Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gun to Your Head...sort of

How do you create under a deadline? No matter what you are doing with art, whether it is part of your job or if you do it as a hobby there will be some situation(s) where you have to create on a deadline. You don't have time to go sit in your little Zen space and let the rain of creativity fall in the misty mountains of get the point. You don't have time.

I actually got some ideas for this from a conference I attended a couple of years ago. The key to being creative on a deadline is continue to fill your creative box. Go with me for a minute.

Imagine a box. In the box are all your creative ideas. To be able to be creative on a deadline we have to have a full box. Here are some notes that I took from the conference.

1. Expand your world - Find a way to experience new things. Read, listen to new music, pursue with a passion to expand your world.

2. Train Your Brain - We have to escape what is known. This includes things like brainstorming, and asking great questions. One interesting idea was called Random Input. Here's how it works.

- Ask the question you are trying to deal with. For example, "How can we make our band better with...?"

- Then have everyone pull something out of their pocket, manpurse, whatever and hand it to the person on their right.

- Take a few minutes and answer the question. "How can we make our band better with (whatever is in your hand)?"

This might not get you to a final answer but it sparks creativity.

3. Invest the Time - You thought there was a way around this didn't you? You have to invest the time to process and capture ideas. You have to invest time to keep the box full.

"If you and I fail to paint the masterpiece no one will."

So when you have a gun to your head and have to come up with a creative idea the best thing you could do is prepare for the moment. Expand your world, invest the time, fill your box. It will always pay off.

*These ideas came from a session entitled "Unlimited Creativity" presented by Mark Miller.


  1. Good stuff. I like that idea of pulling something out of your manpurse to create a spark... I also think that practicing spontaneous creativity is important. Sounds weird to practice spontaneity but it's true. One thing I learned from Improv Class is that there is a muscle in your brain used for spontaneity and we've got to use it and work it like all other muscles or we'll lose it. So, to add to what Brian has said... Sit down from time to time and pull things outta that manpurse and see what creative ideas you can come up with...just for the fun of it!

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