Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Inspiration for Creative Time

I've spoken about Creative Time and, specifically, this video before, but I haven't actually seen this video for a couple of years. This is primarily because shortly after the first time I watched it the video was removed from YouTube, seeing as how the video belongs to a group called Video Arts and it was not them who uploaded it.

After some searching recently, I managed to find the video somewhere else. It was just as awesome as I remembered it:

I'm going to spend the rest of this blog post recapping the video for my own purposes. Feel free to simply watch the video and ignore the rest of this post.

In my previous blog, it's clear that I forgot a couple of major parts of the play/work dynamic. Specifically, I forgot about the details of the first Time component of the "play time," and I forgot about the importance of using the method to solve specific problems.

I'm going to go ahead and break down the five components of his method for using play time effectively:

SPACE: Set yourself apart from the things that distract you and pull you back to "work mode." Nothing is as detrimental to creativity as interruptions and anxiety.

TIME: Set aside a specific amount of time to work on your problem with a specific start and end time. With too little time you won't have enough time to get over your anxieties about "not working" or whatever. Given too long, you'll exhaust yourself and it'll no longer be play. Cleese recommends an hour and a half.

TIME: Give yourself time to actually think about your problem. The solution with come, with time. Also, don't settle for the first solution that presents itself. Examine that solution, consider alternate solutions, and don't make a final decision until you have to.

CONFIDENCE: You have to feel free to experiment during this time. Nothing is wrong, nothing is too silly, and anything might lead to a solution to your problem. Fear of being wrong will stifle your creativity, whether it's a personal hand-up or (if you're in a group creative session) someone else naysaying your ideas.

HUMOR: Nothing puts you at ease as well as humor. Laugh often during play time.

Something I somehow missed in my original viewing of this speech was the parts that apply to group creativity, which is something Fangamer tries to do often to varying effectiveness. I may have ignored it a bit the first time I watched the video since I tend to spend my time being creative on my own, but since then I've been in many group sessions that could benefit from the lessons of this speech.

Anyway, I hope this link to the video lasts longer than the last time I found it. I expect I'll be referring to it regularly for years to come.

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