Where do we start? What marks that border between listlessly eating pizza in your underwear and creating something you’re proud of? How do you decide to stop watching videos of baby goats carousing on the Internet and pen your novel/short-film/pitch/cult doctrine? We’ve asked some really quite genuinely pro-active and creative people how they motivate, inspire and most importantly BEGIN their work. Look at this as part how-to and part hero worship but fundamentally we’re just really nosey.
Being told to sit down and have an idea is hard. It’s like actors being told to cry on command, it’s an emotional process, and whatever Meg Ryan might have you believe it’s impossible to fake. Sometimes what you want just comes directly to you, either from the voices in your head or just a bolt from the blue. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Super-star director and favorite of ours Eliot Rausch talks about not forcing it:
“It comes when I’m not trying to come up with it. As if my subconscious begins to do the work for me. Sometimes it strikes while I’m on a walk awe struck by the beauty of the trees or when I’m sitting eating my food, savoring every bite.”
We like the idea of sandwiches aiding creativity. We can work with that.
Although as our in-house screenwriter Malachy O’Neill points out. It’s not just having the idea that matters; it’s having a GOOD idea.
“Ideas have lives. Tragically most die young, never strong enough to see the light of day. Those that do survive, struggle to stay alive. With any luck, though an idea will live well beyond its creator. Great ideas live forever.”
Like hueavos rancheros or relativity theory. A process of quality control must come in to play to separate the good from the bad; the Romeo and Juliettes from the Spider Man 3s (we can’t see that enduring 300 years.)
But what inspires us to have the killer ideas, where does that stuff even come from?
Will Pyne, Executive Global Creative Director of the uber-cool Holler agency suggests getting emotional and watching people, which isn’t actually as weird as it first sounds.
“I watch and read stuff that makes me laugh out loud. Stuff that makes me upset. Extremes of emotion help to inspire me. Looking at real people also helps. Seeing how they behave. Because real human insight drives brilliant ideas.”
Rausch agrees,“I try to focus all my attention on what is right in front of me. My wife’s conversation at dinner about her friend who keeps annoying her, becomes the most important thing in the world, I listen as if my life depended on it. When the waiter stops by to drop off water I study his face and his reactions to our table.”
So being a people watcher and an empathiser helps us separate the genuine from the artificial when it comes to ideas. Would someone really feel that? Would they really say that? If no, it’s probably one of those die-young ideas. However we all hit the wall sometimes no matter how much we stare at passersby and peep through the curtains at our waiter’s soul.
This is probably the hardest thing for the creative mind, when it just stops being creative for a while. We asked our buddy, Designer & Director at Studio Contents James Gilbert, how he deals with it.
“Creative blocks are a little like hangovers. You think they’re never going to end but there’s only one real cure… perseverance. It never lasts forever and if you keep going, eventually you’ll get through. There’s nothing wrong with being not creative all the time.”
Malachy is pretty strict with himself, “Setting goals and deadlines for myself is the only way that I will get the work done. It might be to set a date whereby a draft will be finished or to set a certain amount of time every day to devote to creative work.”
Whereas Rausch gives himself an easy time using space, rest and silence. Our own director Amy Watson gives us her top mind-de-clogg trick.
“When I get really bogged down I go to the movies. I don’t watch a film at home but go specifically for the darkness of the cinema. It’s the perfect way to take me out of me and stop existing for two hours. It’s magical, and then afterwards I’m inspired and reminded of why I’m doing what I’m doing.”
So there you have it, from the mouths of some total babes. We really hope this stuff helps some of you, who like everyone sometimes suffer from the inevitable writers-block or bloggers constipation as it’s now called. G’luck dudes! If you come up with anything else let us know…