Creative work would be so much easier if we could just put all of our data into a formula, push a button, and out popped great art. Unfortunately, creativity is not and should never be formulaic.
In our creative lives, we have to fight the urge to approach our projects and problems based on formulas. It’s common and has even become expected to approach our problems and projects looking for a formula. In theory, formulas simplify our work. Unfortunately, formulas also stifle creativity and breed copying over creating.
Psychologists frame fixation as an effect where previous experiences or familiarities can make problem solving more difficult. This is the case whenever habitual directions get in the way of finding new directions.
Doing the same thing – approaching our art the same way – believing we will get different results, does not create solutions or new art. It positions us to repeat old solutions.
Our responsibility as creative professionals is to be brave enough to try something different. We have to have the guts to do something new. We have to be intentional in approaching each day as if it’s our first time and be willing to break the patterns that become choke-holds on our creative process. Creativity is about rhythm and instinct more than it is about formula and repetition. Make no mistake: creativity is work. We must show up every day and be willing to tackle work that takes effort more than magical inspiration.
So let’s fight. Let’s fight the status quo. Let’s battle the temptation to repeat our approach. A fight that, when we win, will force us into creating the best art of our lives.
If we’re willing to fight, we will uncover more options to solve our problems and approach our art – as well as create great pieces. And just maybe, we’ll find a more rewarding result in the process.