“Many people believe only two kinds of people exist in this world – those who are creative and those who are not. … They believe creative people simply walk around and are suddenly struck by creative ideas much like a bright flash of light.” – Dave Burgess, Teach Like A Pirate
Do you think that’s true? Do you think that if you don’t have random fantastic ideas fly into your head you aren’t creative? Balderdash! (I’ve always wanted to use that word.) Poppycock! (And that one.) Creativity is a process, not a set of DNA that you have or don’t have.
What is the creative process? I’m so glad you asked! Dave Burgess says it well: “It is the process of consistently asking the right questions…and then actively seek(ing) the answers.”
What are the right type of questions? Open-ended questions that make your brain stretch. Want to make your meeting more fun? You could ask yourself, “What is the best place to hold this meeting?” (It may or may not be in a meeting room.) “How many ways can I think of to get us outside and/or moving around?” “What would keep people involved and engaged?”
My husband, when I told him about this, said that when he comes up with creative ideas, it’s usually because he’s trying to cram together two unrelated ideas.
These shirt designs were for a Betabrand contest. He thought about typical shirt designs, like plaid, and stripes, and then asked himself what he could put into those designs that would make them funny, or different? Thus – bacon plaid, asparagus stripes, and tangled cord plaid! (If you’d like to vote for them, and maybe get them made into shirts, please visit https://www.betabrand.com/u/michael-d-199) (If you’d like to see more of his art, please visit http://www.facebook.com/michaeldashowart or http://www.michaeldashow.com)
My point here is that creativity comes from engaging with an idea and asking yourself questions – and then giving yourself time to come up with answers. Some answers will come right away, and some take longer to percolate. Those bright flashes of light will only show up if you are actively searching for them. And everyone is capable of searching for them! Start asking yourself questions, and get your brain ready to grab those answers! The more you practice, the easier it will get.
I will end with a few questions you can ask – please add more!
*What can I make with these three ingredients?
*How can I turn this project into a contest?
*What would be a good mnemonic to help people remember this information?