The New/Old Killer App!
Just like reposting a quote on Facebook doesn’t make you wise nor does re-tweeting a joke make you a comedian. Pinterest has convinced some people (or people have convinced themselves) they’re creative through curation.
Creativity is creativity and synthesis is synthesis. They’re not the same and they don’t happen simultaneously.
Someone once told me, ‘Most designers are prepared to do anything for their art except draw.” Some don’t even think. When your first impulse is to reach for the internet or a magazine at the start of a design problem, you are defined by your taste and not your ability.
There is an alternative to this though. It’s this amazing app actually, that most people know about but rarely use. It’s called ‘slowing down’. It means stop ferociously consuming content from TV, from the internet, from magazines and other places then tweaking, sometimes aping it even and calling it synthesis or worse, creative. Do you know why ‘lightning bolts’ seem to pop into your head while you’re in the shower, the car, or right before you fall asleep? Anywhere for that matter when you don’t have a pen and notebook handy to scribe it down? It’s because you’re not distracted. No email, no TV, no internet.
You need to slow down to go faster as they say in auto-racing. By pushing too fast in a corner, a car will wash up the racetrack due to centrifugal force, leaving an opening for the competition to pass you lower on the track. You’ll also wear out your tires sooner and will likely have to stop to a change them, or worse, cause a blowout.
While we need to feed ourselves, stimulate our minds and keep up with the trend du jour, more importantly, we need to look away more often and relax. Because that’s when our real and best ideas come to us. That which we chase, runs away.
Bruce Lee teaches, ‘Everything you do, if not in a relaxed state will be done at a lesser level than you are proficient.” And that guy kicks ass, literally!