There was an interview with Alec Baldwin in today’s Melbourne AGE Good Weekend.
He has had an interesting path to where he currently is, you only need to google Mr Balwin to see a glimpse into the bizarre headlines he attracts. However I was particularly drawn to the following part of the interview:
“I’m always intrigued by that,” Baldwin says. Then he ads, “I’m kind of obsessed with it. Like, I could ask you that: “Do you like doing this? Why?”
Too many times, we do things that we don’t have an emotional commitment to, ultimately it shows up in our mental health, and sometimes physical health, unless we find emotional commitment elsewhere in our lives.
I’m a a big proponent of positive thinking and ‘just doing it’ as anybody who knows me will attest. I do believe that there is always a way to move yourself towards doing what you love – it does not always have to be THE way you earn your living for life to be fulfilling. You just have to make sure that the way you earn your living is not sucking the life out of you before you get to go home and do the things that make your heart sing.
I have been truly blessed in my career as I have always had flexible employment when I have needed it, time to develop my passions when I have desired it, and now I just need to kick my own butt more often to schedule time to do more of the things I love. To own more fully what I want…to build my own creative life and help others explore the creative opportunities in theirs.
So, Mr Baldwin….I LOVE doing this! I get the opportunity to make creativity and exploring creativity a priority in my life, and I get the opportunity to work with people and to see that little lightbulb above their heads as they realize that this is a way they can find emotional experience in their own creativity – in whatever form that takes!
My heart gets to sing on a daily basis as I explore, create, teach & write…I am emotionally committed to being a fantast* and I’m loving every minute!
* [fan-tast] noun; a visionary or dreamer.
Photo Source: Rotten Tomatoes
One of my favourite magazines in the whole world (and I do have a few!) is Cloth Paper Scissors – it is a really great inspiring eclectic crafty ideas mag and I paw over my back issues like gold dust when I am looking for inspiration.
This recent video interview with mixed media artist Sue Pelletier is a sales pitch for their DVD “Preparing to Paint” which looks fab, but it is a good use of 4 minutes because we get to see her fabulous artwork in the background, but she shares some gems that just made my heart sing…
1:45 “I have this vision of seing things that can be used in a different way…”
2:11 “I also wander hardware stores aimlessly thinking what can you use in the art…”
2:20 “Things are everywhere to create art, so it’s all about playing and exploring and putting it together and seeing what works together and what doesn’t.”
3:25 on her studio that looks like something from the show hoarders…”…because I can’t get rid of something, because it’s like three weeks I’ll literally be thinking I can’t believe I got rid of that it’s exactly what I need.”
I often used to laugh at the stereotype husband escaping to Bunnings/hardware store…I’ve always loved wandering the aisles, as Sue says, a bit like a kid in a candy store, I have hand tools and gadgets and shiny objects that will ‘one day’ become part of a creation…of course I need to make 1 day today….but I’m working on that.
I am lucky to have some underneath storage at my house. Don’t even go there! Hoarding central…and just as Sue says when we have a visit to the tip or I gift stuff to the local kinder…yep….3 months later I wish I still had it!! Ahhh me…Sue you are a wise owl!
It all started for me, with a kernel of an idea back in 2001 when we had returned to Australia from 2 years living and working in England and travelling to Europe every other month. It was a wonderful time, and coming ‘home’ seemed so ordinary. When we lived overseas, each new adventure was fuel for my brain. I had notebooks into which I scribbled ideas and stuck snippets of brochures and books and all kinds of inspirational stuff, and then somehow it all ended. Life at ‘home’ became about working, and being a mum to 2 youngsters, and running a home, and making meals, and and and…but I knew that something was missing…
Fast forward to today, and it’s incredibly hard not to notice the myriad of magazine/news articles/books dedicated to the topic of creative thinking in business. OK, maybe that’s just what my radar is tuned to, but more now than ever before I’m noticing the trend.
That makes me so happy, and that makes me so sad…happy because anything that promotes more creativity, creative thinking, free thinking and play has got to be a great thing for society…
Sad because our education system is still failing to provide our young students with the kind of free thinking play based creative support that they need to develop them into wonderfully radical adults.
Sad because I know that there are so many adults in the work force currently who have had the play and creativity squished out of them.
Help is of course at hand, and the internet is a fabulous place for finding resources, courses, books, tips, hints…you name it…Far be it for me to add to the noise – but I really can’t help myself.
