It’s funny what runs through your mind when going through the daily morning routines. Standing beneath the stream of water in the shower, I started to think about creativity. What is creativity? How can I be more creative? What can I learn from the people on FastCompany‘s list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business (June 2011)? Is there a model for long-term sustainable creativity or am I destined to burnout, eventually being stripped of the “creative” label?
Creativity is fascination, a focused obsession, with people, places and objects. It’s looking at them with a sense of wonder and amazement, pondering the very methodologies and systems at work in the core of their being.
Focused obsession takes time: sitting, observing, interviewing, questioning, testing, experimenting. One can never know just how much time to devote to creativity because focused obsession could unveil unlimited creative connections in the first minute of your day, or could come after an arduous battle one year later.
An absence of rush, putting aside time restrictions in order to get to the core of creative connections is imperative. It helps your mind to wander in and out of different observations, ponder symbolism (existing or non-existant), typography, colors, emotions, form and function.
If you told yourself you had 15 minutes to be creative, could you do it? Chances are you would feel frustrated and be thinking about the impossibility of the task at hand. Compare that to having an hour or even a whole day. The freedom of unfocused time is brilliant and necessary in the initial stages of creativity.
Feeding Your Unlimited Fascination
The funny thing about creativity is that it feeds upon your existing knowledge base in order to make connections between the known and the unknown. If you are writer, do you read? If you are an artist or designer, do you draw? Studying the basics of your craft, be it words, form and perspective, or even scales will give you that much more to draw from.
However the basics are not enough to sustain a creative fascination. You need to go beyond the basics and enter a world that you find intriguing and fascinating. For me, I am intrigued by politics, story, art, photography, mythology, science, religion, people and a whole host of subjects that feed my creative pursuits.
The more that I dive into my underlying fascinations of life, the more creative I am.
The more that I allow my mind unfocused time to be obsessively focused, the more creative my work is.
The more that I stop trying to envision the end-result from the start of a project allowing it to unfold naturally, the more fulfilling, creative and sustainable my life and work becomes.
What do you find fascinating? How does this feed your creativity each day?