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increase creativity ?

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Emil Niemi
increase creativity ?
on Jul 7, 2010 at 3:22:42 pm

Sorry, i've no idea where i should put this thread.
But however, i feel that i'm lack of ideas, lack of creativity.
So i would want some tips, to make me increasing this.

Softwares i'm working with is Sony Vegas, After Effects and PhotoShop.
Have known all this software for 2 years and more and been using them in periods when i've felt to do something etc.

Last year my interests about motion graphics have grown alot.
Have been annoyed on myself since choosed wrong school. I more wanted to the filmschool than to Media which i'm on right now. However there's not far away from eachother.

But now however, i feel like i really want to do some vids. Videos like this

I've the experiences to create it, i've also been look around for the techniques and so on for some months ago.
But when i'm comming to starting on the project, it feels like i have no idea how to do it.
This have been the same on the school last months i had. We're using PhotoShop and are getting mission of what we're going to do.
Then we've to get our own ideas and create this.
This haven't gone well for me because i really tried look around for ideas but i almost never get any.

have been googling around and what i found was meditation which i have been doing some weeks.
But still i got nothing in my head.
I know i also can watch others people videos for inspiration and such, but still i never get started with this.

I have wanted to start with this for 4 months, but still never happend because i can't first of all not decide what song to start with (cuz its a music video), it comming more and more songs in my head that i like. More and more to choose between.
I've been reading the lyrics and try to get pics in my head but its never gets good :s

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Steve Roberts
Re: increase creativity ?
on Jul 7, 2010 at 8:11:02 pm

Don't just read the lyrics -- Write down all ideas, related or not. Let everything flow. Don't engage the editor. Write about the song. Here's some mental dump about nothing in particular: "boy, girl, pain, city, gritty, sewer, wet, hard, fall down, wake up, dream, tuxedo ...."

Sketch - 2B pencil and toothy paper. Get a little notebook and use it up. Get another. Use it up.
Get away from the computer for a while.

Observe people outside. Who are they? What do they want?
Look outside of film, outside of motion graphics.
Look at art - modern or not.
Look as if it were flowing over you, not as if you wanted to steal bits of it. If you look at enough good stuff, it will sink into your subconscious and come out in a new form eventually. This is what happens after meditation ... but if there's nothing in there, nothing will come out.

Shoot with a cheap camera. Shoot crap. Shoot from the hip. Shoot weird, shoot off-angle, shoot accidentally. Make mistakes.

Roger Von Oech separated the process into four stages:
- explorer (search, acquire all)
- artist (combine, alter, mess up what you find)
- judge (choose the best idea)
- warrior (fight for your idea)

... you're probably in the explorer stage. Don't let the judge in yet.

Hope that helps.

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Dave LaRonde
Re: increase creativity ?
on Jul 7, 2010 at 8:57:36 pm

Nice stuff, Steve. Well put.

That's why you're a former AE Forum host who's doing AE work on his own, and I'm not.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Steve Roberts
Re: increase creativity ?
on Jul 7, 2010 at 11:49:21 pm

Thanks, but I wouldn't mind a steady paycheck, Dave.
Grass is always greener? :-)

On the creativity side, once we a) start writing/sketching and keep writing/sketching and b) just keep letting good stuff wash over us as often as possible, good stuff starts to come out.
Personally, I need to improve the quality of stuff washing over me. Back to the art gallery for a fix.

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Emil Niemi
Re: increase creativity ?
on Jul 8, 2010 at 8:30:02 pm

Oh thank you guys.
I'm going to try get going on this, will write down stuffs and will walk outside which i done alot before when i took care of my sisters dog. That solved some problems i'd in my head so may help now too :p

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Walter Soyka
Re: increase creativity ?
on Jul 8, 2010 at 1:53:33 am

Steve's post on the creative process is very concise and extremely informative. I don't have anything to add to what he's said about process, but I do have a few lateral thoughts.

First: the creative growth cycle. I'm a huge fan of Todd Henry; he's been a huge influence on how I think about creativity and how I run my business around it. Steve's post on process reminded me of Todd's model of the creative growth cycle: discovery, imitation, divergence, and uniqueness. It doesn't describe how a single creative work is created -- it describes how we as creatives develop. From what you've written, it sounds as if you've found an art form (discovery) and explored it some (imitation), and now you are struggling to make something new -- struggling to leap to divergence.

Second: creative block. What you describe is very similar to writer's block, where the writer is almost intimidated by a blank page and unable to put that first word down. How do you get through writer's block? You just go through it. You write anyway, even if what you write is terrible. Writers call this a "burn draft" -- they write it, burn it (because it's too embarrassingly bad to show, or even re-read), and then start the rough draft with a fresh perspective and renewed confidence.

Third: management. I'm one of those heretics who thinks that creatives can be managed similarly to other professionals (provided the creative process is supported). A good creative director is worth their weight in gold; they provide structure and guidance to push creative work in the right direction. Think about the rails on a railroad; they restrict where the train can go, but they allow it to travel very quickly and very smoothly. If you can think of a thesis statement you'd like to make -- a central idea you'd like your project to express -- you can use that as a set of rails to guide your creative work and move it forward.

Finally, I've found that nothing gets me motivated like the sound a deadline makes as it's racing at me. Let's see your boards by next week. :)

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events

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Steve Roberts
Re: increase creativity ?
on Jul 9, 2010 at 1:24:19 pm

Well said, sir.

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