Art can often be seen as societies essential irritant. It challenges our perceptions, stirs emotions, stimulates senses, evokes debate and often transcends our understanding. All of which can be really good for us, if we embrace the challenges it can present.
As I work in a more overtly ‘creative’ industry, it is vital that I am able to approach problem solving from multiple, sometimes contrary, directions, if I am to produce solutions that attempt to rise above being nothing more than simply an off the shelf, stock response. However, if I rely solely on my existing reservoir of knowledge, accumulated from my experiences of ‘comfort zone thinking’ and living, then the pool of resources I can draw on is fairly shallow and will quickly dry up! To avoid this, new experiences, challenges and knowledge need to be embraced on a daily basis.
This is why I love working collaboratively with a range of different people, be they clients, team members, freelancers etc. However, although it can be supportive and encouraging to surround yourself with like-minded people, who share common interests and disciplines, it really does not challenge the status quo of ‘comfort zone thinking’ or free my mind from a state of creative inertia.
So instead of just surrounding myself with the familiar and comforting, I try to take time out once in a while, to embrace different disciplines, to walk or drive a different route, try something new and maybe fail spectacularly or risk making a fool of myself! I allow my passionate curiosity to get the better of me, so it can richly enhance my creativity thinking, as it opens the mind to different perspectives or viewpoints. Spending time with those involved in activities outside of my particular sphere of operation, or from different cultures or backgrounds, can bring huge insights and act as a real breath of creative fresh air.
Imagine the possibilities if painters should mix with scientists, photographers with mathematicians, linguists with engineers, musicians with sociologists etc. or better still, they all mix together and try to work collaboratively on a project!
The outcome might initially be some kind of chaotic creative cacophony, that would be challenging to manage, but eventually, as points of difference and commonality were discovered and explored, creative ideas would soon come to the surface as new thoughts or ideas were considered. Each discipline would be able to offer a unique, external objective perspective of simply being able to ask ‘why not?’ This in itself can bring a huge release, as accepted traditional ways of thinking within a field are challenged and developed further.
Often comfort zone thinking is a self-imposed type of mental restriction that we create within our mind. The boundaries or limitations we create are initially to create a sense of security, but eventually they become a prison and ultimately, the death of a creative mind.
‘So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.’
– Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
Thanks for taking the time out to read this, as always, it is much appreciated! Please feel free to share it with your friends, and add any thoughts or comments you might have on it…