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Practical Creativity

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How can you be more creative? What happens when you get stuck? How can you build a creative habit?

Published in: Design

Practical Creativity

  1. 1. PRACTICAL CREATIVITY DAN SAFFER @ODANNYBOY
  2. 2. (Ugh.)
  3. 3. 2008 Interaction08 Two cello recitals Three major design projects 10+ speaking engagements Started a design studio Wrote a book
  4. 4. BY 2011, I WAS DONE.
  5. 5. JIM HARRISON Trying to teach creativity is the major hoax of our time.
  6. 6. PRACTICAL CREATIVITY REFRAME CREATIVITY BUILDING THE CREATIVE HABIT FAILURE AND GETTING UNSTUCK
  7. 7. MICHAEL BIERUT I don’t think design involves that much creativity. It involves creativity in the way doing a crossword puzzle involves creativity. You need some imagination and knowledge. I think of artists as creative because they have to invent something out of nothing. I think designers design because they can’t invent something out of nothing.
  8. 8. PRACTICAL CREATIVITY Imagination + Knowledge Outside Constraints x Time
  9. 9. IF YOU WANT TO BE MORE CREATIVE, SPEND MORE TIME WITH THE PROBLEM.
  10. 10. STEVE JOBS When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.
  11. 11. THE THREE HARDEST PARTS OF ANY CREATIVE PROJECT 1. STARTING 2. KEEPING GOING 3. FINISHING
  12. 12. CHUCK CLOSE: If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you.
  13. 13. JOHN CLEESE We don’t know where we get our ideas from. What we do know is that we don’t get them from our laptops.
  14. 14. IF YOU WANT TO BE SOMETHING DIFFERENT, YOU HAVE TO DO DIFFERENT THINGS.
  15. 15. BUILDING THE CREATIVE HABIT
  16. 16. READ BOOKS XXX
  17. 17. WHEN YOU’RE STARTING OUT, READ AS MANY DESIGN BOOKS AS YOU CAN. ONCE YOU’RE ESTABLISHED, READ AS FEW AS YOU CAN.
  18. 18. BLOCK OFF TIME FOR CREATIVITY
  19. 19. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO UNDERSTAND WHEN YOU’RE THE MOST (AND LEAST) CREATIVE AND USE THAT TIME WISELY.
  20. 20. START WITH A RITUAL
  21. 21. TWYLA THARP: It’s vital to establish some rituals—automatic but decisive patterns of behavior—at the beginning of the creative process, when you are most at peril of turning back, chickening out, giving up, or going the wrong way.
  22. 22. ?? ??? ? KEEP A LIST OF BIG QUESTIONS
  23. 23. KEEPING YOUR BRAIN ON A LOW SIMMER ALLOWS FOR SERENDIPITY.
  24. 24. KEEP NOTEBOOKS
  25. 25. TAKE WALKS
  26. 26. 2014 STANFORD STUDY Walking indoors or outdoors boosted creative inspiration. The act of walking itself, and not the environment, was the main factor. Creativity levels were consistently and significantly higher for those walking compared to those sitting. Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking by Marily Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz
  27. 27. FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
  28. 28. FILL THE WELLFILL THE WELL
  29. 29. EFFICIENCY CAN BE THE ENEMY OF CREATIVITY.
  30. 30. KILL YOUR DEFAULTS
  31. 31. MARCELA SAPONE It's your job to do things that make you uncomfortable. That is how you gain wisdom. It is your job to use everything you do as a learning opportunity and to see how things are connected. That is how you build creativity.
  32. 32. CREATE A BAG OF LENSES.
  33. 33. TURN OFF THE STREAM
  34. 34. 2015 SMART PHONE USE STUDY Participants estimated an average of 37 uses throughout the day, but the actual number was around 85 “Beyond Self-Report: Tools to Compare Estimated and Real-World Smartphone Use,” Sally Andrews
