Tuesday, 27 July 2010

On Creativity and Imagination

Last week I listened to Grayson Perry (Turner Prize winner) on Radio 4 about creativity and imagination. (I’m not sure if the programme is still available online). With several guests, Perry discussed ‘what does it mean to be creative?’

Here are a few bullet points on some really great insights:
  • Perry has a concrete beam in his studio, engraved with ‘creativity is mistakes’
  • Being creative is about ‘feeding yourself’ – looking, looking, looking at the world around you; listening, listening, listening; a constant process – it is about storing away ideas.
  • Technology has helped ‘creatives’ escape the linear process of working – cut and paste, starting at the end, muddling up the structure.
  • Difficult for writers is ‘letting go’ – I agree with this one. I have only recently let a few people read the first chapter of my novel.
  • Creative types need reassurance from the outside.
  • Perry said ‘imagination is a curse’ as you’re constantly thinking of new situations. An idea comes into your head as a ‘golden glow’ impression (the romantic, perfect version) but then in reality it has spiky detail.
  • A fashion designer talked about what he looks for in students and I thought it also applies to writers too – an ability to investigate in a new, novel, structural way. You need to create an environment with discipline, styles, encouragement. ‘Love and boundaries.’
  • Autobiographical writing – take self forward and not to look back and write but to go forward and make new discoveries. Pretend to be someone else. Writing is a journey of exploration NOT the old saying of ‘write what you know.’
  • Prime quality – ‘be relaxed.’

11 comments:

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Lovely. I want that concrete beam...only thing is his study wold fall down...

essygie said...

sounds like it was a really interesting show - thanks for the summary, as there's some really useful (and reassuring) advice here - I think "creativity is mistakes" might become my mantra :-)

Teresa Stenson said...

This is brilliant - thanks for sharing, Jessica. Just the right time for me to have read this.

Jessica said...

Hi Guys - I'm glad you all found it useful - I was half tempted to leave the notes in my notebook but I'm glad I typed them up now! Thanks :)

Teresa Stenson said...

Hope you don't mind this - I've just blogged about your post here and linked to it.

Jessica said...

Thanks Teresa :)

Jessie Carty said...

such a great list! gonna go take notes :)

Meredith said...

Very interesting stuff here. I particularity identify with the idea of "imagination as a curse." But, I think it can also be a blessing; romantic spiky romantic... it could be an endless repetition, but there can also come a satisfaction, of bringing the romantic idea into the "spiky" world and making it so that it stands up.

Jessica said...

Hi Meredith - thanks for coming over to the blog :)

Rachel Fenton said...

Hullo - popped ove via Teresa's - I like those points, and taking comfort in them - especially the one on structure...the beam is a wonderful image - a concrete buoy....thanks, will no doubt be back again...

Jessica said...

Hi Rachel - nice to meet you :)
I would love a beam like that too!
Jessica