While watching my students last night work on their first project in Collage class made me think about how our brains process creativity. Creativity is a funny bird. It seems to me the harder you try, the more effort you put into creating something the harder it is to accomplish. Our brains seem to set up road blocks when they see creativity coming through the door.
One of the first exercises I now give my students is a project that requires no thinking...just the doing. I give them very little directions for this project...just cut some magazine papers and glue them down on another piece of paper...nothing obvious , no preconceived ideas, no worries about design or composition...just do it and do not think.
And this exercise is not about creating something wonderful. It is about learning how to turn off the unnecessary part of your brain.
The ability to create without thinking is one of the biggest obstacles artists have to overcome. Thinking also disguises itself as FEAR. Fear of creating. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of creating bad art. Thinking and Fear can go walking hand in hand right across your artwork and ruin everything.
Some FACTS about thinking while creating:
- Thinking causes judgment...most of the time it's personal.
- Thinking causes a block of the natural flow of ideas from your brain.
- Thinking can hinder you from doing fabulous art.
We must turn off our brains. Stop thinking. Stop being afraid of making bad art and just do it!!! Sounds easy huh? Not as easyily done as said but I do think that we can train our brains to unthink when we want to. Something like the process we use to change a bad habit like biting your nails. They say it takes 21 days to break a habit. Change takes time but it can be done.
So the object is to train ourselves to not think. To turn off the fear and judgment and lift that ton of bricks off our last creative nerve. What do we have to lose? What is the worst thing that could happen? I truly believe that if we just keep moving forward and continue practicing not thinking we can create some really amazing art. Try it for the next 21 days.