creative spark or … rastrophiliopustrocity

 

sparkphoto consulting

sparkphoto consulting

—–

“You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.

 

What mood is that?

 

Last-minute panic. “

=

Bill Watterson

—–

 

Ok.

 

Every once in a while you learn a new word which is worth learning.

 

Rastrophiliopustrocity is one.

 

——

 

 

creative spark and actionRastrophiliopustrocity is a barrage of creative random thoughts, images, and ideas that spontaneously overwhelms the brain, which then becomes immediately exercised when other parts of your brain engage within spacious awareness from an empty point.

 

 

——

Oh my.

 

What a thought.

 

Barrage of creative random thoughts engaging from an empty point.

 

 

Well.

 

First.

 

I believe a creative spark needs some fodder. It doesn’t arise from nothing.

Because … well … nothing begets nothing.

 

There has to be something from which a spark can occur.

 

Or as i quoted in my ‘rabbits and ideas post’ … “… not even the best magician in the world can produce a rabbit out of a hat if there is not already a rabbit in the hat.”  <Boris Lermontov>

http://brucemctague.com/?s=rabbits+and+ideas

That said.

 

 

Second.

 

I have yet to see a process that ensures great creative.

<everyone should please note, and be highly impressed, with the proper use of ensure versus insure … although I am not sure if it is proper or not but the fact I used ensure should lead everyone to believe I knew what I was doing>

 

Having been in the creation of creative output business for years … I have run into far too many creative generating companies <tangible as well as ideas> that revolve around some mystical ‘process’ for creative output.

 

These processes get put up in beautiful charts outlining step by step how past great ideas have been consistently generated.

 

And oddly … the mystical processes are most often endorsed by the pragmatic boring logical anal people randomly strewn throughout these creative organizations <who want to define creativity so that in some way they can appear to control the creativity>.

 

They processes are typically endorsed by ex-anal mid level people or CFO’s.

They are typically endorsed <and embraced> by people who want to manage their creative output like manufacturing plants.

 

Drives me nuts.

 

Here is a creative business truth.

 

A rigid process is counterproductive to the creative process.

creativity not tidy

It is counter to the sometimes haphazardness of true creative thinking and will stymie if not stifle the best thinking.

 

In addition .. a rigid process often eliminates what we all know happens all the time <which is counterintuitively not a bad thing> that … uh oh … we often revise an original strategy document because of a creative idea.

 

Uh oh.

This is the insidious uncomfortable ‘revising strategy once you have seen output’ discussion.

 

I have had this debate so many times I think I could write a book <or just watch my head explode>.

 

What happens when a strategy changes in this way is it makes people think that creative thinking drives strategy.

 

What also happens is that I laugh, throw something sharp if I don’t have anything heavy … and say … ‘No, it’s just like a boomerang. You throw the boomerang out (the original strategy/insight) and it goes out and there is creativity as it passes through the clouds but it ends up coming back to the same place. but the trip thru the clouds and fresh air and rain can enhance the original strategy. “

 

I also point out that means that boomerangs that aren’t properly thrown go astray.

 

This can also translate into the fact that boomerangs that end up in some tree means that idea isn’t ‘the one.’

 

Okay.

 

Bad metaphor but anybody who believes a well written strategy or insight is perfect … and shouldn’t change … is nuts.

It is simply well written.

 

And by being well written it inspires, it creates the ‘spark’, the overall creative thinking which ultimately generates the end ideas.

creative spark hand

In the end a great thinking process enhances the likelihood you can uncover a great insight. Not an “actionable insight” or some “big idea insight” <I have an entire diatribe coming on insights> but some great insight that inspires thinking.

 

Some people refer to that as “input.”

<but that doesn’t sound sexy enough>

 

And input is what creativity needs. A process, or even an insight, doesn’t generate the output … it simply provides input.

 

Or maybe it is inspires …  rastrophiliopustrocity

 

BUT.

 

A great process has another benefit which all creative generating companies want, need and rarely get.

 

Alignment.

 

Huh?

 

What the fuck does that have to do with generating creativity? or a creative spark?

