This useful post from the SmartStorming blog clarifies one of the most controversial tenets of Alex Osborn, the father of modern creative brainstorming – that, during the heat of a brainstorming session, there are no bad ideas.
The key to understanding this rule, the post asserts, is to realize that brainstorming is a process with many stages:
When searching for new, innovative solutions, it is important to give even ideas that resonate as undeniably “bad” a chance to be considered, debated and developed. As Osborn put it, we should suspend judgment. He did not say to eliminate judgment, just to suspend it. This would imply that we will eventually evaluate and judge whether some ideas are unacceptable, impractical or simply off-target. But we must suspend that judgment until an idea has had a chance to “percolate.”
Useful stuff for those caught on either side of this brainstorming debate.
Losing Count of Creativity | A Great Big Creative Yes
Dan James says that attempting to do to do yoga for 1000 days in a row and stopping on day 902 taught him that time is meaningless when we’re in a state of creative flow. His post is a discussion of why ultimately trying to rely on numbers to describe our art-making experiences is useless.
When we create – when we’re truly fully immersed in that experiencing of pouring every fibre of ourselves out on to that page, that canvas, that microphone, that stage, or through that lens – time is meaningless. … So in this sense, it’s fruitless trying to measure how much time we’ve created for, how many consecutive days, and so on. What does matter is that we are creating these opportunities for ourselves.
Tina Mammoser, a painter of the English coast who shares much of her process and product on her blog In the Studio, On the Shore, shares her monthly reading list for May, saying “It’s when I’m reading that my mind is working more and finds more connections (or disconnections) between the reading and my own artwork. So reading is vital to the evolution of creative work!”
Her nonfiction selections are wide-ranging (from the history of salt to a retrospective of the first 50 years of the NASA/Art program, which encourages artists to interpret America’s ongoing space exploration initiatives) and I found the entire idea of sharing one’s reading list and relating it to one’s current or prospective creative work intriguing.
Patrick Ross opens an interesting conversation in this post (which is continued in the comments) when he discusses a passage from Eric Maisel’s book “Creativity for Life” in which Maisel ponders whether artists can find community among themselves. Many points of view are represented in this dialog. I personally feel, based up on years of sharing my excitement about my own creating and the wonder of the creative process on this blog, that yes, artists can definitely experience community with each other, but that we must come to realize that one artist’s success, even if on some financial/business level it might challenge us to find our own unique niche, raises the profile and stature of our entire field. Doing excellent work, and being excellent to each other (to quote Bill and Ted) go hand in hand.