I am often asked, “If there was one message that I could give about creativity, what would it be?”
“Try something new. Do something different or differently!”
There is lots of brain science that supports the idea of the plasticity of the brain. I have experienced it time and time again working with clients, that I am convinced the quickest route to creative thinking is to try something new or novel.
I recently had one client, a hugely successful financial planner who has reinvented himself many times over his career. He says he doesn’t have a creative bone in his body and had not picked up a paintbrush since he was a child. As part of my process that I often call “when life gives you lemons”, I had him do a still life.
He is now enthusiastic about how the simple exercise has opened his eyes to trying things that he never thought possible. He found it allowed him to delve into his creative side and open his mind to new possibilities. He now has more confidence in being more curious and looking at opportunities more broadly, and understanding how to apply the experience of artistic creativity to his business and life.
For me, I try to do new and different things continually. I painted yesterday’s daily watercolour using ink. A subtle change, but ink is a different medium, particularly in the intensity of the colour (or lack of colour for the purists). A slight difference, but I am sure a couple of new neurons connected.
One of the main reasons we often don’t try something new is that we are afraid we will blot our copybook, mostly metaphorically, but sometimes literally.
But, if you do muck up, who cares. It is about giving it a go that is the crucial element here, not what the outcome is.