How to Be Creative

Last night a group of the TellyJuice creative team went to the fabulous School of Life to attend a philosophical yet practical class on Creativity.

TellyJuice creative course

Every day at TellyJuice we create ideas, images, scripts, motion graphics and much more in the video making process.   However last night we took some time out to think about what is creativity? How can we be more creative? And should we be shy away from ideas that might fail?

I highly recommend you attend the class.  The lovely and knowledgeable Cathy Haynes, Founder Faculty Member of the School of Life not only provided some delicious sandwiches but also some interesting food for thought. We came away with some really useful creative tools.  During the 3 hour class, were challenged to think deeply and given the chance to share our thoughts and experiences with other members of the class.

Shared for you are some of the TellyJuice team’s insights.

Thought:  What do you need more of to be more creative?

  • Time: make a date with yourself.
  • Head space / calm: if you need to get away from your desk, do it.
  • Energy
  • Discipline: iphones / gadgets / facebook are hugely distracting.  Switch ’em off.
  • Confidence in your skills: give it a go, even failure can lead to potential.
  • De-location: some people find the great outdoors helps, or simply a walk around the block.

Cathy encouraged us to take inspiration from the Bauhaus Principal of Unlearning.  We learned how in the 1920s Josef Albers encouraged his students to be more creative by distancing themselves from what they knew.  They were encouraged to experiment, experience, practice, play and celebrate.

We were given a playful exercise to practice this way of unlearning.  We looked at a photograph of a manhole cover and were told to think if we were aliens what else might it be?  The class came up with a worm hole, ant maze, Aztec cake tin or a discarded shield.

The School of Life advert

We were also given an association word game: to come up with a fabulous new idea for a festival by using one random word and running with it!

  • From COIN we came up with a Jonny Cash Festival in Colorado.
  • From ELBOW we created the Festival of Well Being
  • From BUTTON we created the Festival of Fetish (don’t ask!)

We also talked about every Creative’s worst nightmare – the creative block.

Using the wisdom of some of the world’s greatest thinkers Cathy explained how blocks are an incredibly important part of the creative process, because we are forced to do something else for a while, kick a ball, have a snooze, dream and let our brain slack.  It’s during this relaxed state that we access our unconscious mind.  And from there as Vincent Walsh points out insight can begin to form in the conscious.  Then once an idea is in the conscious, we can develop refine, hone, test and prove.  This is why, some of our best creative ideas (provided that we’ve previously observed, researched and talked about the subject) often happen when we’re on the train, walking the dog or going for a jog and not consciously thinking.

We also talked about failure and how failing can open up potential that would never have existed otherwise.

Fascinating stuff.  Great class.  Thanks to The School of Life.