In the third session of Experimental Making with Creative Guru Michael Atavar we examined the ways in which familiar things can be seeing in a new manner. Indeed, in his great book 12Rules of Creativity , Michael suggests to create new ways of seeing things, proposing boundaries or instructions, and diving into the familiar with the zest of the adventurer. We have been here several times, and it is never tiring, albeit the attention tends to go to the familiar places and objects. This is part of my evolution as artist, and also a good way to keep on my drawing practice, and the results are rather revealing. Frames are as important as the objects themselves, and they can become interesting items on their own right. I noticed that by diverting my attention toward the frames I could take a different focus.
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Share on Share on Creativity is an important driver of entrepreneurship and innovation, and is increasingly being recognised as something that can be analysed, researched, taught and practised.
The author is an artist and consultant who blends creativity with business, art and psychology see more resources here. Here are my key takeaways and tips for entrepreneurs, artists and innovators from this compact page book.
Open your eyes Develop a practice of just looking and listening — at cars, mobile phones, and even sunsets. Describe what you see, in detail. Encourage self-reflection and your own creative instincts. Even in the digital age, pencils and drawings help the creative process. Recording opens the door to tuning in.
Keep a visual log, and try to find connecting narratives. Creativity responds to rigour and discipline. Prepare the space A regular space should be used for the creative experience — this can be a room, desk or even a notebook. Creativity is as much a process and attitude as a product. You should be able to step out of this space and back in regularly. This can also be expressed through painting, sketching, and even random dance steps.
It is also important to get feedback from others. Expose your work to others. Play There is also a component of fun, play and even messiness in the creative process.
Start building things on the floor. Lying on the floor changes your worldview. Look at your past notepads and diaries as well; creativity is a method for investigating the self.
Interview yourself and ask about your motto, philosophy, colours, numbers, and secrets, advises Michael. What would happen if you called yourself a director or film maker? However, ideas are only the starting step: execution is as important. Use images Images are powerful triggers for creativity, particularly for visual learners. Drawing helps engage with ideas and shape them, via form, colour and charts. See if you can draw dirt, mirrors, waves, gold dust, catapults and chocolate boxes.
Does a rose reflect the beauty and thorniness of your current situation? Metaphors along with drawing encourage new pathways. Photographs can provide the spark for a project. Other ways to unlock oneself from the present include standing under a waterfall, climbing a mountain to get a new view, travelling back in time, and even unlocking a barely used room. See things in a different way. Live your day backwards - even down to the meals, Michael jokes. Give an idea a title, such as The Horizontal, or Process A.
Switch places and roles. In the organisational setting, ask for regular suggestions and conduct think-tank sessions often. Use a creative object to get into the creative mood. Redecorate or shuffle the office. Pay attention to the ambience, not just the central focus. There will be risk in such activities, of course — for example, via harsh criticism.
It is therefore important to place emphasis on simplicity and instinct. Develop failure There will always be shadows, mists, phantoms and even mistakes along the creative journey, but all of them are instructive. Keep moving, and have a conversation with yourself as you move through a series of possible futures that include failure steps. Other perspectives and viewpoints help in interpreting success or failure.
Check-in Listen to yourself. Take a no-computer day, advises Michael. Use this as a daily compass. Describe your emotional state using colours and metaphors. Ask for what you want. Even in the digital age, it helps to do physical things. Let your work sit for a while. Set mini-projects, for example, for one hour period.
Some of these will need to be abandoned along the way. Use colour Colours and shifts of colouring schemes also jiggle the creative muscle. Use colour to bypass static thinking, and invoke the child-like impulses of different colouring materials, advises Michael.
Converse with creative blocks Despite these techniques, blocks can continue to emerge. Talk to your creative blocks, have a dialogue with them, and remove the lines between you and your blocks.
Draw the blocks, take them to the supermarket, ask how them how they feel, jokes Michael. Alternate between the visible and invisible, between excitement and boredom. Randomise Random elements and stimuli jolt you into new creative states of mind. Add unpredictability to your work; work with chaos. Create phrases from random words. Throw the dice. Accidental poetry can help here, and even turning things backwards or upside down.
Much has been written about bio-mimicry and its impact on innovation, such as velcro. Draw nature and its variability — in cloud, vapour, light, and even dirt and empty space. The journey of looking and losing, of gaining and returning, is essential to creativity. Try doing things differently — such as use your left hand if you are a right-hander. Try a blindfold, crutches, or wheelchair to understand difference. Pick random words from the Bible, guidebook or thesaurus to trigger new thoughts.
Lose the ego Slow down your turntable, advises Michael. Instead of being the lead, be the assistant. Work with different groups, and write down what creative elements are missing in you. Tap informal networks. Flashback to what interested you earlier. You may end up stumbling upon the solution from a backward glance, an accidental slip-up, a mismatch, or a surprising source. Choose a random book, TV channel, radio station, or old magazine to depart familiar territory.
To wrap up, some of the material in the book is repetitive and puzzling; more rigour, references and case studies would have helped, but the book is an intriguing guide to creative behaviours.
You must devote enough time, resources, and space to your creative capacity building. How has the coronavirus outbreak disrupted your life? And how are you dealing with it?
Openness, randomness and acceptance of failure: 12 steps to creativity, by Michael Atavar
Share on Share on Creativity is an important driver of entrepreneurship and innovation, and is increasingly being recognised as something that can be analysed, researched, taught and practised. The author is an artist and consultant who blends creativity with business, art and psychology see more resources here. Here are my key takeaways and tips for entrepreneurs, artists and innovators from this compact page book. Open your eyes Develop a practice of just looking and listening — at cars, mobile phones, and even sunsets. Describe what you see, in detail. Encourage self-reflection and your own creative instincts. Even in the digital age, pencils and drawings help the creative process.
Looking At Art (With Your Eyes Closed) - Michael Atavar's Creative Courses From Tate
He works with individuals and businesses, helping to solve professional problems, using creativity as a key. And what is the real magic? Michael Atavar: Rationality is important — data is useful, especially in business, but my book takes a different approach and explores the irrational as a source of ideas. The unconscious, what sits under the surface of the mind. We carry this library of information with us all the time and we can use it to generate new material — if we are open to it, if we are willing to experiment.
Atavar himself is contributing a series of digital landscapes to the event. The pieces are called sciis - an acronym for "sensitive cumulative intelligent immersive systems". Visitors to the ICA will be able to view and navigate their way through a dreamlike series of kinetic, 3D landscapes. Michael Atavar: looking at the scii through a Window Atavar says his project was influenced by the meditative quality of the monumental colourfield paintings of s abstract expressionist Barnett Newman.