SOFT-SKILLS
3 – TRAIN HARDER, CREATE MORE

Practise makes perfect

ancient proverb

Forging makes a blacksmith

French proverb

WHO'S CREATIVE?

“The more you have, the more you use”

We’ve all heard this phrase (or a similar one), randomly shouted by our famous motivational quotes jukebox kind of friend. “What you don’t understand is that creativity is like muscle you know, you have to train it to perform, etc.”

But WHAT IS actually creativity? 

Often mixed with imagination and the ancient notion of «genius», creativity hints at an innate power only some chosen people possess. Traditionally, creativity was considered as being the sole privilege of higher artists (whose gestures and imagination would even surpass nature as Kant put it). In a way, the creative spirit was (and still is in our society), considered as a visionary.

Another widespread belief affirms that imagination / creativity is innate indeed (the good old “child innocence), and disappears gradually as we age. In this case, adulthood is the creativity equivalent of death by KO.

Lately, it seems that creativity has regained his gallons and stands next to “disruption” on the innovation buzzwords podium. BUT WHY?

Creativity is like a muscle, the more you have, the more you use

every motivational quote jukebox

 WHY IS creativity so popular nowadays? 

If creativity is the skill to think ahead of your time and go the extra step, then you must understand its value to business.

With globalization, cultural harmonization, and all that economic jazz, differentiation becomes more and more challenging. The ability to see things in a new light then helps businesses grow differently. The slight enhancements or major differences added to any product or service ensures a certain distinction for actors playing in a highly competitive field.

On a more humane and down-to-earth level, we also have to realise the new issues we’re facing require high adaptation and imagination on our part… and what is better than creativity to imagine new solutions for future problems?

PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT

Picasso's autoportraits through time. The first is really "true to life" while the last one is very conceptual. The constant style evolution is actually represented with this "check in routine"
Picasso's autoportraits through time

CAN WE LEARN IT THOUGH?

Why would there be art schools / dance schools / acting schools if creativity was a natural gift? For the bests? Or for masochists knowing their case is lost but try anyway in hope for a miracle? 

 

Let’s take a famous example.

PICASSO. As Rome, Picasso wasn’t made in a day. In fact, I even doubt we’d call a younger Picasso’s work A Picasso. But why is that?

The self-portraits gallery above shows that Picasso evolved – quite a lot – in his art.  Each time a different trait is enhanced, removed or simplified.

With his ultimate self portraits, we can recognise «our» Picasso’s cubist style. The more he practised, the more he grew close to what made «the core» of his art.

Chose one, then it’s up to you. You have five minutes

the dreaded creative line

keep track of the line

Back at the HIVE, we had to perform an exercise called: The Creative Line  (which you can do at home as well if you’re really into it) .Its was meant to be integrated in our everyday lives as a “morning routine”. It was the first time Djeff – our program designer –, tested the process on a longer timeframe. 

So, what was exactly The Creative Line? Every morning, entering the cylinder we would find, piled up on a table, samples of colorless coloring-sketches. Of course, the patterns didn’t change from day to day. The rule was written on a small blackboard next to the pile: “Chose one, then it’s up to you. You have five minutes.” Once the time was up, we all posted on Slack to check in with the others – and discover their creations.

Sometimes , during discovery weeks, when we left quite early in the morning, we forgot about the exercise. But the Creative Line never did! It creeped on us like a stalker. Its format (sadly) allowed the staff to bring it everywhere with us.

Creative rules | Eric Viennot

What’s not forbidden is allowed

what the creative line taught me

In the beginning, we experimented with colors, tried different patterns, different places. Then, we realized we could bend the rules to our will – because, you know, what’s not forbidden is allowed. Some started cutting paper, molding it, teaming up, or playing with the material itself… the possibilities were – in theory – endless. Unfortunately, what could have become a nice habit became for many (myself above all), a weary chore. Even after the mythical “warming up month”*, the Creative Line didn’t stick. At first, I couldn’t seem to understand the purpose of such an exercise. I understood the prime goal aka as “creatives”, we had to create – consequently.

But, looking around me, I realized many of us had already came up with “tricks and routines” of their own to keep on performing well in their field of art. Artists – like Alice, Laureline or Pauline –, drew or sketched almost daily. Pierre coded whenever he could, I wrote everyday some lines, and Walid played and composed music endlessly. Maybe this was the reason the Creative Line wasn’t appropriate for us, at least on such a long period. It did however, highlight the importance to train for your art.

Some random examples below

What are you waiting for? Go create!

* “Warming up month“: usually when we try to break a habit, rumour has it takes approximately a month to let it sink in. Curious? G**gle it

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *