How to Have a Creative Life that "Pays the Bills"
Do you want to be more creative?
To live a life that has real meaning? And to do work that is more exciting and rewarding?
We're ALL born highly creative...playful...inquisitive...risk taking...thirsting for new and exciting experiences.
The problem is, right from the start, we begin to lose that creativity. There are studies that show when youngsters first start school they're highly creative. But as they progress through the system, they tend to become less creative.
By the time we hit our teens these same studies show people have lost their creativity altogether.
Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that their creativity has been put to sleep (you can always wake it up again).
How Do We Lose Our Creativity?
The 'system' we live in is mindless, yet it seems to have a life of its own. It's a collection of ideologies, religions, politics, cultures, media, and education.
The problem is, the system was never set up to help you and me find happiness. Instead, it has evolved over time - where people are programmed to become 'good little cogs' in order to keep the system running.
We now have generations of people who are extremely talented but have their creativity switched off.
That's a shame, because life can be exciting and rewarding for everyone. And when our creativity is fully engaged it impacts, not only on our own lives, but the lives of those around us too.
Why Produce This Guide?
I've been teaching creativity for the past 27 years. Recently, I was asked, "If we're all born creative, then how do you teach someone to discover their creativity again?"
That's the question that provoked me to produce this guide for you.
A Tool for Unlocking Your Creativity...
The Creative Spiral is deceptively simple. Yet it's a powerful tool for accessing your inborn creativity.
Once you learn this process, you'll be able to apply it to any part of your life, including your art...your career...and even your general well-being.
What follows is my own personal story of how I discovered the ideas I'm sharing with you here. Then I'll show you The Creative Spiral itself, and demonstrate each of the phases with case studies. And finally, you'll be given an assignment - a challenge - to apply it to your own situation.
Founder of The Learning Connexion - School of Creativity & Art
1. How I went from broke to owning a house in one week
2. The five steps of The Creative Spiral
3. Case studies of creativity being unleashed
4. ‘The challenge’
How I Went From Broke to Owning a House in One Week
Back in 1969, fresh out of teachers college, I decided I didn't want to teach in conventional schools. There was something wrong with them, like shoes that didn’t fit.
I set off to Auckland to make woodcut prints and become part of the counter-culture instead.
People seemed to like my artwork but not on a scale that paid the rent.
After a while I found what people wanted were hippie posters. It was a time when hair dressers lost customers, men danced naked at pop concerts and it was fashionable to experiment with dodgy chemicals.
Printing posters looked like a lot of fun, so I bought a book about silk-screen printing and read it the same day.
My first efforts at DIY printing where technically terrible but they sold. I managed to scrape together enough money to hire a booth at the Auckland Easter Show.
By this time my brother Richard was doing a lot of the printing (we had built an efficient little operation).
The show got off to a sluggish start. We knew something had to change, so we decided to try something new.
On day two we created a look-alike poster of Peter Fonda on a motorbike (from the cult-classic movie 'Easyrider').
Then we had a breakthrough. On day three we were mobbed. My brother printed like a madman while I fronted our 3 x 3 metre stall. There were times when people were ten deep, pushing to buy a sheet of paper with a stark black print on it.
By the end of the week we had enough money to buy a house and my brother bought a flash racing motorbike with the change.
This was a dramatic turn of events - going from paying the rent to owning a house!
Over the years I've experienced similar feats and seen other people opening doors to big possibilities within their art, their business, or their lives.
I became curious and wondered what was at the heart of each person’s accomplishments. And after seeing the pattern repeat itself again and again, I began to notice exactly how they got there.
As it turns out, the poster saga has elements of what I now call ‘The Creative Spiral’. It's a simple five step framework. And once you learn this you'll be able to use it to unleash creativity in any area of your life.
The Creative Spiral
The Creative Spiral is a process that is made up of five phases and they are:
I'll briefly describe each one. Then in the next section I'll walk you through case studies of how three different people experienced this process in their own lives.