Fattening Your Ideas File, My Way.

Fattening Your Ideas File, My Way.

Public Relations | Judette Coward-Puglisi

June 16, 2008

Cartoon: At the Creativity Corporation a large man points to a small man. The large man says: “You get back to that goddamn cubicle and start thinking outside the box!”

I was reading advertising legend Carl Ally’s response to a question about what makes a creative person tick. According to Ally it is all about knowledge. "The creative person wants to be the know-it -all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, 19th Century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flowering arrangements and hedge funds. He never knows when all these ideas may come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six years down the road. But the creative person has faith that it will happen."

  Typically I tend  to have faith in Ally’s thinking like a new born baby does his mother but I disagree with Ally on his "knowledge is creativity" mantra. How many people do you know who read a lot, have lots of data swimming around in their head but haven’t created a thing in their life. Do you know many? Me too.


6 thoughts on “Fattening Your Ideas File, My Way.

  1. Hi Judette,
    Actually, there is a book, meant for artists really, about increaing creativity in your life. It’s called Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Cameron wrote the book for creative people who were stuck..
    Cameron recommends three key elements to keep the creative juices flowing. The first is the "Morning Pages". Every morning, you write three pages of steam of conciousnes writing. Whatever comes to your head …"I need to call the plumber…or we argued about it again." You get rid of all the mundane blah blah stuff that occupies your mind. Get it out on paper, and your brain no longer obseses over it….Clear your mind of the mundane…….

    The second recommendation is what she calls an "artists date". Its actually a date with yourself. You must pick a weekly activitiy to do alone…no husband, no friends. The idea is to spend time having fun doind something you like. Think of something you always wanted to try, whether it be Rollerskating…..or playing with clay…or even just seeing that movies alone. Doing something new or fun once per week keeps the creative juices flowing…

    The third one is walking. Exercise on a whole helps, but walking has the ability to cause your mind to zone out of the problems and shift to another way to solve them. Actually most times the solution just pops into your head. The act of putting one foot in front the other also reminds us to take baby steps when planning. There is no need to have the whole plan, just the next step.

    I will add one more……little changes in your routine. Every day…if you can…change something that has gotten routine. For me that means a new restaurant, or taking a new way to work, or not going on the computer for the day. How about no newspapers…..how about no news? When your mind has nothing to obsess about..you can think more clearly. I actually have stopped reading the newspapers, watching TV listening to radio. I refuse to let trash enter into my system. What I need to know will be told to me by the Soul of the Universe……..however I do check the Hurricane center from time to time….:)

    Even though the Artist’s Way is for Artists, it helped my in my position as Sales Manager for a Television Company. I recommed anyone who wants to increase their creative thinking do the book. Its meant to be used as a course, read one chapter per week and do the exercises. Bet you a million buck it works……if it doesn’t..you haven’t really followed the book.

  2. Judette: To me, creativity is a mix of what Ally suggested, and what you suggest. To me, creativity is also about freedom. It may involve thinking of some seemingly foolish things, but the joy is in finding the aha moment within the seemingly foolish ideas. On the matter of people having called you crazy and weird in the past, it’s good that you ignore it. Sometimes crazy or weird really means creative. Seriously, sometimes the people who are the bearer of these words are so stuck in a rut of normality that creativity is out of this world for them.

    Samantha: I like the tip about exercise. A workout at the gym always clears my head and energizes my mind and body. I also like the point about trying something new everyday to break your routine. My new approach is making time to read great literature instead of keeping my head stuck in something work-related day and night. Somewhere in the prose are little gems that refresh my way of thinking.

  3. Judette, creativity to me is an expression of my individuality. Whenever I try to differentiate myself from others I am using that energy that allows me to transcend societal norms. Whether I’m working on a project, making a piece of craft, cooking, singing or getting dressed I try to be creative so when others see what I have done, they see me as well, and they can say "that has Mirella written all over it".

    And you know what, I’ve been called "krazau", "nutcase", "maddy" all the names that represent some sort of abnormality in thinking but I always say to people who call me mad "don’t be jealous, you’re mad too, you’re just not using that part of your heart" because somehow people only tend to call me mad when I express passion for and excitement about something.

    Or maybe I am just mad! But it’s ok. I like mad. It lets my creative energy soar.

  4. Clear the Mundane. I loved that one Samantha. Sometimes with all the things
    going in my firm, at home or even in the world world I can’t get my mind to shut up and your technique of writing down the banal certainly gives me an opportunity to get rid of a whole lot of unecessary chattter which sometimes halts my creative process. Thanks.

    Karel, I too get my best ideas while I am on the treadmill or around the
    savannah, running and would you believe driving in my car.
    I wonder how other folks get their own creative groove on?

  5. Hi Judette,
    Creativity is how I live my life, from problem solving at work to how I mange the single mom life. I have been labeled as crazow. Like you it doesn’t bother me. My life is interesting and I love it!

    Below is how I apply my creative process:

    Always explore- observe and research. I use different media to do this or actually put myself in the environment/situation to observe to understand the receiver’s end.

    Keeping an open mind- I doodle or write down idea after idea without judging. Leave them to marinate for a while. Then go I go back to them and I find my aha!

    Take a Break- When my creative juice is not flowing (just plain stuck) that’s when I detach. I take a bike ride/walk/drive to La Vega or Maracas/ take in a movie/a good book/yoga/spend time with a friend or family/plug into my iPod where dance and sing to my favorite tunes. When I return from goofy land my ideas are there waiting to be embraced.

    Thrive on Positive Energy- See, say, hear, think positively and in return you will receive positive energy. Besides creativity only comes from positive energy.

  6. My creativity is fed through experience. I believe in exploring and challenging. I keep my blue idea book close by to jot down random thoughts. My idea stimulations come from travelling, experiencing and researching.

    I love to travel and believe travelling should be more than a shopping trip or for site seeing but an opportunity to experience a culture. I have gained so much appreciation for the things I am interested in by exploring it to the fullest. I tried Latin dancing some time ago and jumped at the opportunity to attend a Salsa Convention in Puerto Rico. It was an amazing opportunity to meet the world’s salsa professionals, enjoy live Cuban bands, see the people sway to the rhythms and enjoy the language and different aspects of the culture. For a few days I learned about the dance and the music and although I am not the best dancer the environment moves you. I flew away from the experience enriched.

    My unique experiences continue to grow and I have always been a silent adventurer seeker, from my visit to the USA to be a summer Camp Counsellor in Michigan while at University to a recent visit to Vegas to attend a fashion Convention. Even though my travels are most times not directly related to my present career, the lessons you learn carry you through life and are interrelated.

    Although you don’t have to travel far to enjoy enriching experiences you have to set foot onto new and sometimes unfamiliar grounds. Your skills and knowledge can be improved by building knowledge in different areas through reading, training, hobbies, games and socializing etc… One of the other ways we can stimulate the mind is through teaching, simply sharing what you learn and experience with others. This process creates a flow of thoughts. We are participating in this process presently, with Judette’s sharing of her experiences and knowledge through her blog and our comments; we are creating an idea flow.

    I believe once you feel it (the passion), you think it (the aspiration), you evaluate it (the wisdom), you create it (the result), you can achieve it (the success).

    So if you get up in the morning and feel like painting a flower although you have never held a
    paintbrush, pick up that brush and start. If the feeling is one you enjoy, continue to explore, learn and develop. You could visit a few galleries, read a few books and even decide to get training.
    The opportunities are limitless. That simple action can have numerous reactions and you may realise from your exploration that although you are interested in painting you find your love for fauna is better expressed through landscaping.

    Keep on experiencing and sharing!

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