You too can create voodoo! I'm of the opinion that everyone has some of that creative sauce within them - a wellspring that’s tapped into the primordial soup of awesomeness where ideas are infinite. Some people seem to have ideas on draught (not me) but it could also take the shape of a shallow puddle, sometimes a gushing fire hydrant of tigerblood or perhaps a giant lake full of gross things and sharktopussies. Everyone's is different. Mine feels like an above ground pool because I'm classy. Maybe there's some rainbow-colored spongey noodles floating around in there too...
Usually I get inspired by other manifestations of saucy creativity including but not limited to art, music, words, YOUR blog - yes you reading this, talking to children, talking to scientists and especially talking to children scientists, really good tv like reruns of The Golden Girls, all manner of designy things and wearing sparkly jewelry. Whatever sorts of ideas that manage to get stirred up in my head then drag themselves out of my brain's primordial soup and onto the sunny shore (or splintery deck in this case...) for distribution. Then it's filtered through a fine sieve of my personal collection of pop culture references and tragic childhood memories, dusted with glitter, spanked and then thrown out into the world. Only then can it evolve into a majestic unicorn of gorgeous mood board awesomeness or a badass kitchen or other general amazingness. More times than not it's a jackalope in the form of a lame dick joke that goes nowhere. A dickalope. It's really anybody's guess as to what these little drops of sauce will grow to be. I just set them free from my brain and hope for the best. They're yearning to be free! Spread your wings and fly to your possibly successful destiny, dickalope!!
And freedom is the key. Giving yourself freedom is the way you break down all the walls and baby gates in your brain that surround your above ground pool of awesomeness to let your own ideas evolve.
As a young Madame I had the good fortune of being in one of those special programs for Smarty McNerdypants where we were embarrassingly pulled away from regular class by an eccentric teacher with frizzy hair to attend a different class full of other Smarty McNerdypants kids. It looked like a classroom on Hoarders with piles of yellowed newspapers and puzzles everywhere, old couches rather than desks and laminated reproduction Renaissance art taped on the cinderblock walls.
We talked about big ideas not just nouns and verbs and spent our time solving problems using lateral thinking instead of addition and subtraction. We weren't taught how to be creative, we were taught how to navigate through the roadblocks to get to the space where creativity just happened. We made trails to our creative juice and then paved them with practice. We were given the freedom to throw out some possible dickalopes and a safe place for them to fall when they failed. At least for an hour or two each week.
Everybody has ideas - some more than others - but creativity isn't gifted upon a fortunate few, it's a skill that can be developed and refined if you allow yourself the freedom to do so.** People might ask where your ideas come from but they’re really asking how to find their own source of sauce. Maybe they never did logic puzzles sitting on a sagging couch next to a boy who had a weird blinking problem and smelled like peanut butter so they don't know that they have the sauce too.
|all images are Barbara & Michael Leisgen via Little Lamb|
So get free, y'all! Climb a mountain or let your mind wander while you're brushing your teeth or read a blog and then nurture whatever frivolity comes from that and then set it free upon the world! And then do that shit every day.
And if you can’t find any freedom a menacing deadline usually works wonders for pulling something creative out of your ass. Turns out, that’s a pretty direct route to where your ideas are too.
*If you can name that song I'll give you twelve cool points and possibly a tongue kiss.
**You can't change what your pool looks like, only how you use your noodle. And THAT, my friends, is the lamest pun in the history of the world. A dickalope for sure.***
***Excessive footnoting is in homage to The Monster Apathy who footnotes like a muthafucka and has a blog full of freedom and inspiration. And dick jokes.