A few years ago when at the Design Museum in London, I came across a fascinating little book called the ’12 Rules of Creativity’ by Michael Atavar, an artist and creative consultant. Some think that creativity is a quality of the select few but all of us can be 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 3 of Michael’s Rules of Creativity and 3 of our own tried and tested methods for planning creatives for your PR or marketing campaign.
- Open your eyes
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.
- 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.
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. The idea is to disrupt the status quo.
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.
- Develop a Flexible Mind-set
The mind automatically corrects and completes information to select and activate a pattern on established channels which is why we come up with the same old ideas. Creativity occurs when you make new channels. As an exercise for the mind, try brushing your teeth with your non dominant hand or switching sides of the bed and see how this makes you see things differently.
- Create more than you consume
In today’s world where we are bombarded with information, most of us get caught up in consuming rather than taking action. Like anything, creativity comes with practice and the more we do, the easier it becomes. Try measuring your level of output opposed to input and see how you can gain a better balance. This will also make you feel much more productive and fulfilled.
- Cultivate a Creative Culture
Creativity often works best in a group when one idea sparks off another and another until a solution is found. Cultivate a hunger for creativity amongst your team, encouraging them to be more aware and to look at every angle of a challenge just as a child would.
Every Friday morning at Spa PR we run a creative half hour with our team. This enables us to discuss campaigns which have caught our attention, dissect some of the challenges we are facing and look at them anew. We also run regular ‘apprentice-style’ challenges to push our team to achieve what might at first seem quite impossible.
Why not get creative and see how it opens up your mind to a whole new way of thinking!