In this blog post I explore what creativity is and share my advise on how to turn your creativity on.
What is creativity really? When typing in creativity on google the following comes up: the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness. Wikipedia lists creativity as `a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical composition, or a joke) or a physical object (such as an invention, a literary work, or a painting).´
People seem to identify themselves as a creative or a non creative. Creativity is perhaps seen as a gift some people have while others don’t.
I have exercised creativity my whole life. At the age of six I started studying classical flute and music theory. I have taken drawing and painting classes, studied music theatre, jazz, ballet, contemporary and tap dance. In Bournemouth Arts University I studied Visual Communication. After that I studied filmmaking at MET in London. The long list goes to show I have been practising my creativity pretty much my whole life. Any skill or talent I might have, have been the result of over 20 years of hard work. Thats why I am not easily convinced that it is a gift reserved only for the special ones.
I have never been particularly `talented´ and have always had to work hard for anything I have wanted to achieve. Perhaps because of this I appreciate the struggle, the hard work, that goes in to learning a new skill, honing down your style and figuring out how to communicate your story to your audience in the most honest way.
I believe creativity is like a muscle. Unused it will weaken. But it is definitely a trait anyone can practice and anyone can become more creative in their personal life.
This is my list of what is needed for creativity to flourish in other words how to turn it on.
1. OPEN MIND.
Learn to love the sentence; What if? A creative mind is flexible, curious and always searching. You have to be willing to try, experiment and be flexible in your approach.
Sometimes a great idea interrupts us and we can just run with it, but even if this is the case rarely ever is the idea born fully formed. Creativity is about crystal clear focus and hard work.
(you can also call it inspiration). No one creates in a vacuum. Let yourself be influenced by others work. Whether that is nature, traveling or other peoples creativity. What we create is a mix of our personal experiences and outside influences.
Condition yourself for a creative mindset. Different patterns work for different people. Identify when you are most in-tune with yourself. Excellence is not a trait it is habit. Create a habit of creativity.
A stressed mind can be forced to be creative under the right circumstances. But as a long term strategy this does not make a fulfilling life. Learn to work smarter, not harder.