Friday, March 27, 2009

Mind Space

So this is part 2 of a 3 part thought on creativity. To be honest, this is the one that I probably have the most trouble with. Something you should know about me is that I am part Artist and part Administrator. This is a paradox I am still struggling to come to grips with. That said, part of my problem in this area is that I need a system to capture ideas and sort them and be able to come back to them later. Unfortunately I haven't worked it out completely. But one thing that has really worked for me is a journal devoted completely to artistic ideas and whimsy.

A journal is a great thing. It becomes the bucket that holds all the creative thoughts that ooze out of the cosmos of the mind into one place. I highly recommend the black and white composition books. The important thing is that they have a string binding and not glue. I will be very adamant about this. The string is important.

So how do you capture the ideas once you have them?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nehemiah - It Doesn't Take Long for the Haters

So Nehemiah has done this incredibly insane thing and set out to rebuild the walls. He actually recruited people and they were next to him and he was next to them. Now let's all hold hands and sing nice happy songs together. Oh wait a minute. Here come the haters.

There were a group of people not so interested in this sense of community and accomplishment. And it doesn't take them long to give voice to their sneers and throw their judgments like Molotov Cocktails. "What are they doing? Will they restore? Are they going to finish in a day?" Blah Blah Blah.

There will always be haters. They will always speak. Loudly. They will speak to others about you. They will speak to others about your work. They will condemn, criticize and corrupt the things you are trying to do.

Screw the haters.

White Space

So every once in a while I try to clear my mind. I mean really clear it. It's amazing how long 5 minutes seems when you are just trying to be still. I literally can't seem to do it. So if a creative idea or epiphany is going to register it has to come crashing in. It literally has to crash into every random thought already firing and dismantle my synapses and realign them snapping and crackling with this great new vision that must be seen or heard.

This doesn't happen as often as I would like. And sometimes it hurts because it happens at 4am and then you have to do something with it right then or lose it forever.

So I have to find some ways to create White Space. I have to do some dismantling on my own. When I know I need some creative thinking time there are a few things I try in order to prepare myself for a slightly less violent means of creation. Here are a couple...

1. Plan ahead - Plan ahead for creative inspiration? Blasphemy! Not really. If I know I'm having a hard time getting the White Space I need I look at the calendar, choose a day that I can spend some time and I prepare for it.

2. Turn off the media - I will take a few days and not listen to anything. No podcasts, no radio, no tv (well not much). I find after a couple of days of this media fast the random flutter of thoughts are processed until my brain finally shuts up.

3. Embrace the White - Sometimes this is the hardest part for me. To give myself permission to stare at the wall.... And do nothing.... To wait.... To wait some more.... To stare at the wall....

And then the warm glow. The fuzzy feeling that slowly comes into focus. The connection of unlike things that now make perfect sense. The epiphany that can be held and processed and shaped into the next creative piece that you jettison into the world.

These are just a couple of ideas. I would love to hear what you do with the White Space.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Two Words

I haven't forgotten about the three part blog but I came up with this first so...

Did you know that the only two words that Pluto (from Disney) spoke were "Kiss Me". (Bet you didn't see that coming)

So I am staring at a Disney cup that we have that has that little tidbit and I started thinking what I would say if I only had two words. I thought about "Jesus Saves", "Love Jesus", "Jesus Loves". Then I thought about something that I could never say. "Follow Me". My life wouldn't hold up to that kind of scrutiny on my own with only those two words. Jesus' life did.

He often said "Follow me." If Jesus could only say two words I think that might have been all He would need. If people did that they would get it. The best that even Paul could say was, "Follow me as I follow Christ." Following Jesus would be the riskiest, costliest, most difficult, challenging adventure I could go on. If it isn't than I'm probably not following Him like I should.

So if I only had two words (and now I bet you wish this was the case) they would be "Follow Jesus". My hope is that if you aren't following Jesus that you will. If you are following Jesus I hope you would be able to say, like Paul, "Follow me like I'm following Jesus." And if people did it would be a good thing for people to see.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

White Space, Mind Space and Creative Use of Space

I've been thinking about this for awhile and now I think I'm going to tackle my first three part blog posting. We live in a day and age that is moving faster and faster. Computers continue to get faster and cheaper. We have more gadgets, widgets and wickets that help us track more, engage more and process more everyday.

The clutter that we are creating is intense and unrelenting.

I have recently been following Seth Godin's blog and reading some of his books. One of the things he talks about a great deal is doing something remarkable. Doing something that forces people to stand up and take notice.

The challenge for the artist and for anyone trying to do something remarkable is that you have to break through the clutter. With that in mind, I really want to start a conversation about how people function in three different areas. White Space, Mind Space and Creative Use of Space. Maybe you don't think of your creative process in these terms or at all but I needed three titles for the posts.

White Space - How do you find time to stare at the wall and tap into the Mothership. The white space of the empty page forces me to find the time to let my mind go blank and tap into something different than my normal everyday thinking. Do you schedule time? Is it the same time everyday? What do you do when the inspiration just isn't there?

Mind space - How do you get in the proper mindset to be creative? What you do once you actually have an idea?. Do you stop everything? Write it on a post-it? Do you actually just remember it when you need to?

Creative Use of Space - Where do you find yourself the most creative? Where do you tune in the Mothership with the greatest level of success? What is the environment that turns that blank page into a blog post that is way too long?

I would love to hear from you and I will tackle each of these spaces separately over the next few days.