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I can safely say that I know how to be creative, because I spent twenty years employed as a performance artist. During that time, I created posters, publicity blurbs, props, masks and costumes as well as creating and performing in Visual Theatre performances.  That’s my qualification for the series of posts on creativity I’m starting today.

A random bit of creativity from my daughter K Rose Newland

If you want to be creative or more creative, you need to

  1.      Know what real creativity is – then you know what you’re aiming for.
  2.      Know where real creativity comes from
  3.      Learn how to go to that place
  4.      Learn how to set the creativity flowing
  5.      Learn how to express what you find there

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be looking at each of these areas in detail, so you’ll have a step by step guide to developing your creativity.

1. What is real creativity?
Real creativity is hard to define, so I’m being lazy and telling you what it’s not.
It’s not

  • ·        taking the elements that you know will work and creating something with all those elements in it.
  • ·        following a successful formula
  • ·        something that arises from the intellect only. Intellect comes in for the expression/refining stage.

Why isn’t this real creativity? Because it comes from the surface of our mind and can be purely derivative, dry and uninspiring.  Maybe some people can create something new and exciting by working from the thought level of the mind, but it’s never worked for me, because I can never surprise myself and if I don’t surprise myself, I’ll never surprise my audience.  All I can manage working from the intellect as a starting point is a rearrangement of previously existing ideas and that bores me so much that I would never think to impose it on an audience.

2. Where does real creativity come from?
It comes from our mind and heart. Here, consider the word mind to include the heart. Our mind has two aspects – the appearance of mind (ie thoughts and emotions) and the essence of mind. Real creativity comes from the essence of mind, not from our thoughts and emotions. Our thoughts and emotions come from the essence of our mind as well, but if we can access the place from which they spring and open our self to its natural creativity, then we’ll get creativity of the greatest possible depth.

Does this sound right to you? Next week we’ll look at how to get to the place where creativity flows.