Becoming Creative / An Artistic Guide to Creativity | Brent Eviston | Skillshare

Becoming Creative / An Artistic Guide to Creativity

Brent Eviston, Master Artist & Instructor

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13 Lessons (3h 9m)
    • 1. Becoming Creative Trailer

      2:34
    • 2. Introduction to Becoming Creative

      12:26
    • 3. Creativity Project Part 1 / Meaning & Drawing

      13:37
    • 4. An Introduction to Meaning / Guided Journal Project Part 1

      19:59
    • 5. Guided Journal Project Part 1 Continued

      19:56
    • 6. A Tale of Two Thought Processes / Creativity Project Part 2

      13:03
    • 7. Recovering Your Creativity / Guided Journal Project Part 2

      19:57
    • 8. Openness to Experience / Creativity Project Part 3

      15:22
    • 9. Design A Creative Life / Guided Journal Project Part 3

      16:12
    • 10. Guided Journal Project Part 3 Continued

      10:26
    • 11. Creative Combinations / Creativity Project Part 4

      11:09
    • 12. Mistakes & Failure / Guided Journal Project Part 4

      19:16
    • 13. Design Your Own Creative Projects

      15:29
442 students are watching this class

About This Class

Creativity is one of the most essential skills in a wide range of fields from art and design to technology and business. Creativity is also misunderstood and rarely taught.

In this course, you’ll learn the most effective, research based changes you can make in your life to become more creative.

In each lesson of this course you’ll be introduced to an essential creative concept. At the end of each lesson you’ll be asked to do a project. There are two kinds of projects in this course:

  • Art Projects where you’ll get to draw, explore meaning and seek creative connections through collage. 
  • Guided Journal Projects where you’ll write about your life and your thoughts in order to break through your creative blocks and design your creative future. 

You don’t need any art experience or any other special skills to participate in this course. This course is open to anyone, even if you’re completely new to art or creativity. 

Why Learn Creativity from Brent: 

Brent has used his creative skills to build a meaningful fine arts career as well as a thriving business. He’s studied traditional art making like figure drawing and anatomical drawing. He’s also experienced in experimental forms of art making like animation and video installation.  Brent exhibits his work in galleries and museums.

In 2016 Brent created The Art & Science of Drawing program, an award-winning online drawing program that has taught more than 100,000 students, in 170 countries, how to draw

This Course:

Creativity is essential for both art and design, as well as technological innovations. Whether you want to be more creative in your art, your career, or your personal life, this course will teach you the tools and mindsets necessary to become more creative. 

In this course you’ll learn: 

  • how to seek a deeper sense of meaning in everyday objects and experiences.
  • what thoughts and habits stand in the way of being creative and learn how to move past them. 
  • how to use divergent thinking in order to find creative solutions to problems. 
  • how to make changes in your life that will promote creative thinking.
  • a creative process you can apply to nearly any situation.


Although drawing experience is not necessary to take this Becoming Creative course, if you would like to get started with drawing Brent recommends starting with the first course in his Art & Science of Drawing program: Basic Skills / Getting Started with Drawing.

