Most people I have had conversations with about creativity tell me that creativity is something you have to be born with and it is some kind of gift. I think it is an ability that can be developed and has to be trained to maintain the achieved level.
I agree that some people have a stronger creative side than others. Some already had great ideas in their childhood, some became creative types later on.
In fact, I think as kids, we all have great ideas and, most of the time, these ideas are more than creative, they are fantasies. Fantasy is very important. It is the little brother of creativity. It helps to incite the mind to work in a creative way. This is one of the ways I train my creativity to stay on a certain level.
What works for me
I remember music always made me feel, then made me move, and later, made me think.
Music is a very important part of my creative flow because it doesn’t just make me emotional, but it clicks something in my mind which forces me to create.
Well, it inspires and motivates me. Especially baroque music…It affects me with its harmonies and vocal richness. Other kinds of music also work for me to tosh myself to the creative side, but not as much as baroque music.
Interestingly enough, repetition stimulates my mind to create. When I was a ballet dancer, part of my daily routine was a 90-minute-long ballet class. There are exercises that are quite repetitive, and after a while, the body does them by muscle memory. Somehow, some of the ideas which I still work on came at those points when my body was working and my mind switched on. I think my brain wanted to break out of the repetition and came up with some interesting, creative ideas.
Create your own fantasy world
There is nothing more fulfilling for me than finding out a new idea. It doesn’t necessarily need to be executed, but it brings my mindset towards the creative modus. So, when I started to create a fine art photography series, I did not have to start from scratch because fantasy helped me.
In the last few years, I have been working on a concept about imaginary personalities. I call it “Negligent perception of your non-existent personality”. It is interesting how this idea affects my thinking. So far, I have created six images of this series and all the ideas for the individual images came out of nowhere. Well not exactly out of nowhere… I’m pretty sure that they came from my fantasy world.
Stay a kid as long as you can
Yes, it is easy to say. I know it is not possible to act like kids all the time, but this is not the task.
I think all of us have a kid version of ourselves living inside of us. All of us. The difference between the creative adults and the not so creative ones is very simple; how much we let this kid play around and shine through our personality.
I’m not saying that we have to fool around 24/7 as a kid, but learn to bring out the young dreamer and let him drive our ideas to become a plan, a concept, a project, or anything that requires creativity.
The more I try to think as a kid – playful, stress-free, and last but not least, limitless – the more I tend to create original ideas. Think of it this way: what do children do on the playground? They play with each other by rules which they created by themselves. And the rules get changed constantly. Why? Because kids get bored with the old rules and want to improve them to be more interesting and not more efficient.
So how do I stay a kid?
Perhaps it comes from my education – that I had no time to be a kid when I was supposed to be. I went to the Hungarian Dance Academy, which was a 9+1 year long education process, to become a classical ballet dancer. Yes, 10 years. It was an eternity, indeed. I was 10 when I started this school and it was tough.
The daily schedule on weekdays started at 8 am and normally went on until 6 pm, sometimes 8 pm. On Saturdays, usually, it was from 9.30 am to 2 pm. So, I really had no time to play with other kids outside the school, but this somehow bonded us together with my schoolmates.
I remember we were always up for a prank in the school. It was perhaps because the rules were too strict or we were just bad kids, I’m not sure. We created our own rules to make it possible to play a bit cheating on time, playing football in the ballet studio before class (which was forbidden), playing hide and seek in the Hungarian National Opera House (which was scary but fun – it has a basement system which is several kilometers long). It was sometimes good to feel like we could escape from the strict rules of the school together. And we did.
It has been 15 years since my graduation and I was always looking for the possibilities to be playful and live my life cheerfully but responsibly.
The way I think of it, if I approach any task as an open-minded person, the solution might be not the most efficient but it will be fun to solve it. Also, important to mention, maybe because of the fun I have during most of the processes, I explore new ways to approach the task and, who knows, perhaps the whole task gets a little twisted.
Find the right environment for being creative.
I see creativity as a plant that needs the right environment to be able to grow and be healthy. Creative people need to be around other creatives. There is nothing worse than being surrounded by non-productive, boring people.
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