(Today is a guest post from Josh Alves!)
I often get the impression that people view “Creativity” as an ethereal substance that some people have and some don’t. That how creative you are might be determined by your midi-chlorian count.
I consider “creativity” to be more like a muscle that works in tandem with the most complex organ in your body.
Using the logical, analytical, and rational left side of your brain with your intuitive, experiential, and perceptual right side -results in things like a painting, a story or even the device you’re reading this on.
“Creativity” is something you exercise. It’s within your reach, within your grasp, or – at least – at the end of your fingertips.
If you were anywhere on the internet on May 4th, you know that date is celebrated as an unofficial “Star Wars” day. As a little contribution, I designed a few finger puppets that fans could assemble and I’d like to give you a little peek into the creative process.
As these are unofficial designs, I prefer to refer to them as “Star Wars-ish”.
STEP ONE: DESIGN aka THE PHANTOM MENACE
Cumulative Experience is one aspect of creativity. There is nothing new under the two suns of Tatooine.
Every new idea/creation is the combination or revision of something already existing. Everything is a remix.
Borrowing elements of things that I had seen and/or done, I created a template for a simple finger puppet (It was actually first designed for an activity kit to be used with one of the books I’ve illustrated). Using user-submitted requests, I adapted the template to be used for these Star Wars-ish creations.
STEP TWO: TESTING aka THE DESIGN STRIKES BACK
One of my favorite facets of creativity is the “happy accident”.
I rarely have a “finished” piece in my head before I start making things. Like a Gungan taking out a droid army – I’ve learned that some of the best ideas/thoughts are unanticipated and form during the creation process.
In this case, I knew what I wanted the puppets to look like but the final designs (placement of elements and some of the shapes) were tweaked after I had put the puppets together myself.
STEP THREE: SHARE aka A NEW HOPE
The final facet of creativity, in this case, is releasing it into the wild! The designs were posted on my site for others to make (Click here to download the file!) I love hearing the stories of parents and kids putting them together. When I get feedback, it’s usually from a perspective or is a thought that I wasn’t even on my X-Wing’s radar! This helps to improve the designs and is added to my mental catalogue of “things to consider”.
So, go! Be creative!
In the words of Yoda-ish, “Be. Or be not. There is no try.”
May the creative force be with you.
Josh Alves is a puzzle-loving, pictorial problem-solver with a penchant of propagating parables. He also loves alliteration. You’ll find his illustration work at www.joshalves.com. “Like” him at www.facebook.com/joshalvesdraws and follow him @joshalves on twitter.