Transcripts

1. Becoming Creative Trailer: Welcome to becoming creative. I'll be your instructor, Brent devastation. So to start, I'd like to ask you a question. What comes to mind when you think of something creative? Something creative is something surprising, something unexpected, something we haven't seen before. I've taught drawing for more than 20 years to students who go on to become illustrators, painters, fashion designers, architects, and more. Beyond drawing, the one skill these students want to learn more than any other is how to be creative. Creativity is one of the most sought after skills in a variety of fields from art and design industry. Creativity is also one of the most misunderstood and overlooked skills and education. In this course, you're going to learn the most effective and research-based changes you can make in your life to become more creative. Now if you've taken any of my drawing courses, you should know that this is a very different kind of course. Creativity's not just a skill, it's a mindset, it's a way of living life. In each lesson of this course, you'll be introduced to an essential creative concept. At the end of each lesson, you'll participate in a project. There are two kinds of projects in this course. Art projects, where you'll get to draw, explore meaning, and see creative connections between things through collage. You'll also participate in guided journal projects where you'll write about your life and your thoughts in order to get pastor creative blocks in design your creative future. You don't need any art experience or any other special skills to participate in this course. This course is open to anyone, even if you're completely new to art or creativity. So why learn creativity with me? I've used creativity to design a meaningful and fulfilling fine arts career, as well as a thriving business. I've studied traditional forms of art-making, like drawing, as well as more experimental forms of art-making. I've also used my creative skills to build an innovative online drawing program that is taught more than 100 thousand students had to draw in more than 160 countries. Creativity is essential for both art and design, as well as technological innovations. So whether you want to be more creative in your art, your career, or your personal life. This course will teach you the essential tools and mindsets you need to become creative. 2. Introduction to Becoming Creative: Welcome to becoming creative. I'll be your instructor, Brent FST. So to start out, I'd like to ask you a question. When you think of something creative, what comes to mind? Now many people answer that question with things like art or self-expression. Some people get more specific and say things like painting or drawing. But creativity goes far beyond any one field or practice. Creativity also goes far beyond self-expression and art. So what exactly is creativity? This is the question we're going to explore in this course. So something creative is something new, something surprising, something unorthodox, something we haven't seen before to come up with a creative idea or solution is very challenging because by definition, this creative thing is something new. So when we ask the question, how do we become more creative? What we're really asking is how do we create new things? How do we come up with ideas and solutions that no one has come up with before. Now, creativity is a mysterious process, but recent research has given us clues into how it works and we'll, we can do to become more creative. This course will introduce you to the research regarding creativity, as well as give you a number of methods that will allow you to increase your levels of creativity. Now it's very important that you understand from the beginning. Creativity does not simply turn on like a light after you finish a course or go through a step-by-step process, creativity is not just something that happens when you're making an art project. And it's not a simple strategy that you're going to learn. Creativity is more than a skill that you learn. Creativity is a life that you live. To become more creative, you need to learn to think and to live your life in a different way. Now it's also important for you to understand that although we're going to be doing some art projects in this course, this is not an art skills course. In this course we're focusing on creativity directly. I've taught drawing in depth in my art and science of drawing series. But in this course we're going to focus on creativity directly. So this course is much more than just an art course. Becoming creative is an immersive process. And in this course, you're going to learn the most effective changes you can make to your day-to-day life, as well as the way you think in order to become more creative. Now this course is open to anyone, even if you're completely new to art or creativity. Now I think this course will be very useful for artists and designers, but there are no prerequisites for this course. You don't need to have any drawing, painting, or other art experience to join. This course is open to anyone who wants to increase their creativity in any field, including art, design, business relationships, or anywhere else you want to be more creative. So with all of this in mind, let's take a look at some of the most important research that's been done about creativity. In 1965, a system scientist named George Land founded a research institute to study creative performance. George Land and his team of researchers were approached by nasa to develop a test that would allow nasa to identify the most creative individuals. Now nasa already had a lot of brilliant scientists and engineers, but they needed to figure out who are the best people to solve the most challenging creative problems they had. Remember an organization like nasa does things that no one has ever done before, and this requires creative solutions. George Land and his team developed a creativity test that evaluated an individual's ability to look at a problem and come up with creative ideas and solutions to come up with innovative ways of solving problems. Now this test was surprisingly simple. It was also incredibly effective. It was an absolute success and allowing nasa figure out who the most creative individuals on their teams were. With the help of this creativity test, nasa was able to identify and hire individuals that were highly creative and go on to tackle some of the toughest problems that have ever been undertaken. Now with the success of their creativity test, george Land and his team had an interesting idea. They decided to give this test to children. So George and his team gave this creativity test to 1600 children. The ages of these children were four to five, and they were selected to represent a cross section of American demographics. So let me ask you, what percentage of children do you think tested at extremely high levels of creativity? The results were astounding. George Land and his team discovered that 98% of children aged four to five tested at extremely high levels of creativity. Shocked and ecstatic, george Land and his team decided to make this a longitudinal test. They decided to test the same children every five years. So here are the results. Now, at ten years of age, the number of kids who tested at high levels of creativity dropped from 98% to 30%. George lands team tested these same kids again now at 15 years of age, and this time only 12% of the 1600 kids tested as highly creative. Now this ended this study with this particular group of children. But George lands creativity tests has been given to over 1 million adults with an average age of 31 years old. The test reveals that only 2% of adults maintain any of the highly creative capacities that they once showed his children. Now I know the sounds discouraging, but the research doesn't stop there. The research also uncovered some good news. You do not lose your capacity to be creative. Now the reason most adults are not creative is because they shift their thinking. Away from creative possibility and instead seek concrete answers. Or to put it more bluntly, they'd rather be correct, then be creative. In this course, you're going to learn how to reverse this process and how to reclaim your creative capabilities. You're going to learn once again how to use your mind creatively. Now, creativity is essential for both artistic creations as well as technological innovations. Now in this course, we're going to explore creativity through an artistic perspective. But again, this course will be useful for anybody wanting to be more creative in any field or discipline. So now let's talk about how this course works. In each lesson, I'm going to introduce a set of essential ideas. And at the end of each lesson, you're going to be asked to participate in a project. This course contains two different kinds of projects, art projects and guided journal projects. Now before I go any further, I want to make this very clear. You do not need any special skills to participate in this course. You don't need any art skills and you don't need any special writing skills. You just need a willingness to participate in some creative projects, as well as a willingness to write about yourself and your thoughts. Now if you've taken any courses in my art and science of drawing series, you'll know that I encourage students to submit their work for review. Now in this course, you're welcome to submit your art projects. But this isn't the kind of course where I'm going to be able to tell you what you did, right? And what you need to work on more. These creativity projects are much more subjective. The experiences, what's important in this course and not the outcome and the writing that you're going to be doing in your guided journal projects is for your eyes, only, the writing you do in this course should only ever be read by you. Again, the experience of writing is what's important. Again, I don't want you to feel like you can't take this course if you don't have a lot of writing experience or art experience, this course is open to anyone regardless of your experience. So while you're taking this course, I recommend going through no more than one lesson per day. You don't want to rush through the course. You want to give yourself at least a data process. What you've learned. Beyond that, you're invited to adapt the course to fit your schedule. If you can only do one lesson per week, that's completely fine. So in this course you're going to learn a whole series of techniques that will allow you to increase your creativity. You'll also have a solid understanding of what creativity is, how it works, and how you can use it wherever you want to be more creative. You'll learn how to make meaningful and creative connections between things, as well as work through your creative fears and blocks. Okay, so with all of this in mind, let's get you to your first project. For today's project, you're going to get set up with a journal. So in order to do your guided journal projects, you're going to need a journal. So for today's project, you're going to figure out what you want to use for a journal. Now, your journal can be a physical object like a sketchbook or a notebook, or it can be digital. You can either write by hand or you can type. It's completely up to you. Now, I tend to do all of my writing on a computer. The reason is because I draw a lot and when I get a pencil in my hand, I tend to think in images instead of words. As I've trained my hand and mind to draw more, my handwriting is also gotten much worse. So although I do take notes in my sketchbook, sometimes most of my serious writing is done on a computer, but many people really love to write by hand. So if that works for you, great. Ivan still know some artists who do their journal writing on a typewriter. So again, whatever works for you is great. You just need to get set up with a place to write. Once your setup with your journal, I'm going to give you your first writing prompt. So here's what you're writing prompt is going to be for today. Take stock of where you are in your creative pursuits. So let me unpack that a bit. Are you completely new to creativity or have you had some experience? Do you have an art background or have you been to creativity workshops? And remember, it's okay if you're a complete beginner. You can also write about where you might want to be more creative in your life. But the goal here is to take stock of your relationship with creativity. You don't have to answer all of the questions I just asked there just to get you started. For this first journal project, you can write as little or as much as you want. Just want to write a few sentences. That's fine. If you want to write a few paragraphs are pages, that's fine too. The goal here is to just get started writing in your journal. So we're coming up on the end of this lesson. And before you get to writing in your journal, I just want to sum up what we've talked about here today. Everyone can become more creative. This course is all about recovering and reclaiming the creativity that you once had as a child. Through the lessons you'll learn here that guided journal projects. You'll participate in any art projects. You'll make your going to learn all about how you can become more creative. Now I'm very excited to be working with you to increase your creativity. It's a challenging thing to do, but it is absolutely rewarding and worth it. Okay, so now gets set up with a journal. Remember it can be physical or digital. Once you're set up with your journal, go ahead and start writing. And remember your prompt today is to take stock of where you are in your creative pursuits. I'll see you back here for the next lesson when we're going to explore meaning. 