Creativity isn’t complicated

“I steal from every single movie ever made.”

Quentin Tarantino. Never went to film school. He just watched a lot of movies and he was passionate about film.

Want to be a more creative film maker…watch more films. Want to be a more creative chef…eat more meals. Creativity isn’t complicated. Just do more, steal what you need and connect the dots. Getting off your ass is the hard part. The rest will happen naturally.

Do more

Science has proven that an “openness to experiences” is directly linked to creativity. That means the more experiences you have, and the better you are at remembering those experiences, the more creative you will be.

So the answer to creativity? Live your life!

Even better, live the life of your consumer. Do the things that “they” are passionate about. Go bungee jumping, play Fortnite, attend an underground rave or try bird photography for a weekend.

Not only will these new experiences fuel your creativity. It will also make you a happier person. That’s right. Science has also proven that experiences, not things bring us the most joy in life.

So make sure that you, your team and your agencies “DO MORE”. The more experiences you all have, the more creative we will become.

Here’s a great example from Steve Jobs. How dropping into a calligraphy class at university inspired the typefonts we all know today.

Steal what you need

As Picasso once said…”Good artists copy. Great artists steal.”

The truth is that creativity can never be 100% original.

Everything is inspired by something else. Picasso found inspiration from African Art and stole ideas and themes to create his own work. Quentin Tarantino stole countless scenes from other films and made them his own.

It’s not enough to just have experiences. We need to remember and draw inspiration from those experiences. Stealing isn’t a bad thing. It’s how new ideas are born. So long as you make it your own instead of blatantly copying what others have done.

Connect the dots

There’s a great quote from Steve Jobs which summarises everything we’ve discussed so far…

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.”

What I love about this quote is that it doesn’t overcomplicate creatvity.

It tells it like it is.

Connecting with my experiences to create new things. Done!

Videos like the one below really piss me off…

The second we start defining creativity as some bullshit like “a sprint forward where there is no finish line” or the “unfinished search in pursuit of the exceptional”. We shroud creatviity in mysetry and fuel the “I’m not creative” fallacy. Shame on you.

Creativity is connecting things. Don’t overcomplicate it.

Get off your ass

To wrap things up I’ll leave you with this…

Google defines creativty as “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something”. This idea of “Create” appears in most definitions of creatvity. That’s because there is a difference between ideas and creative. Creative needs to exist in one form or another. Ideas are what live on Powerpoint slides and in our minds.

To help you remember the simplicity of creatviity I’ve created a simple equation:

Creativity doesn’t have to be as complicated as people make it out to be.

The quicker we can all agree and move on. The more time we can spend improving things we have control over (eg. experiences, imagination and initiative) so we can all be more creative.



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