Monday, January 19, 2015

Being creative

" are the person who gets told NOT to do stuff."

That was one of the best compliments I've gotten.  It came from Yurika the night of some solo work last week where the goal was to try new things.

Yes, I have been told (more than a few times) to not do something that I've come up with...usually for good reasons.  But with those rejected ideas have come countless number of really good ones.  By going so far away from "normal", I've been lucky enough to come away with many great patterns, movements, ideas. etc.

You've heard the term "think outside of the box" often enough.  But when people are given freedom, encouraged to solo differently and try new things, why is it often so hard to break out of our comfort zone?

Here are some ideas that I feel have served me well over the years:

  • The more of a perfectionist you are, the less creative you're likely to be.  You can't control creativity.  It needs to breathe, it needs to grow.
  • Question the rules.  Even if you don't ask "why?" out loud, ask it to yourself.  What are the rules and what happens if you break them responsibly?  Kids don't know what they're not supposed to do and look how creative they can be.
  • Find inspiration everywhere you can.  It's easy to be inspired by a song or a scene from a movie.  But what about the way a mantis moves?  The way sodium reacts to water?   Petrichor?  What would those look and sound like in taiko form?
  • Creativity often happens away from others.  When people are watching, when people can give feedback, when you're worried about judgement, this often stifles creativity.
  • Having said that, sometimes collaborating with another person gives you ideas you would never had come up with on your own.
  • Don't judge your creativity against anyone else's.  That's a recipe for disappointment.  Even if you feel you're "more creative" than someone, odds are you'll find people way "more creative" than you.  What good does that do you?   And if you feel "less creative" than someone, so what?  What does someone else's ability have to do with YOU creating new things?
  • Limitations can produce creativity.  Only being able to use one bachi or having to play blindfolded will force you to do things you wouldn't normally do.  This gets the creative juices flowing.
  • Fail. You want to be creative?  You're going to fail.  The more you create, the more you'll fail.  If you fear failing, you won't be able to create.  It's hard to get past the first few rounds sometimes but is it liberating when you do, because you can view failure as progress instead of this horrible thing that means you suck.
No one can make you more creative.  It comes easy for some, not for others.  You have to WANT it.  You have to WORK at it.  All I can do is share my advice and my experiences.  If they spark something, if they inspire something, please let me know!  And keep creating!

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