3. Creativity Project Part 1 / Meaning & Drawing: Welcome back. In the previous lesson, you took stock of where you are in your creative pursuits. In this lesson, you're going to start the first of a series of creative exercises. First, I'm going to describe the simple directions for the project. Next, I'm going to go in depth into the different steps for the project. And finally, I'm going to let you loose to do the project. Now today's project is pretty simple. You're going to select three inanimate objects and draw them. So first, let's talk about materials. The materials for today's project are pretty simple as well. All you need is paper and some kind of drawing media, like a pencil or a pen. So first let's talk about paper. I'll be using white drawing paper at about an 18 by 24 inch size. Now the reason I'm using white drawing paper instead of just writing paper or computer paper is because drawing paper tends to be thicker and half a bit more of a texture to it. And after you draw these objects Today, we're going to keep them and use them later on in different kinds of projects. So we want the paper to be sturdy enough to stand up to a few different steps of this project. If for whatever reason you don't have access to white drawing paper, you're welcome to use whatever paper you have on hand. Nearly any kind of paper will work for this project. And of course you need something to draw width. I'll be using colored pencils for this project. But if all you have is a graphite pencil that will work just fine. And you're welcome to use different kinds of drawing material like Penn or ink. The only kind of drawing materials I wouldn't recommend are things that smear easily like charcoal or pastels. Remember after you draw your subjects today, we're going to keep these drawings and use them in future projects. So you wanna make sure that they're not going to smear over time. So that's it for materials. Now, let's explore the first part of this project, selecting three inanimate objects. An inanimate object is an object that is not alive and in particular, not human or animal. So here just a few examples of inanimate objects. A clock, a hat, a boat, a cloud, a spoon, a thumbtack, a blender. Again, an inanimate object is any object that is not alive. Now in teaching this project, one of the common questions I get is whether or not people can use plants. And I usually say yes. Although plants are kind of a middle ground, they are not human or animal. So things like fruit, trees, flowers. Perfectly fine objects to choose as well. Now when you're selecting your objects, you want to pick objects that are somehow interesting to you, that resonate with you. You don't have to know why they seem interesting, but don't just pick the first three things that come to mind. Take a look around at your environment, asked yourself what kinds of things you're interested in. In fact, I would recommend starting with a list of nine or ten objects and then narrow that list down to the three that you find most interesting. Now when you're selecting your objects, Keep in mind that you're going to need to draw them. So you wanna make sure you're picking objects that you feel comfortable drawing. So once you've selected your objects, now let's talk about drawing them. What I'd like you to do is draw these objects from observation, not just from out of your head or from memory. This means that you're either going to need to have the physical object available so you can look at it while drawing it. Or at least find an image of what you want to draw. You can find images of your subject online or of course in books. Now I'm going to recommend that you do one drawing per sheet of paper. This way you'll have room to do some nice big drawings. The drawings don't have to be huge, but you don't wanna make them too small. Now that being said, you can vary the size of your drawings quite a bit. For example, today you'll see me work with a magnifying glass, a chess piece, and a shoe. Now it's very important that you're only drawing on one side of each sheet of paper. Don't do drawings on both sides. So if you compare the size of the chess piece to the shoe that I've drawn. I've drawn the chess piece of much bigger than it would be in reality when compared with the size of the shoe. So again, the exact sizes you draw these things are not important. You just don't want to draw tiny things. And if the size relationships aren't realistic, that is completely fine. And in fact it's even preferred. You'll see me demonstrate how to do this in just a moment. Now my guess is that students in this course are going to have a wide range of drawing abilities. I'm sure I'll have some people who have drawn for a number of years, and I'll also probably have some people who are at the very beginning of their drawing practice. Either way, it's fine, but I'm going to ask you to draw near the top of your ability. I don't want you to rush through these drawings. I really want you to take your time and do drawings to the best of your ability to, for example, I spent probably about half an hour to an hour for each drawing you're going to see me do. It doesn't need to take you that long, but you don't want to rush through them. And when you see me draw, you'll notice that I'm not doing simple contour drawings. I'm really going out of my way to include a lot of shading in detail. Again, they don't need to be perfect, but I want you to draw near the top of your ability wherever that may be. And if you're a beginner, that's completely fine. Just tried her best. Now I've taught drawing in depth in my art and science of drawing series. So I'm not going to go in depth in this course and how to draw. But in this first creative project, I wanted to give you a quick overview of the drawing process just in case you're a beginner and you haven't had much drawing experience. You want to begin a drawing by simplifying your subject into its most basic shapes and forms. You don't want to add any detail. You want to establish the biggest shapes and forms first. And you'll want to start off using extremely light lines. And the reason is, no matter how good you are at drawing, nobody gets it right the first time. In every drawing I do, despite my best attempts, I need to make adjustments and fix errors. This is perfectly normal and should be expected. So here you'll see me shift lines and shapes around quite a bit. This is why starting off with light lines is so important because light lines are very easy to move and we haven't committed to anything yet. And this is also why it's so important to not start out with any details because we're moving so many things around the beginning of the process, any details we add will likely need to be erased or changed. So once you've figured out the basic shapes and forms of your subject, you can start to add detail in shading. Generally speaking, you want to start off drawing that bigger pieces of information and work your way down to the smallest details. You don't want to rush into small details. The tiniest details in the drawing should be sum of the last things you draw. You also don't want to rush into your darkest values. You'll notice that as I shade, I'm starting off with lighter values and slowly building up values until I arrive at the darkest parts of the shadows. Again, this strategy allows us some room to move in some room to correct our errors along the way. Now, I absolutely loved drawing and I had been studying drawing for nearly my entire life, so I'm pretty comfortable with it. But again, I don't expect you to be at this level of drawing. So let me show you some work from students who are just learning to draw. So you can see this student actually used pen and ink to diffuse drawings. They're simple, but there's still an attempt to add some shading in detail. They're not just outlines of a shape. You can see that this student who is just starting off drawing, used colored pencils and is adding some actual color to their work. That's totally fine to remember. These are creative exercises and there aren't really right or wrong answers to this as long as you stay generally within the bounds of the directions. Now although it's perfectly fine for you to participate in this course regardless of where you are withdrawing, I do wanna make a case for learning to draw. If you're a beginner who hasn't studied drawing, I highly recommend starting to learn to draw right away. And if you're somebody who has some drawing experience, who has not yet mastered the craft, I highly recommend continuing to improve your skills. Drawing is at the core of nearly all visual art practices. Nearly every creative profession requires you to know how to draw, architecture, fashion design, character design, and of course, comics and Illustration all requires strong drawing skills. And if you want to be a painter, it's essential that you learn to draw before you actually start working with paint. Most of the skills you need for painting, you should actually learn in drawing first, I can't tell you how many paintings students I've had come into my drawing studio who haven't learned to draw yet. And when they put in the time and effort to actually learn the fundamentals of drawing their paintings, improving astounding ways. So again, if you haven't learned to draw yet or you haven't mastered drawing yet. I highly recommend spending some time in learning this averse, it'll end essential craft. Now one of the reasons I'm asking you to draw these subjects instead of just cutting something out of a magazine or doing a digital collage is because drawing requires us to really spend some time with our subject. In order to draw something, you have to think about all of the small details and how they relate to one another. In this sense, drawing is a meditation on an object. It gives you some time to really think about the object itself. And as you're drawing, try and pay attention to what kinds of things come to mind related to the object. Many students report childhood memories, resurfacing, experiences they've had with the object, or they can think about the concepts that are associated with the object. For example, if you're drawing a clock, you might think about the passing of time, paying attention to these kinds of thoughts and emotions when you're drawing is all part of the creative experience. So as I'm drawing a shoe, it makes me think about walking, taking journeys, about following paths, and about deviating from paths as I draw the magnifying glass, it makes me think about deep observation and analysis, about studying something closely, about observing it, and learning new things about it. As I draw the chess piece, I think about games and how games can be a unique and useful metaphor for life itself. And I think about chess in particular is a game of strategy. I think about the strategies that we can use to achieve the things we want in our life. Again, there are no right or wrong ways to think about this. I just want you to pay attention to the thoughts that arise from your mind as you're drawing these objects and how they might relate to these objects. This is all part of the creative experience. So you'll notice that there's some ambiguity left in this project, although I am providing you with recommended materials and some directions, you have some flexibility with a type and size of paper you're working with. You have some flexibility in the materials. You have some flexibility of what you're going to draw with. Pencil, pen, color, pencils, markers, any of these will work. You have some flexibility in what size to draw your objects. Now these small windows of ambiguity that I've left in this project are intentional. One of the most important skills you need to learn as a creative person, how to make decisions despite ambiguity. Now this is something people really struggle with. So I'm starting you off with some simple decisions you can make with just a little bit of ambiguity. But as you progress through this course, you'll notice that I'm going to ask you to make more and more decisions while dealing with greater and greater levels of ambiguity. So if you're not sure about a part of the project, make a decision. Remember, this is a playful and experimental course. You're not going to mess up by making the wrong decision. And in fact, decisions that often seem wrong are where some of our greatest creative triumphs will occur. You want to be really open to possibility here and not be too concerned about making wrong decisions. Again, when in doubt, just make a decision. I promise it will be fine. So you have your materials list, you have your directions for the project, and you've been given some in-depth instructions in how to go about your project for today. So go select your objects and get to drawing. I look forward to seeing you here on the next lesson. 4. An Introduction to Meaning / Guided Journal Project Part 1: Welcome back. In the previous lesson, you did the first in what will be a series of creative projects. So if you're watching this lesson, hopefully you've selected your three inanimate objects and drawn them. Now after selecting your objects, I asked you to consider what kinds of thoughts, emotions, and memories came to mind as you drew them. Being present and paying attention to the thoughts and emotions that go through your mind when you interact with objects is a critical part of creativity. And in this lesson, we're going to talk about creativity much more directly. So let me ask you a question. What is creativity? It's a difficult question to answer. And it turns out that creativity is an elusive concept that's actually quite difficult to nail down. The definition of creativity you find in the dictionary doesn't match up too well with how artists think about it. In artists think about creativity a little different than designers do. Now when I talk about creativity to my students in the studio, I get a wide range of answers. Some of the most common answers I get are things like creativity is self-expression or creativities, imagination. Now both of these are fine answers, but they're pretty vague. Self-expression and imagination can be parts of the creative process, but neither of them are adequate on their own to describe what creativity really is. I'd like you to think back to times and you've thought, wow, that's really creative. What kind of things come to mind? Now there are no right or wrong answers here, but chances are when you think of something that's creative, you think of something that is unexpected. A creative solution is a solution that's surprising, something that's novel, something that's beyond the realm of what we ordinarily think about. In short, a creative solution is something new, something you haven't seen or something that most people would not have thought of. That's what makes it creative. So if a creative solution is a new solution and unexpected or novel solution, this begs the question, where to new ideas come from. Now I'm going to make a claim right now that did not sit well with me the first time I heard it, but bear with me for a moment. Human beings cannot create truly new things. Our brains have not evolved to create new things out of nothing. So how then can human beings become creative? What we can do, what human beings are really good at is combining existing things to create meaningful combinations. So I'm going to propose a practical definition for creativity for people who want to create things in the studio. It's not the only definition for creativity out there, but I find it incredibly useful. So here it is. Creativity is the act of creating new and meaningful combinations from existing things. So let me say that one more time, creativity is the act of creating new