas is very healthy for the creative mind, but then returning to your cave to be left alone with your thoughts is where the magic happens

So now
you're all alone but your canvass is still blank, what gives. You need an idea now, how do you squeeze creativity out of that squishy brain of yours? First off, chill. If you think about it that way, it's not going to happen. If you want the creative ideas to start flowing you need to leverage the relationship between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. In other words, use your conscious mind to prepare a playground for your subconscious to play, then let your subconscious mind to all the work. 

While there are some really effective techniques on doing this, I'm going to have to wait to cover those next week, when I talk about How to Become More Creative. But for now, try not to force things. Be open to new thoughts and relax. Otherwise you're working against yourself.

See ya next time.

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