Saturday, 9 March 2013

How to Be Creative

Creativity can't be taught, it's in-built. Creativity is not like a lightning strike.


1. Limit your tools to only the most vital. Having a limited set of tools at your disposal forces you to be creative; it challenges you to use what you have to produce the desired results. You'll be far sharper than someone who merely monkey around with a larger set of tools. Learn how to be resourceful!

2. Don't listen to criticism. Keep following your own path. The problem with asking for evaluation is regularly that the response will be given infused with that person's preconceived notions of what the outcome should be. Others will unconsciously push you in a direction that they see as best. This is done with good intentions; however, it actually hurts your creativity. Now this is different from sharing your work — by all means share, but listening to feedback is not a good decision if you want to truly find your own path of creative self-expression. Once you're finished with your creative work, whatever it may be, then you can listen to response. Just don't let criticism (even the constructive type) black out or stifle your creativity during the creative process.

3. Having a routine may not be a bad thing. Routines are positive if they beef up a healthy, creative mindset; they're negative if they destroy that. Forcing new ways of thinking is good, what if growing/learning/experiencing new things was built into your routine as a given? The people who get stuck on a monotonous path and speak negatively about routine have probably not developed a routine that puts them on a path of internal growth.

4. Let go of perfectionism. Your natural output, drained of concern for creating something that's exactly right, will always produce creative results. There are limitless paths to achieve creative success; there are so many shades of gray. Imperfection is human, and sometimes the most creative artists leave mistakes unfixed on purpose. Nature itself is beautifully imperfect. Many try to be so perfect that they scrub away what made their work special in the first place.

5. Ignore trends. Block them out — pay zero attention to them. Trends are the polar opposite of creativity. In many forms of art (especially music) a majority of artists are following whatever the hot trends are. Then there is the other, smaller group of artists that are pursuing their own path and not really paying attention to external trends in their art of choice. There is certainly more money, fame and instant notoriety for following trends, but most of what is popular is hardly creative. If you want to make something truly unique, trends are irrelevant. Looking inside yourself is where you will discover a greater wealth of creativity than available in any hot trend.

6. Ignore the past. Want to be really creative or original? Ignore or forget the past; ignore what the world has created up until this point. That's the opposite of creativity and originality. Create things from within yourself that don't draw inspiration from what has come previously or even consider it, and you'll be on a path to creative output. In a creative state of mind, time doesn't exist — a few hours can feel like seconds, a moment can seem to last for hours, and you're completely immersed in the present. Learn how to live in the moment. It's okay to take inspiration from the past, but don't dwell on it. There will probably be aspects of past art that you like and ones that you dislike. Take the aspects that you connect with and develop them into your own. Whatever you do with the past (if you choose to take inspiration from it), be sure to let it grow into something rather than keeping it what it is.

There you have it. Improvise and be creative. Be better than ever!
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