Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Wasting Time on Facebook
The other day someone posted on Facebook something to the effect that they would be able to get more accomplished if they could just manage to stay off the computer for 90 consecutive minutes. "Oh yeah," I thought, "that's so true!" But the fact is that every so often you can find real gems out there and that's what happened to me today. I was just going to check Facebook quickly and I ended up watching to a 35 minute lecture on creativity by John Cleese. I posted the link on my Glynt Pottery page but when I just went to copy the link to post it here there's a message that says that the video "John Cleese - A Lecture on Creativity" was deleted at 7:04:41 Tue Apr 10, 2012. That's a shame because it was quite interesting and funny to boot! So, I'll try to post here what I remember of it.
John Cleese points out that creative people have the ability to play and engage in less purposeful actions. Creativity does not arise when working under pressure. Cleese says that for creativity to flow, five things are needed: 1. Space; 2. Time; 3. Time; 4. Confidence; and 5. Humor.
Numbers 1 and 2 refer to creating set boundaries of space and time that become an undisturbed, secluded oasis to engage in creative endeavors. The space can be, of course, your studio, and you should set a specific period of time during which you will be in your "oasis." Number 3, time again, is not a typo. It refers to how to use the oasis (say, 3 hours of undisturbed time in the studio) that has been created. Once you are in your oasis, it becomes easy to start doing trivial things rather than deep creative work. Thus, it's important to sit with it and not go for the first thing that comes to mind. Number 4 is confidence. "Fear of making mistakes stops creativity." So, it's important to experiment and be playful, knowing that whatever the outcome, it's okay... nothing is wrong. And finally, Cleese says that humor is essential to spontaneity and playfulness. Laughter leads to relaxation, which leads to humor, which results in creativity.
Another important point made in the lecture refers to the importance of having other people to play with. We should not become isolated in our creative efforts, but rather have a group of kindred souls to bounce ideas off. However, these must be people who are positive and do not make you feel defensive.
I don't think that any of these ideas are especially novel, but there's something to hearing them expressed in a humorous, coherent and accessible way that serves as a reminder to go to the studio, sit at the wheel, and play!
So, this is what I played with today: taking the berry bowls up a notch into large fruit bowls. And I also made a couple mugs with lids and tea infusers.
There's a new link for the video. It's on YouTube now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VShmtsLhkQg&feature=share . I hope they don't take this one down. Enjoy!