Is creativity nature or nurture? I’d say that we are all creative, but somehow forget we are or how we were. There are many ways to stimulate creativity, so in a way it can also be learned. I just thinks these skills bring up what’s already there. We’re just used to living with order as you grow up, inside that box everyone’s says about you should think outside it. Must be a hard thing to do when they expect you to live in it. Adaptation, while all what’s new is unadapted. – an idea of the late Dany Jacobs, an authority in the field of industrial policy, innovation and manufacturing industry, of whom I had the privilege to attend a lecture a few months before his passing – and that’s where most artists come in. They have this unadapted mind (some say chaotic), but live in an adapted world. And by knowing this world by living in it, they can make new ideas or things, coming from their ‘unadapted’ minds, comprehensible for those inside that box of structures. A collegue of mine, designer of Atelier Isabell Schulz (you should definitely check her out!) wrote something I can relate to a couple of days ago. She wrote: ‘Ik leef in mijn eigen waanzin. Und Ich liebe es.’ which means: I live in my own madness and I love it. I believe people are the most creative when they’re standing on the line of the known and unknown.
So what does this got to do with me and my bucket list? I follow a training where training of your concentration is one the basis skills. Completing this training is one thing on the list, but another one is creating something for a creative environment. For my training I was given the assignment to do one thing at a time and focus on solely that. Letting thoughts and jugdement pass through, but not holding on to them.
If there is something that helps me doing this it’s creating. I can focus completely and observe every thought and feeling without any problems returning back to what I’m doing. Each creation that follows is a copy of my inner reality that I’ve been observing. It may say nothing to someone else, but it’s real. Though, for someone else it might be chaos, puzzling, incomprehensible…
So an exercise or activity like this is something like free incubation, where you distance yourself from the logical context of a problem (the box) by leaving mentally or physically and focus on something else entirely. Sometimes we think too hard and too deep while the answer is simple and already within reach. Sometimes we need to stop forcing.
To create or stimulate creativity it’s important to let all judgements go, just as with training your attention with observation. Nothing is useless. For all you know the most incomprehensible naive idea is the one you need. Maybe it’s that unadapted / outside the box idea you just not understand yet.
So with all this in mind (can you still follow me?) I painted this image for Lumideers Creative Solutions that believes in working in an unconventional space and focuses on creative solutions.
Observing and describing an object can also be used to lead your attention away. In my art classes (and now also in my training) we used to define exactly what an image was showing us. It’s harder than your think and takes a lot of concentration to do, and that (ofcourse!) without any judgements. Try if you want to! Stay with the facts, let any associations you have go. Observe and describe as if you are telling a blind man what you are seeing. In case you’d have the object in reach, use every sense. What does it feel like? What does it smell like? Imagine you are an alien from another world and you haven’t ever seen anything like it. What would you say. You can’t say it’s pretty or hideous, that’s a judgement that won’t give an idea of what it really is.
It looks a bit like chaos, doesn’t it? But how do you define chaos? Isn’t it chaos that keeps you sharp and alert? This is why I believe too that an unconventional working space (in my case read: messy) with unassociated items can bring up your creativity.
So boys of Lumideers, here’s a gift from me to you to get you started in your office. I wish you all the luck with your business.