and meaningful combinations from existing things. And then later on in this course, we're going to talk much more about combinations of things. But in this lesson, I want to focus on meaning. To create meaningful combinations, we need to understand what meaning is, what is meaningful to us. For the purposes of today's lesson, I'm going to divide meaning into two distinct categories, and we're going to expand on this later on. But for now, let's start with these two categories, denotation and connotation. Denotation is the literal meaning of a word, the dictionary definition to the denotation you can think about as an objective description of a thing. For example, think about an apple. Now the denotation would simply be an objective description of an apple. An apple is around fruit from the tree. The skin of an apple is usually red or green, and the flesh of an apple is crisp. Now most people can agree upon this kind of definition. Again, it's just a straightforward, objective description of something. Now the second kind of meaning we're gonna talk about today is the one we are most interested in, connotation. Now connotation has much more to do with the thoughts and emotions and object invokes. Connotation focuses much more on the meaning of the apple beyond an objective description. So when you think of an apple, what kind of things come to mind? Now when I ask students this in the studio, I get a wide range of answers and remember there are no right or wrong answers here. People tend to remember opening their lunch bag and finding sliced apples in them. Or they think about the mythology behind an apple. Stories about the Garden of Eden and original sin. Some people think of Johnny Appleseed. Some people think of picking apples in the fall. So this flurry of thoughts and emotions that come in when you think of an apple are all connotation. So again, the denotation is an objective description of something, but the connotation is all of the thoughts, memories, and emotions that you associate with it. While denotation is an objective, almost scientific description of something, the connotation brings us to the realm of meaning and significance. Now this course is primarily a visual arts course. And although creativity has a wide range of applications, were really approaching creativity through visual arts. So for the purposes of this course, we're not very interested in the denotation of objects. We are much more interested in the connotation of objects. Now one of the reasons, of course, is that when we deal with a visual arts, we have images of the objects, we have drawings, photographs, paintings, none of these things are real. However, an image of an object contains all of the connotation that the actual object would have. So if you think of a drawing or painting of an apple, we can't eat that apple. If we were starving, it wouldn't help us to survive. However, the drawing or painting of that apple contains all of the connotations that the actual object carries with it. Now this is an essential idea for creative people to understand. Now yesterday I talked about the idea that it didn't really matter where you were in your drawing practice. If you were masterful at drawing or if you're just starting off, either are fine. And the good news is that when we're dealing with connotation, even a crudely drawn symbol of an apple will carry connotation with it. Now it is true that a more realistic drawing or painting of an apple can carry more connotations with it. A realistic drawing or painting of an apple can better describe the color, the texture of the skin are flesh and evoke more images that can seem more powerful to a viewer. But again, even a crude representation of an apple does carry connotation with it. Now connotation is not fixed or concrete. Connotation can change quickly from culture to culture or even from individual to individual. We all have different memories, thoughts, and emotions associated with things. But as you're thinking about meaning today, I want you to consider this. Some meanings are intensely personal to an individual. If you have a specific memory associated with an object that's unique to you in your life, it's unlikely that that connotation is going to connect with other people. That's an individual connotation that you have. However, many connotations are much more universal. I brought up before the idea of the Christian myth of the creation. That's a story that's known all over the world and resonates with many different people. So again, I want you to start to discern in your mind which connotations are more universal and more likely to be appreciated by a mass audience and which connotations are much more individual to you and your life. And when we're dealing with connotation creatively, you're welcome to use both individual connotation in meaning as well as universal. It's just good for you to know the difference because if you want to connect with somebody who's viewing your creations, it's better to use universal meanings rather than individual meetings. But again, there is a wide range of opportunities for both. So with all of this in mind, let's get to your guided journal project for this lesson. So here's how the guided journal projects work. Now when I tell you, Not yet, but when I tell you, you're going to pause the video and you're going to get set up with your journal and get ready to write. Once you're ready to write your resume playing the video. Next, you'll hear me give you the first question that you're going to write about. After I've given you the question, I'm going to ask you to think for one minute. Just let your mind populate with ideas, emotions, memories, remember the video will still be playing through this. I will let you know when one minute is up. After a minute of just pondering the question, I'm going to ask you to begin writing for each question, I'm gonna ask you to write for two minutes. I'll I you know, when we're nearing the end of two minutes, if you're done writing, great, but if you're not, feel free to pause the video to finish recording whatever thoughts seem important to you when you're ready, continue to play the video. This process will repeat until we've made our way through all of the journal questions. So now it's time to go get your journal. It gets setup to write. Go ahead and pause the video and press play. Once you're ready to write. For today's Journal project, you're going to be writing about the three inanimate objects that you selected in the previous lesson. I'm going to ask you the same set of three questions for each object. So select the first object you want to write about. Do you have it in your head? Okay, here is your first question. What ideas and activities do you associate with the object? Now before you, right, remember, we're going to spend one minute just thinking about this question. I'll let you know in the minute is up. Now it's time to write. So once again, the question is, what ideas in activities do you associate with the object? Go ahead and write for two minutes. I'll let you know in your two minutes are nearly on them. Continue writing for one more minute. Now, if you're not on writing, you feel you need a little time. Go ahead and pause the video and press play when you're ready. If you're ready for the next question, here it is. What memories and emotions does the object in vogue? And think about this question for one minute. I let you know when to write. Your one minute for thinking about the question is nearly and get ready to go ahead and write for two minutes. Continue writing for one more minute. We're nearing the end of your two minutes for writing. If you need more time, go ahead and pause the video. If not, here is the third question out of all of the connotations of the object that you just wrote about. Which of these are universal and which of them are individual? Do you think about this question for one minute. I let you know when to write in. Go ahead and write for two minutes. Continue writing for one more minute. We're nearing the end of two minutes. Go ahead and wrap up your writing for this object. This guided journal project will continue on the next video lesson. We'll answer the same questions for your other two objects. Please continue to the next video lesson. 5. Guided Journal Project Part 1 Continued: This video is a continuation of the guided journal project we started on the previous video. Previously, you selected one of the three inanimate objects you drew in answer to a series of three questions about it. In this video, I'll lead you through the same set of three questions for each of the remaining two inanimate objects. So get ready to write in your journal and select one of your inanimate objects that you have not yet written about. Do you have it in your mind? Okay, here's the first question. What ideas and activities do you associate with the object? Now before you, right, remember, we're going to spend one minute just thinking about this question. I'll let you know in the minute is up. Now it's time to write. So once again, the question is, what ideas in activities do you associate with the object? Go ahead and write for two minutes. I'll let you know in your two minutes are nearly on them. Continue writing for one more minute. Now if you're not done writing, you feel you need a little time. Go ahead and pause the video and press play when you're ready. If you're ready for the next question, here it is. What memories and emotions does the object in vogue? And think about this question for one minute. I let you know when to write in. Your one minute for thinking about the question is nearly on. Get ready to go ahead and write for two minutes. Continue writing for one more minute. We're nearing the end of your two minutes for writing. If you need more time, go ahead and pause the video. Here is the third question out of all of the connotations of the object that you just wrote about. Which of these are universal and which of them are individual? Do you think about this question for one minute. I let you know when to write in. Go ahead and write for two minutes. Continue writing for one more minute. We're nearing the end of two minutes. Go ahead and wrap up your writing for this object. We're going to go through this process one more time with your final inanimate object. So once you've got it in mind and you're ready to write, here's the first question. What ideas and activities do you associate with the object? Now before you, right, remember, we're going to spend one minute just thinking about this question. I'll let you know in the minute is up. Now it's time to write. So once again, the question is, what ideas and activities do you associate with the object? Go ahead and write for two minutes. I'll let you know in your two minutes are nearly on them. Continue writing for one more minute. Now, if you're not on writing, you feel you need a little time. Go ahead and pause the video and press play when you're ready. If you're ready for the next question, here it is. What memories and emotions does the object in vogue? And think about this question for one minute. I let you know when to write. Your one minute for thinking about the question is nearly on. Get ready to go ahead and write for two minutes. Continue writing for one more minute. We're nearing the end of your two minutes for writing. If you need more time, go ahead and pause the video. If not, here is the third question out of all of the connotations of the object that you just wrote about. Which of these are universal and which of them are individual to you? Think about this question for one minute. I let you know when to write. Go ahead and write for two minutes. Continue writing for one more minute. Congratulations on completing this guided journal project. I'll see you in the next lesson. 6. A Tale of Two Thought Processes / Creativity Project Part 2: Welcome back. In the previous lessons, we learned to focus on the meanings of objects, not just their literal definitions. We learned to explore the connotation of objects. What kinds of things we associate to them, what kinds of things they make us feel, what images they bring to mind. This kind of thinking allows us to get beyond literal definitions into the much deeper and richer realm of meaning. When we focus on meaning, we opened up the possibilities of an object. And by doing this, we're much more likely to make greater connections between things. This shift from viewing things literally to viewing things in terms of their meaning, is a critical shift that every creative person must make. We also learned that human beings don't create truly new things out of nothing. What we're really good at is combining existing things in new and meaningful ways. This is how creativity occurs. Creativity is the product of these new and meaningful combinations from existing things. In this lesson, we're going to explore the thought process behind creativity and why so many of us struggle to be creative as adults. In the introduction to this course, I introduced the research of George Land. When George Land tested five-year-olds, he found that 98% of them scored extremely high on levels of creativity. But when he gave the same test to adults, He found that only 2% of adults maintained this kind of creativity into their adulthood. So the question is, what happens between childhood and adulthood that causes most of us to lose our ability to be creative. So it turns out we don't lose our ability to be creative. We bury it. Now to understand this, let's go back to childhood. I want you to imagine for a moment a child playing in a sandbox. Now to the uncreative ie, a child playing in the sandbox appears to be just that. A child in a sandbox, but to the child, the sandbox comes alive. The child may imagine that in one corner of the sandbox there's a notion, the edge of that ocean the child may mark by drawing a line in the sand with their finger on the other side of that line. That child may imagine a forest. Now imagine that for a moment. We've all had these experiences as children. A simple line in the sand to a creative child can represent a deep ocean with all of its mystery and a forest containing all kinds of possibilities. It's just a line in the sand. But again, this is what it's like to be creative. Simple things become rich with meaning and possibility. Now let's say the child fashions a lump of Santa, the opposite corner to the creative child. This lump of sand could be a mountain, it could be a house, it could be a castle. A child may find pebbles or sticks and bring them into the sandbox. The child can imagine these pebbles and sticks into people or animals. Remember, this is what it's like to be creative. Every object contains deep meaning in his rich with