Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How to be Creative

Some say that creativity is a gift. It is something you inherit from a parent who is highly creative. Others say it depends if you are left-brained or right-brained. Probably both are true. I wonder though why left-brained people who tend to be creative are disorganized and spontaneous, whereas the artists I've met are more organized and logical. Perhaps there is a difference between being creative and being an artist. This I still have to ponder upon. I believe though that whether you are left or right brained, logical or illogical, fast or slow, all of you have an innate seed of creativity that is waiting to grow and flourish with proper nurturing and creatively molded mindset.

Here are seven ways to water your creativity seed:

1. Open Books.
In the "closed book" mindset, books may simply be a series of words and numbers that tire the eyes of the beholder. Books may be filled with boring black lines and curves making tiny letters (like what you're seeing now on this page). They may be old and dusty or eaten by bookworms. But they are a wonderful trainer of a creative brain. They can give you a leeway to paint the final picture of every scene, every page and every chapter. Open a book and let your creative juices wander!

2. Open Door.
According to Mr. Wallace Stegner, a novelist and professor of creative writing class in Harvard, you "write bigger, better and with more wisdom" when you are a "grower." It is through experiences that you grow. Embrace the joys and sadness, triumphs and failures of life and learn from them. If you are stuck in your comfort zone or mundane routine, get out and take a deep breath of fresh air.

3. Open Mind.
Think of your brain as a tug-of-war between a mother and child (super ego and id, or the left and right brain). The restless, spontaneous child brings new ideas into the vacuum of thought while the logical, responsible mother discerns whether each idea is to be kept or killed. Sometimes the mother wants the artwork to be "relevant" and "liked" by people that it suppresses the creativity of the child. The more boxed and governed the mind is, the less accommodating it is to new and unexplored terrain.

4. Open Eyes.
Okay, so sometimes you are stuck with a routine. Day in, day out you are doing the same thing. No problem. There is still room to ignite your creativity. Open your eyes wider and see the beauty of the details surrounding you. Wear a new lens once in a while to see things a little bit differently. Propose new solutions to a boring task. For example, your morning routine is to wake up, check your cellphone for the time and the number of received messages, read a chapter of the Bible and have some quiet time with the Lord in your room, cook a sunny side-up egg, toast two slices of bread, eat, brush your teeth, take a hot shower, and leave the house. Something as common as this can be spiced up without paying a cent.

You may wake up a little bit earlier and sit in a quiet place at your backyard facing the healthy morning sun and inhaling the fresh dawn air. While all the others are still sleeping and the roosters are barely crowing, spend this precious moment with the Lord. You might as well witness a breathtaking view of the tropical sunrise.

5. Open Line.
A line connects point 1 to point 2, but it doesn't necessarily mean that this is the only rational connection. Try new lines. Connect 1 to 11 or 2 to 345. This reminds me of the Belgian paintings that play with juxtaposition of images. I remember attending a seminar and I saw a painting of a man in gray suit resting on a cool bluish background. Then I saw his nose was a little bit odd. It was green. I stepped a little bit closer only to discover that there was actually an apple on his nose.

Making unique unthinkable connections can give you plenty of new creative ideas to toy with.

6. Open Hands.
You may simply forget your ideas when your hands are busy doing other things. If you want to be more creative with your writing (or even in other fields), open your hands, grab a pen and a paper, and start jotting down the new connections, new experiences or new observations you've grasped. Mr. Isagani Cruz suggests that you set-apart a couple of hours everyday to practice your craft. What he does is he gets up at 3am and he writes until 6. You don't have to wake up that early. The point is if keep your hands free you accommodate the creative child in you and your ideas will easily flow to paper.

7. Open Light.
At the end of the day, acknowledge that all the sources of your ideas, your resources, your books, your eyes, your minds, your hands and your doors come from God, the ultimate creator of creativity and everything good. All ideas done in the dark are futile.

God bless! :)

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