I was recently at the new Design Museum in London and came across a fascinating little book called the ’12 Rules of Creativity’ by Michael Atavar, an artist and creative consultant. I used to think that creativity was the quality of the select few but over the years have learnt that all of us are creative, we just need to be open and develop our own self-awareness. It was therefore interesting to see that this is very much the thinking of Michael Atavar who helps us discover our creativity through a process of thoughts. Here are extracts of 3 of his Rules of Creativity which resonate most with me and are useful when planning creatives for a PR or marketing campaign.
Allow yourself to develop a practise of just looking and being more aware of what’s going on around you. The everyday is intrinsically interesting so collect daily observations by recording them through words, pictures, structures. Use them to generate new material or thoughts within you.
This applies too to monitoring what’s happening in the world. At Spa PR we monitor the daily news and trends which quite often provide creative hooks for our own client campaigns.
2. Do the opposite
All solutions are chaotic, off-centre and dangerous – until they become part of the mainstream. Then they become normalised through familiarity and use. But until that time, you are working with the opposite in order to encourage surprise in your work and disruption to the status quo.
The life of the artist (creative) is about using the reverse of what’s normally present, making something no one else can see. If everyone is looking one way, at one particular thing, one problem, you need to look in the opposite direction, at contrary things.
Creative thinking is available on any street, in all cities – even in packed commuter carriages at rush hour, on the way to work. However, you can’t normally see it because you are following the crowd, all moving in the same direction. Try reverse thinking!
In our lives we are encouraged to abandon play, to submit to adult conformity. However, what is art making or creativity itself but the same activities that once occupied us as children?
Develop your ability to play in order to strengthen your creative potential. When creatively blocked, get into the habit of lying on the floor and note how your worldview changes. Does it not feel enticing, dangerous, exciting? Don’t worry how long you are able to stay there. Simply rest. Feel supported by the ground. Let your mind wander back to your first memories. Take away the tensions of adulthood and open yourself up to the child.
Have a go and see how it opens up your mind to a whole new way of thinking!
Join me at the National Spa Marketing Conference on 1st June when I’ll be discussing the role of creativity in brand marketing.
12 Rules of Creativity is available from Amazon