possibility. And the same child playing in the same sandbox on a different day will likely imagine an entirely different world out of that sandbox. Now we have all had experiences of being deeply creative in our childhood. And although creativity looks a little different in our adulthood, this is where we want to start. We want to get back to that place where everything contains deep meaning and is rich with possibility. Now in children think creatively, we can just see them let their ideas flow and they act out these ideas. They role-play. They turn simple household items into all kinds of things. A banana may become a baby, a kitchen utensil may become a spaceship when we're thinking creatively, anything can be anything. And then we enter school and we learn that there are right answers and wrong answers, and that wrong answers are bad. We enter society and we learned that society has rules that were expected to follow. We learned that if we don't follow societies rules, we may feel shame or embarrassment and we might even be ostracized. Next, we enter the workforce and we learned that we only get paid for performing certain tasks. We learned that only certain kinds of work are valued in the workplace. We learned that to break rules in the workplace or to go outside of what we're expected to do might endanger our livelihood. We learn to fear taking risks. We start to learn that the creative way that we engage with the world as children has little or no value in the world of adults. And so we learned to bury our creativity. Now this narrative illustrates the two kinds of thinking that we must understand to be creative. And the two kinds of thinking are divergent thinking and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking is the kind of thinking that we engage in as creative children. Divergent thinking is all about generating meaning and possibility. When taking divergently, anything can be anything. We can turn a simple sandbox into worlds. So here's a practical definition of divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is the process of generating many possible solutions. Divergent thinking is the natural state of childhood and it's the kind of thinking that we must harness in order to be creative as adults. But as we grow up, we learn convergent thinking. So here's a good definition for convergent thinking. Convergent thinking is the process of narrowing down possibilities to find a single correct answer or solution. And again, convergent thinking is what is primarily taught in schools and what we're expected to adopt in the workplace. How convergent thinking is also enforced by many aspects of society. For example, most people feel pressure to believe certain things or to behave in certain ways, to be accepted by their family, their coworkers, their political allies, or their religious communities. All of these groups tend to promote a very specific way of believing and behaving that is required for acceptance into these groups. And if you don't behave in accordance with the cultures are beliefs of these groups. You risk embarrassment, shame, and in extreme cases you even risk being ostracized. Now I want to be very clear about something. Convergent thinking is not a bad thing. Convergent thinking is essential. Conversion thinking is used by professionals in nearly every field to figure out what the right solutions are to problems and where we should be putting our energy and resources when used in the right context. Conversion thinking is essential for the well-being of humanity. The problem is that when used incorrectly, convergent thinking destroys our capacity to be creative. And as we grow older, we tend to shift our thinking almost exclusively to convergent thinking. Most of us end up leaving divergent thinking back in childhood. This is a disaster for our creativity. So before we go on, I'd like to give you just a couple of examples that will clarify the differences between divergent thinking and convergent thinking. So imagine for a moment that you get a box of wooden blocks. On the cover of this box is a picture of a wooden toy train. Now a convergent thinker will use these wooden blocks to try and replicate the toy train on the cover of the box, assuming that this is the correct use of the blocks. Now on the other hand, a divergent thinker will tend to ignore the picture on the cover of a box and just see what they can make with the blocks. They might turn it into architecture or mazes are spaceships. Again, divergent thinking is all about generating many possibilities. So now here's a different example. Imagine being at work. Maybe your boss gathers and number of employees together in a meeting and your boss asks to this group to come up with new income streams for the company. Now divergent thinkers, if you happen to have any in your group, will start to ask questions like what if, what if we do this? What if we do that? They'll come up with numerous ideas. Know a divergent thinker knows that most of these ideas won't work out, but it divergent thinker comes up with many ideas. The idea is that by coming up with many ideas, you're much more likely to find one that will work. Divergent thinkers want to explore multiple possibilities when searching for good ideas. Divergent thinking works because good ideas are hard to find. And in order to come up with a good idea, we generally have to come up with many ideas. A convergent thinker, on the other hand, tends to focus on why things won't work. They tend to focus on what's been tried in the past. They tend to focus on the roadblocks at any idea might face in the future, convergent thinkers tend to say things like That's too expensive, that's not going to work. That's against the rules. Or a convergent thinker might say, that's too risky because we haven't tried anything like that before. Now again, this kind of thinking isn't bad. And at some point, it's essential to figure out what the correct solutions are and where time and energy should be spent. However, when you're trying to generate new and creative ideas, convergent thinking kills creativity. To become creative, we must learn to use divergent thinking on its own without any convergent thinking getting in the way. Now at some point, convergent thinking becomes essential to help us evaluate our ideas and figure out which of the ideas will work. But at first, we must get convergent thinking completely out of the way so we can focus on divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is what is going to produce the ideas we can evaluate in the first place. Now again, we don't want to get rid of convergent thinking entirely. We just need to learn to temporarily turn it off in order to freely engage in divergent thinking. So one of the primary goals of this course is to reunite you with divergent thinking. Now in this lesson, I just want to introduce divergent thinking and convergent thinking. Later on in the course, we're going to go much deeper in how to actually engage in divergent thinking. But for now, I just want to give you a sense of what these two kinds of thought processes are like. So now that you have a sense of divergent thinking and convergent thinking, let's shift gears and get you to your project. So today's project is very similar to the previous drawing project you did. Just like before. You're going to select three things and draw them. But this time you're going to select to human body parts to draw and one animal part to draw. I've decided to draw a human hand, a human eye, and the wing of a bird. All you need are three sheets of paper and some kind of drawing material. I'll be using 18 by 24 inch white drawing paper and colored pencils. But remember, you're welcome to use whatever you have on hand. And once again, you're only going to do one drawing on each sheet of paper and make sure you don't draw on the back of any of these sheets of paper. Again, you want one drawing for each sheet of paper. Don't draw on the backs of these. Just like before. You wanna make sure you're drawing at a decent size. You're drawing, so it needs to be huge, but you shouldn't draw them too small either. And you don't have to do your drawings in proportion to one another. For example, you can see that my hand that I've drawn is pretty close to life size. But the i is much, much bigger than life size. It's completely fine to change the sizes of these body parts. And finally, you want to draw near the top of your ability wherever that may be. Again, the drawing, so it have to be perfect, but you want to do your best. And remember, when you're drawing, try and think about what these things might mean. What is the meaning of a hand or an eye, or whatever body parts you choose to draw. What kind of memories do you have associated with them? What ideas do they bring to mind? Again, we want to learn to look at everything in terms of its meaning. Okay, so get going with your project and once you're done, I will see you back here for the next lesson when we are going to further explore divergent thinking. 7. Recovering Your Creativity / Guided Journal Project Part 2: Welcome back. In the previous lesson, we learned that every one of us has the capacity to be creative. But as we get older, we learn to barrier creativity. But the good news is that whenever we choose, we can recover our creativity even in our adulthood. Creativity is a natural state of the human mind in our childhood, as well as in our adulthood. In all we need to do is learn how to access it. And the first step in accessing our creativity is removing the barriers we've placed in its way. So to start this process, I'm going to lead you through a guided journal project where you're going to explore your own experiences with divergent thinking and creative play. So before we begin, I'm going to remind you of how these journal projects work. In just a few minutes, I'm going to ask you to pause this video and get setup to write in your journal. Once you're set up to write in your journal, your going to resume playing the video. Next, you'll hear me give you the first writing prompt. Once you've heard the writing prompt, I'm just going to ask you to think about it for one minute to see what kinds of ideas and images come to mind. And remember, you're going to keep the video playing while you're thinking all that you know in your one minute is up. After thinking about the writing prompt for one minute, I'll ask you to begin writing for today. I'm going to ask you to write for four minutes for each writing prompt. And again, during the whole process of writing, you're going to keep the video playing. I will let you know when you're four minutes for writing are up. If at the end of form and it's you feel like you have more derived. That's great. Feel free to pause the video in keep writing, but it's very important that you write for at least the four minutes I'm asking you to, you'll be surprised how often other ideas will come to mind and you'll find yourself writing once again about the writing prompt. Now once you've finished your writing for the first prompt, we're going to go through this same set of steps again for two more writing prompts. Okay, so now that we've gone over the instructions for this guided journal project, I want you to pause the video and get setup to write in your journal. Once you're ready to write, Go ahead and unpause the video. Now you should be ready to write in your journal. So here is the first writing prompt. Write about a time in childhood when you were fully engaged in creative play. You may write about one instance or many. But first we're just going to think about the writing prompt for one minute. All that you know in the one minute is up. And when you can begin writing. Okay, so your one minute for thinking is nearly ABA, and for the next four minutes, you're going to write about a time in childhood when you were fully engaged in creative play. And remember, you can write about one instance for many, it's up to you. But the important thing is that you keep writing for the full four minutes. I'll let you know when you're four minutes are nearly on them. You have one more minute left to right in. Okay, your four minutes for writing are nearly up. If you're done writing grade, if you need a few more minutes, feel free to pause the videos. You can finish up any thoughts you have when you're ready. Here is the next writing prompt and write about a time someone made you feel ashamed or embarrassed for being creative. Once again, you may write about one instance or many, but first I just want you to think about this for one minute. I'll let you know when your one minute for thinking is. Your one minute for thinking is nearly oven. Go ahead and begin writing. I'll let you know when you're four minutes are nearly up. One more minute for this writing prompt. Your four minutes are nearly up. Go ahead and wrap up your writing for this prompt. If you need a few more minutes, go ahead and pause this video and resume playing whenever you're ready. So before we go on to the third and final writing prompt, there are a few things I'd like to talk to you about. Some of the most common stories I hear from students are about people in their lives discouraging them from being creative. Sometimes this discouragement comes from a teacher who just doesn't understand creativity. Other times it's from a well-meaning parent or friend trying to protect the student. Occasionally there's malicious snus involved. I've heard so many variations of this story. And unfortunately, the result is that many of these students end up giving up on their creative ambitions. But here's the thing. The people who are often the most discouraging are often the most clueless about how creativity works and how essential it is in life. They don't understand how creativity benefits both individuals and society as a whole. So here are a few facts about creativity that you may not know. A few years back, IBM did a study where they interviewed more than 1500 CEOs in more than 60 countries and across 33 industries. They asked to be CEOs. What they thought was the most important leadership quality. More than 60% of the CEOs said that the most important leadership quality was creativity. More than any other quality, CEOs look for creativity in the people that they put in leadership positions. Now there have been a number of studies like this one, and they all point in the same direction. Creativity is not just a frivolous activity for artists and children. Every advancement in every field is come as a result of creativity. Scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs all attest to how important creativity as to their success. So whoever discouraged you from being creative, whatever their reasons may have been, they were wrong. Every new idea in every field is the direct result of creative thinking. Creativity is as essential in adulthood as it is in childhood. And you can always choose to reconnect with your creativity. So now here is your final writing prompt. What would you do differently in your life if you were more creative? Again, I just want you to think about this for one minute before you begin writing. I'll let you know when your one minute is up. Okay? Your one minute is up and go ahead and write for four minutes. I'll let you know when you're four minutes or nearly. You have one more minute for this writing prompt. Your four minutes are nearly on the go ahead and wrap up your writing for this prompt. If you need a few more minutes, go ahead and pause this video and resume playing whenever you're ready. Well, congratulations on finishing today's guided journal project. I will see you back here for the next lesson when you're going to learn about some changes you can make in your life to enhance your creativity. 