Beginnings – what does it mean to be creative?

I started off by watching ‘The creative brain’ Netflix. I’m keen that sources for this project are not just books and articles, but also include video, TV, conversations with people, going to events and so on.

The key themes that emerged from the programme were (I like lists):

  • Creativity is part of our existence
  • Failure is your friend
  • ‘It makes the spirit sing!’
  • “Creativity is an act, idea or product that changes the existing domain or transforms the domain into a new one.”

Elements important for creativity were outlined as:

  • Rather than having a blank canvass it is important to have Techniques, Tools and Tonnes of material to work with. What I’m going to call the 3T bedrock of creativity
  • One does not always have to come up with completely original ideas. You can take an idea from one place and use it in another
  • Synthesis of existing ideas is still something new
  • Bending, Breaking and Blending – the idea of refashioning into something new
  • Sometimes by enforcing a restriction, this encourages creativity, as we have to find ways round it e.g. 100 ways to use a paperclip, sculpture has to fit within 20cmx20cmx20cm

And then what do we need to do to become more creative:

  • Try something new
  • Get off the path of least resistance
  • Push boundaries
  • Create something that’s not too new or too familiar
  • Not be afraid to fail

Many of these ideas, I was already aware of but particularly picked up on the 3Ts idea. People need techniques to develop their practice, tools to form their ideas and the materials around them in abundance. All of these three can spark creativity. A blank canvass, blank page can be way too daunting.

I also like the idea of Bending, Breaking and Blending – no need to create something right from scratch, you can use existing ideas, tools or techniques and change them, maybe by implementing in a whole new scenario. I was taught how to knit with wire by a very talented artist who made animals and birds using this technique. In my practice I use it to create more abstract sculptures.


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