Today I read a great article on the Thought Leaders LLC website by Paul Smith, author of “Lead with a Story”. As I was reading the article (find it here…”Why you should always lead with a story”) I was again struck with the correlation between creativity and the needs of business – but not just the ‘think like Steve Jobs’ kind of creativity – but the simple act of running meetings, making sales calls, training staff, talking to customers…stories have a way of connecting us that plain old information doesn’t.
Your ability to draft, either mentally or on paper, a good story that relates an experience to the message is a creative act. I’m not suggesting a fabricated story, but most of us have some experience that allows us to relate – or we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing in the first place!
So back to my story…
The kernel of the idea that was planted in my head was an article I read in Fast Company magazine, a fabulous magazine that I picked up in the US, where we spent 5 weeks, enroute back home to Australia. I was hooked! The article I read was by Seth Goden about catching an ‘Ideavirus’ and I certainly had caught it! My work that I do now at Artful Genius has been a culmination of a lifetime of passion around creativity and thinking and curiosity – but particularly over the past 11 years I remember that ‘ideavirus’ article in the fabulous Fast Company magazine (a great mag that I still devour today!). There have been many times when I have strayed from the path, and some times when I have needed to, but I can no longer ignore that I have been struck with an ideavirus that has been in my system since 2001.
The idea that I want to show EVERYBODY is how embracing their creativity will allow them to have fun, reduce stress, have more laughs, create a better future, solve more problems and be more constructive at work. I’m ready to step into that path in a way that I haven’t been before…who’s with me?
Many years ago I took a copywriting course, and we were read a quote (I can’t remember the full quote or who it was from) attributed to a high profile professional copywriter that was along the lines of “Give me the freedom of a tight brief”.
No they were not talking about their undies…but the ‘creative brief’ that a business gives to a designer/marketing team/copywriter to design the campaign from. Having the constraints of the brief allowed the creative team to focus their energy in one area – rather than the startling vastness of…well…everything.
That’s what I often feel like (and I know many other artists feel the same) with my art making. I decide that I am going to journal because I want to make art – not because I have a problem to solve or a message to get out…that’s a whole different situation – but using my visual diary just because I want to create ‘something’ is too loose a brief. I look at the page, and I choke. I wait for my muse…and…nothing!
We hear about the ‘paradox of choice’ and there are many studies revealing that more than 3-5 choices and our human brain can’t process. It becomes too hard. So a blank page….oh my!
That’s why the ‘something a day’ projects are so popular – they give people the freedom of a tight brief.
So, to get your muse to come out and play, sometimes you have to just tighten the paramaters a little. Subscribe to some restricted daily musing e-courses or jump on Pinterest and make the first thing you see THE thing you will use as inspiration.
Design your own creative brief a few minutes before you start, grab yourself a coffee or drink and then when you sit down to play your muse is already warmed up and might even be waiting! And if she’s late? Just start scribbling and scrawling and doodling and playing and having such a great time that she just can’t resist and jumps on in.
What I loved about the article was Lily’s reference to the creativity in mathematics. The interviewer states she is not really a numbers person, to which Lily responds…
”I don’t think there are necessarily solely arts people and solely mathematically minded people,” she responds. ”I think there’s a lot of creativity in mathematics and there’s a lot of problem-solving in arts. There’s more overlap than what people might think.”
When I add that I particularly enjoyed watching Serna’s process of writing out the solution to a puzzle on L&N, she says, ”That’s what maths is I guess. It’s how you get there … it’s not the solution itself.”
And there for me is the secret to creativity – whether it be creatively innovating a new idea or concept or process, or creating an artwork or story. The journey, the process, the ‘how you get there’ is the important part of the exercise.
Not so much in the early simple maths problems, but for anybody who has had the ‘joy’ of university level maths (and I say joy in inverted commas) you know what Lily means – perhaps when I was studying maths if I had have had the wherewithal to approach the creative angle I might not have struggled so much – unfortunately buying in to the ‘I’m not a numbers person’ myth!
Given that so much focus, in education particularly, is on analysis and correct answers – it was a great ‘yeeehaaaa one for creative thinking’ air punching moment for me to hear this very clever mathematician talk of creativity as a necessary skill.
So, I’ve been saying all along, hone your creative thinking ability and see how many areas of your life are enhanced by it….oh and if you’re still on the fence then go grab yourself a free copy of my mini-festo 9 3/4 reasons why being more creative will rock your world!
Read the full Good Life Lunch With Lily Serna here: http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/lunch-with-lily-serna-20120809-23v80.html#ixzz23Nh4z3ph