On Creativity

We’re Polymaths. There’s no Creative TYPES. We’re all Creative. So what if some people call you a digital artist and other people call you a computer scientist. Who cares what people think? You’re a Polymath and you can learn and do anything the hell you want.

Creativity happens when we create a space for it and invite it in. But if we’re sick or injured or worried about rent then we won’t have space for Creativity. All the other stuff about why we’re Creative, how to be Creative, who we’re Creating for – none of that matters if we don’t have space for it in our heads and in our lives!

So we have to create space first – a space free from wondering if we’re a good enough Artist or a good enough Programmer or a good enough Girl or a good enough Boy or whatever. Space free from worrying about our health and where we’re going to sleep if everything goes fucking pear shaped. Then space in our lives: time every day to practice being Creative.

Because Creativity is something you coax out, something that has a life of its own and will startle and bolt if you try to force it.

Like that scene in ET with the little boy very very slowly creating a line of candy to coax a scared and strange creature into the light!

Our Creativity – whatever it is we’re going to create – is like that scared and strange little creature and we can only bring it out and get a good look at it if we create time for it. Patiently feed its curiosity every day with really bright and tasty Interesting Things.

Only instead of candy we’re feeding it experiences! Information! Learning things and trying things and going to new places and meeting new people!

You won’t know what it is you’re coaxing out, really, until you’ve been at it for a while and have had to get really Creative (!!!) about what to feed that Curiosity.

And somewhere, between reading about something totally random like quantum computing one week and then learning about horizontal gene transfer the next week, you get this crazy idea that maybe it would be fun to make a game about how microbes evolve only they’re photons instead of microbes…

…and before you know it you’re spending your time every day working on something that turns out to be a game that you thought was just a cool nifty thing to work on everyday because you thought it was interesting.

But that doesn’t happen if you don’t create a space for Creativity to wander into your life! Time set aside where you can do your part and AT LEAST show up at the damn desk to do whatever it is you’re going to do (whether you feel like it or not).

Creativity doesn’t happen if you only feed your Curiosity things that you already know about.

And it doesn’t happen if you only learn about Artist things.

Or Scientist things.

Or whatever THINGS are associated with your Job Title At the Time.

Creativity only happens if you coax it out by exploring Things you find Really Interesting every day!

Becoming a very Curious, Creative Polymath.

But don’t listen to me. Listen to John Cleese. And then go figure out how you’re going to show up to do your Creative thing (whatever that thing may be) every day.

 

About Epona

Epona Schweer wants to figure out what "switches on" creativity in people. Researching, experimenting and sharing results here. Writing books, making games and coaching folks all over the interwebs. Shoot me an email, follow me on twitter (@EponaSchweer) or drop me a comment and say "Hi"!

Comments

  1. I was picturing that talk in my mind as I was reading this :)

  2. I had a guy ask me if I see myself as more of a designer or a developer. I’m like, I dunno, both? I didn’t realize they were mutually exclusive. People assume that because I make art, I’m a bad coder, or vice versa. Why can’t I be good at both? :p

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