Pablo Picasso once said that all children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up. Children are incredibly imaginative, creative, full of resources; they can easily think out-of-the-box, amazing their grown-ups in every possible way. Therefore, how about connecting with our inner child to boost creativity?
Good artists copy, great artists steal
I have a friend. She is an artist, and one of the most creative people I’ve ever found. And yet, she got stuck some time ago. In her words, she was unable to create anything original. The more she tried, the worst.
One day, she told me that she was stealing ideas from other artists as a starting point, as a way to unblock her mind. Instead of working in an empty canvas, she can go crazy exploring the possibilities of an existing piece of art.
Copying others’ work, and transforming it into something different, adding whatever it comes to your mind, it’s a clever way to boost creativity. This is what children do. They take different ideas and transform them into something new, the same way Picasso did many times.
Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working
This week, I’ve really found it hard to write this post. I started writing about different topics, but didn’t feel like my writing was interesting enough. I continued pushing, and somehow this “boost creativity” topic came to me.
While thinking about how to approach a team creativity session for a customer, a student told me that she will miss my class because her art teacher summoned her class in the Prado museum (Madrid) at the same hour. And suddenly, I got it.
For children, this is much easier. They approach the world by playing, and yet there is this non-stop spirit that makes them to go on searching, exploring, and looking for things. All in all, when inspiration comes, they all are “working”.
Pablo Picasso often talked about being professional. He didn’t wait for the inspiration to come to start working. It was more the other way around. He started working, and then the inspiration would come. Take this lesson: don’t wait for the creativity to come, go for it. Create the conditions for your ideas to blossom.
The chief enemy of creativity is good sense
You can play to win or play not to lose. You can play it safe and stick to the rules, or you can make crazy questions about everything. Challenging the status-quo is essential to boost creativity.
Find a safe place to do it. A lab where you can explore all the “what ifs” you could think of. Ask why not, exactly how children do when they come to an idea.
And have fun.