Monday, May 07, 2007

Thoughts on Creativity

Being creative isn’t always easy. So often we have these really creative bursts of brilliance, and then the cold wet splash of reality abruptly puts out the fire as we realize that “this has already been done before”. It can be very frustrating. Original and unique ideas are harder and harder to find. Perhaps this is the reason that so often we watch something and think, “That’s familiar” or “I saw that before”. Being creative is by its very nature a form of recombination. We take many disassociated things and combine them in new ways.

Lately, I have been trying to “discover” a new concept for a “web” series of cartoons. I have a style in mind but coming up with the concept has not been easy. I keep running into the old “this has already been done before” brick wall. So, for those of you, who labor trying to be creative, you can take comfort in sharing my torment. It rarely comes easy.

The best advice I can give anyone is start out with the familiar and turn it upside down. My favorite example is Goldilocks and the Three Bears. When the guys at Warner Brothers wanted a new concept they took this children’s story and flipped things around. First they dumped Goldilocks. Then they took a fresh look at the three bears. The baby bear became a huge hulking giant named Junior. They kept the mother bear pretty much as expected and then they made the father bear, Pa, a short hot tempered foil for Junior’s well meaning actions. The old became a new twist and the humor flowed in many cartoons over the years.

As always, Marty has to add in his two cents worth to remind me that explosive creativity can be as dangerous as playing tennis in a lightning storm.



Anonymous roofdoggie said...

I think creativity IS the life force in action. Humans , business, culture... all the way down to individual species of plants, animals & single cell organisms- all fighting to survive in their respective environment. Recombination of genes, ideas, musical notes, words & thoughts ... just abouut anything-are the foundation for life, survival, beauty & art. We often call it genius, innovation or evolution. The same basic elements exist in every endeavor of life and society

10:27 PM  

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