When it comes to science, there’s formulas for almost everything. When it comes to art, we say it just happens by intuition, it’s a product of inspiration, it can’t be put into a process, it’s organic. This is true in many ways, but what if there was a recipe for finding and processing bits of material until you had a real and successful result? What would a formula for CREATIVITY look like?
What I’m suggesting here is nothing you haven’t experienced. It just came from personal observation and may not be the mixture that lights up your cerebellum. The reason for proposing this is that often we don’t recognize what we should do or what helps us create something worthwhile. This is an attempt to recognize it, for the fun of it. Here it is:
3 Parts – Boring Projects Φ (Dirt) + 2 Parts – Things that Inspire You Δ (water) + 1 Part – Project of Passion δ (Sunlight)= Creative Product Output ∞
This formula has proven to be the conditioned soil that usually makes things grow for me. Having lots of boring projects, mundane must do tasks or work, can actually be a good thing. It’s what makes kids daydream in school. Mind numbing material pushes the brain to find expression elsewhere. Lots of dirt means lots of places to grow! It’s the nutrients that supply the idea.
‘Things that inspire’ are much like water. They bring refreshment and liquid inspiration to the dirt. It’s a necessary part of the formula to spend time reveling in relaxed conversation, recreation, paintings, sculpture, books, movies, exploration in nature and other things that are ripe with ideas. Sometimes they just enhance and enrich your existing ideas. Observation is key to good writing as I was taught in my screenwriting class in college. So observe life because without water, ideas will shrink until they don’t exist.
A passion project is something you can’t wait to work on regardless of the time and energy required. It’s the joy of exploration and the exhilaration of experimentation. You put your all into it because it is a real extension of yourself. Like the Sun, its a core of burning desire that gives life to your ecosystem. And its resulting impact is far reaching and greater than anything else you do.
Like nurturing a plant, balance is good. The combination of these things can grow great ideas. Too much of one of the ingredients can throw off your ability to see and implement. A passion project, for example, can be so consuming that you could burn out if you had multiple at one time and only working on boring projects can kill brain cells. They all serve a purpose in the right amount.
I enjoy looking at the SoundWorks Collection Series as a source for inspiration. This recent spot featuring Man of Steel filled me with desires to seek creative inspiration in unlikely places. These guys have a great job showcasing the epitome of creation, coming up with another world, how it sounds, looks and rests in the galaxy.
If anything, you might want to come up with your own formula for creativity. Maybe its staring at the morphing psychedelic shapes in iTunes Visualizer (I do from time to time). Maybe its playing with Star Wars figures, Chewbacca and Obi Wan (I still do from time to time). Or maybe its imaging what your planet would look like when you become ruler of it. After all, creativity is organic. If you plant it, it will grow!