8. Openness to Experience / Creativity Project Part 3: Welcome back. Before we get into today's lesson, I'd like to review what we've learned so far. One of the first things we learned is that creativity requires self-awareness. And one of the best ways to enhance our self-awareness is to write. Writing is an excellent way to get our thoughts out of our head onto a page so we can sort through them and make sense out of them. That's what self-reflection is and self-reflection is essential for creativity. Now I've also made a case that you should learn to draw. Drawing increases your observational skills and it gives you a creative craft with which to work. Remember drawing this at the foundation of most visual arts. So learning to draw as soon as you can will really give you a headstart in all kinds of other creative endeavors and the observational skills you'll develop all drawing will make you more aware of the world around you. Being more aware and more observant of the world around you will give you more raw material to work with when you're trying to be creative. And the more you have to work with, the more likely you are to make creative connections between things. We've also learned that being creative requires us to see everything in terms of meaning and possibility. If creativity is all about making meaningful connections than seeing things as meaningful, insignificant is an essential first step. And finally, we've learned the difference between divergent thinking, which means to come up with many ideas or solutions, and convergent thinking, which means to narrow down to find one correct solution. We've learned that to be creative, we need to temporarily turn off our convergent thinking. We can solely engage in divergent thinking. Now, many people think that learning to be creative is something they're going to do through an art project or in the art studio, or they think it's a step-by-step process. And as I'm sure you're learning, that could not be further from the truth. Becoming more creative is a way of life. To become more creative, we'd need to learn to live our life differently. Now, becoming creative is also not something that's going to be immediately measurable. It's not as if you'll finish this course in like a light switch turning on, you'll suddenly become creative. It takes time to develop creativity. But my goal in this course is to give you all of the raw materials of creativity. So you can come at it from numerous different ways. Writing, drawing, self-reflection, and changing the way you live in thinks are all essential tools for becoming more creative. Now in this lesson, you're going to learn ways you can change the way you think by making changes in your daily life. And I want to say this again, creativity is not something you're just going to learn to do in the studio or while you're making art. Creativity is a way of thinking and being in every aspect of life. And one of the most powerful ways to do this is to increase your openness, to experience. Openness to experience is a well-known personality trait that is highly correlated with creativity. So let's define openness to experience. Openness to experience is the drive to explore one's inner and outer worlds and a receptiveness to new ideas and information. Openness to experience is one of the strongest predictors of creativity. Now people who have a high level of openness to experience exhibits some predictable qualities. They tend to be curious, they tend to be perceptive, self-aware, and intellectual. They explore their own inner worlds of ideas, emotions, sensations, and fantasies. Outwardly, they are constantly seeking new information. And when they come across new information, they try and make sense out of it. They're open to new and unusual experiences and they cultivate a curiosity toward the strange and unfamiliar. They explore new things and constantly seek out new information that confounds them and challenges how they're thinking. They constantly explore new ideas, seek out new information, and look for things that challenge their current beliefs. The goal of this lesson is to increase your openness to experience, thereby grow your creativity. So to do this, first, I want to talk about latent inhibition. Latent inhibition is a technical term that refers to how easy it is for something to acquire meaning or significance. So let me explain this. A person with normal levels of latent inhibition is able to tune out any information that isn't immediately relevant to what they're doing. They tune out things that are unimportant in the moment. So for example, right now, I'm not aware of the carpet fibers, I'm not aware of the texture of the ceiling. I have no idea how many pieces of paper I have on my desk. Now, all of these are pieces of information that if I look around I can clearly see, but they are irrelevant to the task at hand, so I ignore them. Now for most people, the vast majority of information that their eyes and ears are taking in fall into the category of irrelevant information. So people with normal levels of latent inhibition only pay attention to what's immediately relevant to the task at hand. However, someone with a lower level of latent inhibition is paying much more attention to the information that surrounds them. People with lower levels of latent inhibition tend to be more aware of sounds. They're more aware of light. They're more aware of textures and small details in their environments. Now having lower levels of latent inhibition can be overwhelming at times, but it is essential for creativity. Now one of the reasons I've been encouraging you to learn to draw is because drawing is an excellent way to lower your levels of latent inhibition. Learning to draw really allows us to focus on details that we weren't paying attention to before. It opens the world backup over and over, students who have just started learning to draw will come to me and tell me that their world looks completely different. Even after just a few weeks of drawing. These drawing students report that colors look brighter. They see far more detailed. A world seems more interesting and traumatic there suddenly aware of light and shadow on objects. And they tend to see the world with a much greater sense of fascination and beauty. When we're editing out most of the information from our environment, we don't see as much. And when we don't see as much, we don't have as much raw material to make connections with. Learning to draw opens the world backup and allows us to see everything with a sense of wonder, curiosity and beauty. Lowering guard latent inhibition through drawing infuses everything with a sense of wonder and creative possibility. Now hopefully you're already committed to learning to draw. So now I'm going to introduce some other ways for you to lower your latent inhibition and increase your openness to experience. And one of the best pieces of advice I can give you if you want to become more creative, is to become a maverick. A maverick is an unorthodox and independent minded person. A maverick thinks differently from most people. If creativity is about making new and meaningful connections, that we're not going to make new connections by thinking in the way we always have, or by the way, everybody else thinks. So how do you become a maverick? Well, here are some strategies that I use and that are proven to make you a more independent minded person. First, you want to disrupt your habits. Now disrupting your daily habits is a great way to lower your latent inhibition and increase your openness to experience. Now by disrupting your daily habits, you'll be able to see your mundane, everyday environment in a new way. Simple things like brushing your teeth or note-taking with your non-dominant hand will start to open your mind backup. It forces you to re-examine the way you normally do things and really think about the act of brushing your teeth or taking notes or whatever these mundane activities may be. I know this sounds strange, but I will regularly say empty the dishwasher with one hand, rearrange the furniture in my house, walk upstairs backwards and a wide range of other things. It doesn't have to be dramatic. Even something as simple as changing the order of your shower routine will help lower your levels of latent inhibition and increase your openness to experience. Again, the goal is to take these mundane routines that you don't even think about and force yourself to re-examine them. So again, by disrupting your daily habits, it will make the world seem new again, that will make the world unfamiliar, and that is the place where creativity comes from. Now this next suggestion people really struggle with. So I'm not saying you have to do this, but I am saying it's an excellent way to increase levels of creativity, challenge your beliefs. Now most people have a very strong set of beliefs. They could be religious, they could be political, they could be moral, They could be familial. Most people have a very strong set of beliefs that they live by and they tend not to question. Now, having a strong set of beliefs may be meaningful and useful in everyday life. But remember, having rigid beliefs and ways of doing things kills our capacity to be creative. Now I'm certainly not advocating for any sort of moral relativism or pushing you toward any specific set of beliefs. I'm also not suggesting that you need to give up your current beliefs. But I am suggesting that you want to seek to understand and maybe even learn something new from a set of beliefs that you don't subscribe to. There are many different ways you can challenge your beliefs and I'm gonna share with you how I do it. Now. I absolutely loved to learn new things and particularly through reading. But I have a rule. Anytime I read a book that comes from a particular religious or political point of view, I obligate myself to read a book from an opposing viewpoint. And when I do this, when I read a book that challenges what I already believe, i don't do it in order to find its flaws. I try and open my mind to see if there's something I can agree with or learn, even if it's something small. Now, I've been amazed that since I started doing this, how much deeper and richer my beliefs have become, I've added new layers that I never thought possible. Challenging the way you think and being open to learning from unorthodox sources is an excellent way, again, to open your mind up to take in new information and to change the way you think. And remember creativity is all about finding new ways to think. And again, I want to reiterate, you don't have to do this. I don't want you to feel obligated to do anything you're not comfortable doing. But I am saying that creativity requires new ways of thinking. You want to be able to challenge the way you think, to push your brain into unknown territory. And challenging your beliefs is an excellent way to do that. So if you're not up for challenging your beliefs, you can increase your openness to experience by simply learning new things. And this could come in many forms. You can start to play an instrument. You could start a new hobby like gardening or writing. You could take up cooking, anything that challenges your brain in a new way. Now as a creative person, learning a different form of creative expression is particularly effective. So for example, if you're a dancer, try painting. If you're interested in fashion design and try writing and drawing the comic book. This kind of cross creative training is an excellent way to get you to think about whatever medium you're interested in, in a whole new way. So as you probably know, I do a lot of drawing, but I also play the cello. Now I'm terrible at the cello, but the reason I play it is because it allows me to think about drawing in a completely different way. I'm always asking myself, how is playing the cello similar to drawing? What can I learn from music and applied a drawing? Now learning to play the cello, even though I'm really bad at it, has enhanced my idea of what drawing isn't can be. But in addition to that, it also opens up music and a whole new way. Learning to play the cello has increased my openness to experience because I can hear music differently now, because I know how hard it is to play the cello. It makes me appreciate music and a whole new way because I know how hard music is to make. So I want to sum up what we've learned here. So to be creative, we need to seek out new information and in particular, new information that may challenge our beliefs. We want to disrupt our daily habits and we want to learn new things. This will force our minds to think in new and different ways. And remember, being creative is all about thinking in new and different ways so we can make new connections between things. So with all of this in mind, let's switch gears and start your project. So for today's project, you'll need a pair of scissors and you'll need the six drawings that you've done for this course so far. You'll need your three drawings of inanimate objects, your two drawings of human body parts. In your one drawing of an animal part, you're going to cut out all of your drawings. The goal here is to cleanly separate the drawing entirely from the white of the paper. Now I do this by first cutting away the excess white paper. Once I've got a rough cut, I do a more detailed cut around the contour. The goal here is to not have any white showing at the edges of your drawings. Now to do this, you'll need to cut very slowly when you're at the contour. Now for some objects that might be difficult to figure out exactly where to cut. So for example, the I that I've drawn does not have a clear contour edge like some of the other objects. So my advice here is to try and visualize what it might look like if you cut it in different ways. If it helps, you can even draw a light line around the area you want to cut out. But it's important to remember that there is no right or wrong answer here. This is a creativity project and there's no wrong way to do it. So don't worry that you might mess up. Now there may be some areas that are hard to cut out with scissors. Now for these areas, I switched to a utility knife or an exact dough blade. Now using a blade is optional. But cutting with a blade works great for interior shapes that you'll need to remove. So for example, here you can see me cutting out the whitespace inside the loop of this shoelace. Or here you can see me cutting out the inside of the magnifying glass because I want to be able to see through it. Once you're done, you should have six objects all cleanly cut out. Once you're done with your project, I will see you back here for the next lesson where you're going to design some changes you can make in your life in order to increase your openness to experience. 