NOTE: This post also appears on http://www.whencreativityknocks.com.
When a friend threw out the idea of writing about creativity for When Creativity Knocks–the website of a mother and daughter team who share crafting skills–my mind went conveniently blank. That is until I remembered my all-time favorite story about Michelangelo (you know, the painter sculptor, architect, poet, engineer and original Renaissance man). It is said that someone congratulated him on turning a block of stone into a man. Skirting the compliment, he merely said the man was in there all the time and just needed a little help in getting out.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been much good at seeing objects in chunks of marble. Evidently, it’s not one of my “gifts.” Truth is each of us has our own special gifts. One of mine is writing music. People sometimes want to know where the music comes from. Usually, I say that I just sit down at the piano, stop thinking about things, and just listen.
Creative folks listen and observe, often looking for ways to connect seemingly unrelated dots. That’s part of the creative process itself.
Think of it this way: How many ways can you use a paperclip? Once you get past the “holding paper together” answer, the list begins to grow. It can become a device to repair a hem, serve as a hair barrette or unclog an Elmer’s glue bottle. Or, if you’re in the eight grade and combine it with a rubber band, it can help you earn a three-day “vacation” from school. But I digress.
Think of the crafting ideas on the When Creativity Knocks website. Each is the result of using common (and not-so-common) materials in different ways—in many cases, very unintended ways.
Take “All Decks on Hand” for example. It’s a great example of connecting a skateboard with artwork to aid a worthy cause—helping people with autism. Those are certainly unrelated dots, don’t you think? You can watch the video HERE.
Want to be more creative? Start by acknowledging that it’s possible. Then, do your own paperclip exercise by asking yourself: What are ten different things I could do with [fill in your own blank.]
Remember, all ideas in brainstorming are good.
Then, get ready for creativity to knock on your door!