Water Donavan's Observations on Unblocking Creativity
Last Updated: March 3rd 2009
Walter Donavan is a writer and graphic artist living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His primary interest is our return to God.
His website at revelation7stages has more information.
You wanted a few words on unblocking professional
creativity? Well, I don't see any difference between unblocking professional
creativity and unblocking any other form of creativity. :)
But here are a few thoughts, mostly germane to graphics. Writing is sort of second nature to me now, so I don't experience many writing blocks any more. I love what I write about - how could I be blocked?
Discussing matters with colleagues can be invaluable. I unblocked time after time, year after year, simply by asking respected peers for help.
Being aware that the purpose of the universe is to bring you answers opens the senses to what is all around you all the time: billboards, bumper stickers, conversations overheard, magazines casually flipped through, web sites browsed, etc., etc. There is no limit to this. Jung called it synchronicity.
I often came away from classes, professional association meetings, etc., with new ideas.
A simple change of activity is very important. Do what you like: take a walk, read a book, walk on the beach, listen to music, meditate, etc.
Intense physical activity can help enormously. At my age, I go for a walk, stretch, do isometrics, etc. But I used to find an hour on the racquetball court one of the best things I could do for myself and my creativity.
I get a lot of answers in the shower. Some people get them in dreams. Or visions. Or whatever.
A vacation can be a tremendous source of inspiration.
At my particular stage of spiritual evolution, I seldom get direct answers in prayer or meditation. "O Universe, what should I do here?" usually draws a cosmic blank. More often I get a sense of peace. When I get that, (a) I know everything will be OK, and (b) I do whatever seems the right next thing. It's guaranteed; see below.
One important deal to make with the cosmos is that you have the right to have your difficult choices supported, if they are correct, or harmlessly blocked, if they are incorrect. This frees you to make your best choice without requiring that the universe give you a daily schedule covering all your activities at 15-minute intervals. That is, if you don't have the answer, and have to do something, and you've done the obvious like talking to people, just ask to be supported or corrected - then take your best shot. It works.
An approach some people use is called the teapot method of problem solving. You gather all the facts you can, put them in a mental teapot, let it simmer for a few hours, days or weeks, and then see what pops into your mind. Some people literally write on scraps of paper and toss them into a teapot.
A valuable way I often use is like the teapot method but simpler and quicker. I get out a legal pad and write down everything I know about the situation. Pros, cons, facts, fears, whatever. Doing it on the computer is absolutely NOT the same thing. Writing by hand uses different parts of the brain.
Outlining can be helpful. Tonight I solved a flyer design by just doing an outline in Word of everything I wanted people to learn from the flyer. Tomorrow, doing the flyer in Publisher should be relatively easy.
A method I use for doing graphics on the computer is very simple: start doing a graphic, any graphic--even if it has nothing to do with what I need. Draw a shape. Give it a fill. I come up with all sorts of things that way. I file them for possible later use. If I can't use them directly, I can often use their ideas.
In graphics, there is nothing like playing with plug-ins. Some of my best stuff is just plug-ins--but you might never know it. I also love working with gradients, textures, fills, and fancy text.
I get a lot of good stuff from a high-consciousness graphics newsgroup. Those people are really good, and helpful, too.
Processes can be helpful. Here's a potent checklist that can help in many situations.
- Be impeccable with your word. Period.
- Don't take anything personally. It's not
about you. Period.
- Don't make assumptions. Period.
- Always do your best. Period.
Getting any one of those right takes effort.
Getting all four of them right at one time seems superhuman, but
guarantees all sorts of wonderful stuff.
Personally, I love ancient stuff: myths, legends, symbols, languages, cultures, religions and philosophies, etc. Bible stuff is my bag. I can really get inside their ancient heads. I can contemplate a dragon or a star and come up with all sorts of ideas.
I also get inspiration from pictures, especially good graphics. I love to look at them and say, "Hmm, how was that done?" Or, "Gee, I wonder if I could do that?" Then I try it.
Hope that helps.
Kathryn Jacobs writes about Breaking The Brain Block. Read here...