9. Design A Creative Life / Guided Journal Project Part 3: Welcome back. In this lesson is another guided journal project. The goal of today's Journal project is for you to explore new ways that you can increase your openness to experience. By the end of today's lesson, you should have a number of new activities you can engage in that over time will increase your openness to experience and expand your creative potential. Today's gotta journal project is also an excellent opportunity for you to practise divergent thinking. So before we get to today's guided journal project, let me give you some instructions on how to successfully engage in divergent thinking. First, you need to prioritize quantity. Remember, the goal of divergent thinking is for you to generate as many ideas as you can much later on, after you've come up with the ideas, you can evaluate them to see which ones will work and which ones won't. But while thinking divergently, the goal is just to get as many ideas as possible. Now when I say as many ideas as possible, I don't just mean three or four. Generally, you should push yourself to come up with 20-30 or even more. Next, when you're engaged in divergent thinking, you need to postpone criticism. This is one of the most important skills for successful divergent thinking. If you judge and criticize every new idea you have right after you have it, you're going to kill your potential for creativity. Remember at this stage we're not interested in what ideas will work, which ones are better or worse. We're only interested in coming up with as many as possible. So you need to be able to postpone any judgments or criticisms of the ideas you generate. Next, we want to pursue wild ideas. When we're thinking divergently, we should welcome ideas that are silly, impractical, and even outlandish. These are the ideas that are going to push us into new areas of thinking. So no matter how wild an idea seems at the time, write it down, even if you don't use it, it's going to push you into new territory. Now while you're practicing your divergent thinking today, if you get stuck, you can come up with new ideas by connecting and constructing from your existing ideas. For example, if you have four or five ideas and you just can't come up with anymore. Pick two ideas at random, combine them together and see what you get. This isn't a strategy that works all the time. But again, it's a great way to push your thinking in a new direction. And remember, that's what creativity is, finding meaningful connections from existing things. The final strategy I'm going to share with you today, I call variations on a theme. This is when you take an idea you've already come up with, and you come up with minor variations on that one idea. So in the previous lesson, I talked about ways that I disrupt my daily habits. And I mentioned that sometimes I walk upstairs backwards. This is an idea that we can do some variations on. Where else can you walk backwards? You could walk backwards to work. You can walk backwards for an entire day. So again, if you're stuck focusing in on one idea and coming up with a number of variations is a great way to get your ideas flowing again. Okay, so now that you have some strategies and how to successfully engage in divergent thinking. Let's get you to your guided journal project to go ahead and pause the video and get setup to write in your journal. Once you're ready to write your journal, unpause the video and we'll get started. Now just like before, you're going to keep the video playing during the whole guided journal project. All that you know when to write in how long you're writing for. So for your first guided journal prompt, we're going to start off with a pretty easy one. I'm going to ask you to make a list of new things you want to learn. Remember, learning new things is an excellent way to lower your levels of latent inhibition and to increase your openness to experience. When I tell you to start writing, I'm going to ask you to list as many things as you can think of that you might be interested in learning. Now remember, I'm not asking you to commit to learning these things right now. I just want you to come up with a list of a number of new things you're excited to learn about. Some of the examples I gave in the previous lesson, or learning a new instrument, starting to garden, learning to cook. If these things interest, you great, write them down and hopefully have a number of other things you're interested in learning to ready. Okay, your two minutes begin. Now, what new things do you want to learn? Your two minutes are nearly up. If you need more time, feel free to pause the video and resume when you're done writing. If you're done writing, let's move on. Next, we're going to explore how you can disrupt your daily habits and routines. Now before you come up with ways to disrupt your daily habits and routines, we need to figure out what they are. So take two minutes and make a list of all of your habits and routines that you can think of. Think about your morning routines or your evening routines. Think about your grooming routines are eating routines. This could include your commute to things going on at work. Anything that comes to mind, that's a routine. You want to write it down. Your two minutes begin now, list as many of your habits and routines as you can think of. Your two minutes are nearly up. If you need more time, feel free to pause the video and resume when you're done writing. If you're done writing, let's move on. So now that you have a list of your habits and routines, I'm going to ask you to generate as many ideas as you can think of to disrupt them. So some of the examples I gave in the previous lesson where things like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, walking backwards. Now those are pretty basic suggestions. Now when I've done this project, some pretty strange things have made my list. I listed things like filling my kitchen with balloons to make it challenging to prepare a meal. On my list, I had wearing pot holders all day or things like building afford underneath my dining room table where I would sleep. Now I'm not going to tell you which of these things I actually did. But the point is to come up with as many wild ideas as possible. Remember, it's these strange ideas that are going to push us into new territory. So for this part of the guided journal project, I'm going to give you five minutes. Within this five minutes, I want you to try and come up with 25 ideas for ways you can disrupt your habits and routines. Now you may not get to 25 and that's okay, but that's what I want you to try for. The goal here is just to push you beyond getting three or four ideas and stopping. That's what most people do. And remember, if you get stuck, Take a look at the ideas you've already written down. See if you can combine some of them to come up with something new or focus in on one and come up with some variations on it and ready. Your five-minutes begin. Now, come up with as many ways as you can to disrupt your current habits and routines. I'll let you know when you're five minutes around them. You've got one more minute. Your five minutes are nearly up. Today's guided journal project continues on the next video. If you need more time listening ways to disrupt your current habits in beliefs, feel free to pause the video and resume whenever you're ready. If you're finished, please continue to the next video to complete today's guided journal project. 10. Guided Journal Project Part 3 Continued: So now we're going to shift our focus to how we can challenge our beliefs. Now again, I don't want to push you into doing anything you're not comfortable with doing. But I do want to give you the opportunity to just explore this as an idea. What would challenging your beliefs look like? Hopefully you can find some beliefs that you're willing to challenge. And if not, again, that's okay too. But at least explore the idea through your journal. So before we figure out ways to challenge our beliefs, we first need to figure out what some of our beliefs are. So going to ask you to take two minutes and list is many of your beliefs as you can think of. Again, these could be political, they could be religious, they could be moral, familial. They can be systems of belief, or they can be individual beliefs. So take two minutes to list as many of your beliefs is you can think of your two minutes begins now. Your two minutes are nearly up. If you need more time, feel free to pause the video and resume when you're done writing. If you're done writing, let's move on. So now that you've identified some of your beliefs, we can explore some ways that you can challenge them. Remember, the whole goal of challenging your beliefs is to increase your openness to experience, to try and soften some of your rigid ways of thinking. Remember, every creative idea is a new idea. And every new idea challenges the beliefs and assumptions of what came before. The whole point of doing this project is not for you to give up your beliefs, but to get you thinking in whole new ways, remember, if you want to come up with new and creative things, you're not going to do it by thinking the way you've always thought. Ok, you're five minutes begin now, come up with as many ways as you can think of to challenge your beliefs. I'll let you know when you're five minutes are up. You've got one more minute. Your five minutes are nearly on newborn time. Feel free to pause the video and resume playing whenever you're ready. So hopefully you have a list of a number of things that you're excited to learn. A number of ways you can disrupt your daily habits and routines, and some ways you can challenge your beliefs. Now I wanna make this very clear. I'm not going to force you to do any of these things, but becoming creative requires thinking and acting in entirely new ways, ways that are unfamiliar to us, ways that surprise us. And if you're not willing to do that, it's unlikely you're going to increase your creativity. So now that we're at the end of this lesson, here's what I'm going to ask you to do. Choose three activities that you've listed today from any of the categories and commit to trying them. I want you to pick one new thing you want to learn. I want you to pick one way you can disrupt a habit or routine, and one way you can challenge a belief. Again, if you're truly uncomfortable with some of these things, you don't have to pick one thing from each list. But remember, trying new things and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is what is required for creativity. All right, well, this concludes this lesson. I will see you back here for the next lesson when you're going to learn how to apply creative thinking to your art. 11. Creative Combinations / Creativity Project Part 4: Welcome back. In this lesson, we're going to pull together a number of ideas that we've learned about so far into a creative art project. So for today's project, you're going to need the six cutout drawings you've done for this course so far into a large flat surface on which to arrange them. For today's project, you're going to combine these six drawings in numerous ways to create new and meaningful combinations. Now before you try, I'm going to demonstrate this in just a few minutes, but there are a few ideas I want to discuss with you before I demonstrate today's project. The first thing is that while you're making these combinations today, you're not looking for the one best solution. You're not looking for one single correct solution or even a good solution. There isn't some one correct way to make combinations. The goal is to create as many combinations is possible to see what connections we can make between these objects and to see what new meanings they create. So as you'd likely remember, I'm starting with a chess piece. A human hand, a bird's wing, a magnifying glass, a boot, and a human eye. Now, each one of these drawings carries with it a rich combination of significance in meanings that range from the universal to the intensely personal. So let's see what happens when we start to combine these drawings. I'll be doing this project on top of my cutting mat. You're welcome to do it on top of any flat surface you have available. I've got my cutout drawings off to the side, right off camera. To start, I'm just going to grab two drawings at random. I'll start just by moving them around. I don't have any particular ideas yet on how to arrange them. I'm not even sure what I'm really looking for, but this is how creativity works. We've gotta experiment. I'll start by placing the magnifying glass on top of the chess piece. Maybe is if it's an arm or a wink. These two objects don't quite seem to be resonating with me on their own. Maybe I need to add a third element. At this stage. I'm just looking for something to strike me as interesting, resonant, or meaningful. And it's important to remember, this is such a subjective part of the creative process. What strikes me as meaningful or interesting may not strike you. And that's fine. I've had to get used to this stage, just starting off playing around with elements when nothing quite seems to work, that should be expected. Remember, most combinations are not going to work. That's why we have to keep an eye out for something that resonates with us. Again, it's very important to note. It's not as if I have a vision that I'm working toward. I have no idea what I'm looking for, but that's why we experiment so far. None of these are working for me, which is to be expected. You'll find that this is pretty common at the beginning. It's very rare that your first attempts will yield anything useful. Maybe I'll switch to some other drawings. Now