  35. 35. 2011 UVA STUDY In 11 experiments involving more than 700 people, the majority of participants reported that they found it unpleasant to be alone in a room with their thoughts for just 6 to 15 minutes.
  36. 36. BE COMFORTABLE WITH INTROSPECTION.
  37. 37. SCREEN SABBATICALS AND SHABBOTS
  38. 38. TIFFANY SHLAIN The idea is that one day a week, you need to get your mind in a different mode, you need to not work. Every week, your brain—and your soul—needs to be reset.
  39. 39. 2016 STUDY ON ASSOCIATIVE ACTIVATION A high mental load consistently diminished the originality and creativity of subjects’ responses “Associative Activation and Its Relation to Exploration and Exploitation in the Brain,” Moshe Bar
  40. 40. MEDITATE
  41. 41. 2014 LEIDEN UNIVERSITY STUDY The advantages of particular types of meditation extend much further than simply relaxation. The findings support the belief that meditation can have a long-lasting influence on human cognition, including how we think and how we experience events. Meditate to create: the impact of focused-attention and open-monitoring training on convergent and divergent thinking by Lorenza S. Colzato, Ayca Ozturk and Bernhard Hommel, '
  42. 42. HAVE A HOBBY OR SIDE PROJECT(S)
  43. 43. THE POINT OF A CREATIVE PRACTICE IS TO HEIGHTEN SENSITIVITY.
  44. 44. YOUR BRAIN IS A RADIO
  45. 45. FAILURE AND GETTING STUCK
  46. 46. THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A HARDER TIME TO BE CREATIVE FOR ONE REASON: INSTANT FEEDBACK.
  47. 47. THINGS I’VE BEEN CALLED RECENTLY: paternalistic scum misinformed glib sensationalistic reactionary wrong a smart jerk 
  48. 48. FOCUS ON MAKING A BODY OF WORK, NOT ANY ONE INDIVIDUAL PIECE.
  49. 49. NEVER CELEBRATE FAILURE ITSELF. CELEBRATE LEARNING FROM FAILURE.
  50. 50. A COMPLETE LIST OF THINGS THAT INHIBIT CREATIVITY: 1. EVERYTHING
  51. 51. WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET STUCK
  52. 52. HENRY DAVID THOREAU It is the spirit in which you do a thing which makes it interesting, whether it is sweeping a room or pulling turnips.
  53. 53. IF THE TASK IS BORING, MAKE THE WAY YOU DO THE TASK INTERESTING.
  54. 54. PAUL SAHRE I think designers who aren’t selfish do really awful work. I think there needs to be a motivation at the core of the work. There needs to be a motivation for the designer to go beyond the point where most people would stop.
  55. 55. SYLVIA PLATH The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
  56. 56. ACT AS THOUGH YOU ARE 10% MORE COURAGEOUS.
  57. 57. ASK FOR HELP. IT’S NOT AN ADMISSION OF FAILURE.
  58. 58. TWO UNSTUCK STRATEGIES 1. Power through it. 2. Procrastinate.
  59. 59. POWER THROUGH IT WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND HOW YOU’LL DO IT.
  60. 60. PROCRASTINATE WHEN YOU “HIT THE WALL”
  61. 61. SEARCH FOR THE FEELING BEHIND THE PROCRASTINATION.
  62. 62. BEST WAYS TO PROCRASTINATE Take a walk Take a shower Take a drive Go somewhere new Drink alcohol
  63. 63. JEFF BEENE Alcohol is for generating ideas. Caffeine is for documenting them.
  64. 64. SOMETIMES IT IS ONLY WHEN WE STOP TRYING THAT THE SOLUTION ARRIVES.
  65. 65. PRACTICAL CREATIVITY REFRAME CREATIVITY BUILDING THE CREATIVE HABIT FAILURE AND GETTING UNSTUCK
  66. 66. BE WEIRD, BE UNUSUAL, BE CREATIVE: THAT’S WHAT WILL SAVE YOU.
  67. 67. THANK YOU DAN SAFFER @ODANNYBOY

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