Getting Around the Linear Thinking We Were Taught To Use
One way to begin to unlearn how to NOT be creative is to start playing with WHAT IF.
WHAT IF -
you start with a blank slate - or piece of paper - and do a little "brainstorming" - without a specific piece in mind or any techniques or machine procedures as considerations?
Where to even BEGIN - and go WHERE?
Let's do a little Brainstorming.
I can't "brainstorm.
It's just not in me.
I'm just not creative.
I'm getting a headache!
Relax - it ain't that hard - and it doesn't have to hurt at all.
Here's just one of many brainstorming methods.
Wait a minute.
There are Brainstorming Methods?
And I can LEARN how to brainstorm?
YUP! And as you will see, it's not hard at all - to get started. Getting pretty good at it - well that comes with practice - like most things you've gotten good at.
OK - show me.
Here's one "method" - the Start With A Seed Method. The "seed" can be anything - a rock, a leaf, a texture, a color, a taste or a sound, a book title, a cliche or even a single word. There are plenty of seeds you can sow.
See, we've already got LOTS of possibilities - and we haven't even gotten started with this Brainstorming Thing.
So - let's start with a Seed - let's call it Sigma - and use the greek letter for sigma - for the purpose of illustration.
Here's what we're going to do.
Greek? Arrows? Numbers, letters, circles and squares and triangles? ROMAN NUMERALS!?
I'm getting a headache.
Mom! This man is being mean to me!
Calm down. Recess is almost here. And what I want you to do will be kind of fun.
Fun? Did you say fun?
You're kidding right?
Loosen up! Do a few jumping jacks - wave your arms around - make silly faces. RELAX! There aren't going to be any TESTS, or GRADES. This is just another GAME - to PLAY.
So lets start playing this little game.
Write down as many ideas as the SEED causes to pop into your head.
(Close your eyes if that helps, Hum a song while you play with the Seed).
If one of those ideas triggers another - follow that one - if not, keep playing with it.
Yes I said "play" - not WORK.
Say the SEED out loud. Slur it, Give it an accent. Sing it. Print it in big block letters - all in CAPS then in lower case, then mix it up. Anything can trigger an association to something else.
Get them on paper - a sketch, a sentence, a bunch of colored dots - just get them out of your head and out where they can engage your EXTERNAL senses.
Leave "WHERE" alone for now and stick just with WHAT. Let your brain bounce all sorts of ideas around. If you start thinking too much along a specific line - think of something TOTALLY unrelated - a real Wild Hair/Hare idea.
Once you've got about a dozen or even a half dozenp ideas outside your head - then - start quickly trying to make connections between things on your "list" - even if the connections are crazy as hell.
If you can't come up with more than two or three - step away - go do something else - maybe sleep on it. But do get back to it and keep playing with ideas.
When you start connecting the dots - seeing odd relationships - making connections that aren't obvious - you're on the right path.
If a Great Idea doesn't pop out of your attempt - right away - don't sweat it. You've provided a part of your brain you might not have used for a while with something to work with. And when you're asleep, or really tired, or bored that part of your brain will let you know it's been working - and maybe hand you a great idea - or maybe just an interesting one to look into.
The idea is to get your preconceived notions out of the way - so that other parts of your brain can move to the front of your thoughts. Dial back the logical, rational, judgemental part of your brain and let the irrational, non-judgemental, non-linear - dare I say it - CREATIVE - parts of your brain come to the fore.
Oh - and try to stop thinking or saying "I'm just not very creative.".
Ain't happening for you yet?
Want more examples of how this Seed Thing works - with some photos of resulting pieces?
Well just CLICK HERE