 

Well.

It doesn’t.

 

However.

A good process provides an opportunity to solidify an aligned objective and manage expectations.

That alone can make a process valuable.

 

Do not underestimate the importance of alignment with regard to creative thinking and ideas.

 

More good, and great, creative thinking dies from presentation and articulation and ‘agreement’ than anywhere else. Far too often … creative sparks get smothered in presentation and discussion.

 

So alignment and input actually paves the way for actually DOING great creative thinking.

 

All this means is that process is EXACTLY like research.

It is to inform not to execute.

 

Now.

 

I do see a disturbing trend in the creative creation businesses that with timelines getting tighter and people wanting things faster … and everyone treating every piece of business like a retail business … that a lot of smaller/mid size businesses <who typically fear losing a client more so than a larger one> are using an initial client/agency immersion session … as a creative briefing session.

 

What I mean is that they seek shortcuts to the end creative output.

What they do is include all creative creators and non-creative creators in one room along with some moderator who typically guides the discussion with strategy or creative thinking in mind.

 

 

Now.

 

That’s high risk and high return territory.

Depends on how good your moderator is.

As well as a confluence of factors <because as noted earlier … what works one time may not work another time>.

speak blahs

Oh.

And another thing. It also depends on whether the listeners hear everything that they are supposed to hear <and everyone hears the same thing>.

 

Another thing <part 2> … it depends on whether you have people in place who can quickly assimilate information and have good, if not great, ability to come up with smart, insightful good initial ideas.

 

And to be clear.

While many people in the creative business flippantly say that ‘often the initial idea and thinking is the best’ … more often than not … it is not.

 

More often it is simply a good starting place.

 

Look.

 

In these short cut type meetings I have seen the best of the best in action. And even then … arriving at a clear non debatable insight, or whatever you are aiming for, is not a 100% guarantee.

 

More often you end up circling the answer but struggle to pin it down because, of course, doing so means making choices <and … reminder … you are in a group>.

 

And while earlier choices in the session are easy … toward the end of the meeting session when you are seeking a conclusion … the choices are difficult.

 

And when that happens the creative thinkers fall into information overload and … well … as my good well respected creative friend Luke Sullivan used to tell me … ‘Bruce, please just tell me what I need to know.’

 

Anyway.

 

Process provides input … but should never be construed as the ways & means to creative spark.

 

Third.

 

Creative spark is really simply divergent thinking.

 

Thinking where you seek more verbs than nouns.

Thinking when you seek to stand for something instead of everything … or nothing.

Thinking when your mind just says … well … fuck it.

 

 

crowd follow lost

 

“Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say fuck it.”

=

Johnny Knoxville

 

 

Real creative sparks … the ones that matter … are really a combination of a “fuck it” <ignore conventional thinking and conventional ‘wants’> and “where did that fucking idea come from” type moments.

 

Oh.

And maybe a little bit of some personal ‘fuck its.’

An internal decision to leave the conventional and take a chance.

 

I say this because while I am not a creative artist or writer per se … I have encountered creative sparks.

 

They can be overwhelming.

In fact … I can honestly say that they are more often overwhelming than they are any blinding flash of insight or thought.

 

It is weaving your way through the barrage of thought that seemingly crashes out from this black void in which you have seen nothing … or nothing clearly … that the creative idea arises.

 

Uhm … rastrophiliopustrocity in other words.

 

Anyway.

 

There will always be a need … a time & a place … for creative thinking.

Therefore we will always be seeking to uncover how to generate a ‘creative spark’ on call.

 

The difficulty is that creative sparks come from that black void called ‘the creative thinking space.’

 

There is no formula for a creative process or creative thinking. What works for one person doesn’t for another. And maddeningly what works at one time will not work in another time.

 

Therefore creative sparks are elusive to rhyme or reason.

No. They defy rhyme or reason.creative spark consulting

 

And that is maddening to everyone … but mostly to accountant types, manufacturing types and ‘management measurement gwonks.’

 

In the end?

 

Rastrophiliopustrocity. What a great word.

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Written by Bruce