I'll start with the I and maybe the boot again. I'm not sure why I grabbed these. I'm just trying things out. This strikes me as kind of interesting. I like that. It looks like the eye is wearing a boot. Now the, I could walk around or perhaps hop around like a bird. Maybe this strange little creature needs a wing. When placed here, I like that the curve on top of the wing mimics the curve of the eyelashes. So this is striking, these interesting. Now let's try some variations. Let's see what happens if I remove the eye. This kind of reminds me of a modern day Mercury, the Greek messenger god. In fact, many mythological characters and creatures are created from combinations as well. Dragons are a great example. If you look at a dragon, you can see that it's a combination of a number of fearsome animals, bats, snakes, lizards, alligators, and other creatures, depending on the dragon. Let's bring back the chess piece to see how that changes things. Here we have another interesting little flying creature. Now it's very important for you to remember. We're not looking for the right combination or a good combination. We're just experimenting to see what kinds of combinations we can make. The goal here is not an end product. The goal here is to train our brains to always be looking for meaningful combinations, not only in projects like this, but out in the real world, the more we practice seeking out meaningful combinations between random objects, the mara brains will be primed for creativity. So during today's project, now that you know what we're doing with these drawings, I'm going to give you the option to add more drawings into the mix. So I'm going to pull in some drawings of flowers that I've done, as well as a different hand. Again, I have no goal or plan here. I just thought that would be interesting. So now that you've got a sense of what today's project is all about. Let me share some ideas with you that you can experiment with today. Now, most people will start by placing their drawings are right in the center of their workspace. There's nothing necessarily wrong with this. It's just what everybody tends to do. It's not a particularly unique solution. So in addition to placing your drawings in the center, I'd like you to explore some other options. You can have your drawings coming in and out of the frame. For example, here you can see that the hands appear to be reaching into the frame from below. They appear to be reaching toward the flowers which appear to be dropping into the frame from above. There's something quite interesting and beautiful about this composition. I've done this project many times and I never seem to run out of unique combinations. It's amazing to me how many different meanings there can be using a limited number of drawings. I liked this visual of the hands reaching for something. I'll try some variations. Here. It looks like they're trying to catch this flying. I creature. Projects like this are really gets to the heart of creativity. We start with individual elements that each have their own significance and meanings. When we start to combine them, they go beyond the sum of their parts. They start to suggest new meanings. They can either begin to suggest situations, narratives, and stories. When doing projects like this, you can start to feel your mind thinking differently. You can sense yourself trying to figure out what some of these images mean. Now it's important to note that these combinations don't necessarily have inherent meanings. But as our mind tries to make sense of them, we can feel it getting pushed in new directions. Now many of these combinations will be nonsensical and that's fine. But some of them may resonate deeply with you, even if you don't know why. Pay attention to when this happens. Now once again, I'd like to restate there is no final product we're going for here. We just want to experience creativity by combining existing elements to create new and meaningful combinations, to make new connections between things. This is at the heart of creative thinking. And the more you do projects like this, the more you train your brain to make meaningful connections between things. Even with this small and limited number of elements, that creative possibilities seem endless. Now just to reminder, your creative combinations do not need to be at the same level as mine. Here are some examples of student work. I want this course to be accessible to people who have little to no artistic training. I want you to feel comfortable participating in these projects, even if you don't have much experience drawing while doing creative projects like this, your thought process is much more important than your artistic skill level. All I ask is that you try and work near the top of your skill level, wherever that may be. Even if you're completely new to art projects, that's fine. Just do your best. Now this is one of my very favorite creative projects to do because it's so clearly illustrates what the creative process looks like inside the mind. It illustrates this process of making connections between things and to see what kinds of meaningful combinations we can find. Now in this project, we're using drawings as our raw materials to make connections. But this kind of creative thinking process can be applied to just about anything. You can use it across any domain. This kind of creative thinking goes far beyond art. For example, think about a game-changing innovation like this smartphone. I don't think anyone would deny that this smartphone has completely changed the way humans interact with one another. But think about what the smart phone really is. It's a combination of the computer and a telephone. The smartphone is essentially a small computer, but combined with the computer or the communication capabilities of the telephone, as well as its handheld functionality. Now if we think about this a little further, we can even identify other existing elements that were combined together to create the smartphone, for example, the flashlight and the camera. Now all of these things had been in existence for years, if not decades before the creation of the smartphone. But the creators of this smartphone brought all of these ideas together. They combined all of these things into one device in a new and meaningful way. So the way I think about this kind of creative project that you're going to be doing today is it's like going to a Creative Jim. This is a creative workout. This is a way to train your brain to always seek out new and meaningful connections and combinations between existing elements. The more you engage in projects like this, the more you train your brain to seek new and meaningful connections out in the world. All right, so now it's your turn to try this. Take your six drawings and begin combining them to seek out new and meaningful combinations. And remember, as I demonstrated, if you want to, you can add new drawings into the mix. Now you're welcome to only use the six drawings you have. Six is plenty for you to make combinations with. But if you like, you're welcome to add more drawings into the mix. And if you find any combinations that really resonate with you, feel free to photograph them. Although we're not interested in narrowing down these combinations into one that we think is the best. You may find some that really resonate with you. And when you do, feel free to photograph them, taking photographs of the combinations that really resonate with you is a great way to document your creative process. But again, this is optional. And remember, when you're doing this project today, don't stop at just three or four combinations. See if you can come up with 2030 or even more. The more combinations you come up with, the more likely you are to find combinations that really resonate with you. Alright, let's get you to your project today. When you're done, I will see you back here for the next lesson when I'm going to teach you how to deal with failure and mistakes. 12. Mistakes & Failure / Guided Journal Project Part 4: Welcome back. In this lesson, we're going to talk about mistakes and failure. An uncomfortable truth that every creative professional knows is that if you want to be creative, you're going to make a lot of mistakes. Now the reason is pretty simple. What we're looking for creative ideas, that means new ideas were in unexplored territory. We have to venture into the unknown and there are no guides are roadmaps there. To come up with new ideas, we need to be able to explore the unknown. And this requires many missteps just so we can get to know the terrain. When you're trying to be creative, mistakes and missteps are inevitable. It is highly unlikely that your first ideas will actually work out or be the best ideas. Remember, as we've talked about in previous lessons, the goal when we're being creative is to generate many ideas. And most of those ideas are not going to work out. But we're much more likely to find ideas that will work if we generate many ideas. So when you're trying to learn something new or when you're trying to come up with new ideas, mistakes and missteps are an inevitable part of the process. But this doesn't mean they need to be painful or unpleasant. In fact, mistakes when properly leveraged are extremely valuable. So my goal for this lesson is to get you comfortable with mistakes. To be comfortable with the idea that mistakes and missteps are not only inevitable, but an essential part of the creative process. So I want to share with you some of the strategies that I use to deal with mistakes, missteps, and failures. So we know that when we're trying to come up with a creative idea, a new idea that we're going to need to go through many ideas and that most of these ideas are not going to work out. Now way too often I come across students who want to be more creative. But if they come up with two or three ideas and they don't work out or they're not the right ideas, they get frustrated and they give up. This is because they assume that good ideas should come quickly and easily. Perhaps you don't have this belief, but I've found that it's very common with new creativity students. So if you believe that new and creative ideas should come easily and quickly, you are never going to be creative. Now usually, ideas that are creative, ideas that are new and useful only come after generating dozens, if not hundreds of ideas. So if you believe that new and creative ideas should come quickly and easily, you are never going to generate enough ideas to find truly creative ideas that will be useful for your projects. So instead, here is the belief that I have adopted and that I recommend you adopt as well. I believe. Every mistake or misstep is one step closer to finding an idea or solution that will work. So let me say that one more time. Every mistake or misstep is one step closer to finding an idea that will work. Now when I think about mistakes and missteps and this way, it takes all of the pain and frustration out of making them. I don't mind going through ideas that don't work because I know that every mistaken misstep is moving me forward. I know that I have to go through a number of mistakes and missteps before I arrive at my destination. So when you're working on a creative project and you feel that you've made a mistake, taken a misstep, or come up with something that's not right for the project you're working on. Get excited. They've means you're one step closer to an idea or a solution that will work. Now when you view mistakes in this way, you're much more likely to be comfortable working toward creative solutions. One of the common things I see in the studio is that students often feel that if they can avoid creating new things, they can avoid making mistakes. Now, while this is technically true, what it usually means is that they don't create anything at all. And that's a terrible place to be if you want to be more creative. So instead, if you adopt the belief that every mistake and misstep is one step closer to something that's going to work out. You're much more likely to be comfortable with the creative process. In this sense, mistakes and missteps actually feel productive because, you know, they are required for finding new ideas and solutions. Mistakes and missteps are required for creative work. Getting comfortable with mistakes and missteps also allows you to be more honest with yourself about your progress. When you fear mistakes, you're much more likely to justify and make excuses for your mistakes rather than just admitting to your mistake, dealing with it honestly in figuring out what needs to be done instead, mistakes will often send you in new and unique directions. So embrace your mistakes and missteps, recognize them for what they truly are. Mistakes and missteps are an inevitable part of the creative process that helped bring you closer to your creative goals. So now that you have a new way of thinking about mistakes, let's talk about failure. Now I have a very specific definition of failure. There is only one way I can fail. And that is if I give up, if I'm passionate about a project and I give up because I'm frustrated or upset, or if because I'm unmotivated or not managing my time well, the only way I can fail is to give up or to quit. Now to be clear, I've had many projects that change as they go on. So if a creative project changes into something else during the process, I certainly wouldn't count that as a failure. For example, what if my initial creative goals was to write a book about drawing? I had this goal for many, many years. But I've never written a book about drawing. So do I count that as a failure? No. And here's why. During the early stages of writing my book about drawing, I realized that students needed to see more than just still photographs of step-by-step drawings. Students need to see a drawing in motion. Students need to see your drawing evolve over time. They need to see the speed at which the hand moves. They need to see the pencil flow across the page. They need to see the subtle changes in the way the pencil is held or the wrist is a angle to create different effects. And this cannot be achieved through a drawing book. So the idea for my book about drawing evolved and my art and science of drawing series. The Art and Science have drawing is an online video series where I teach students everything I know about learning to draw. Now, I am so grateful that the art and science of drawing series has become more successful than I ever could have imagined. Now as if the creation of this course, The Art and Science of drawing series has tens of thousands of students enrolled in over 160 countries. So did I ever write my book about drawing? No. But do I count it as a failure? No, because that Drawing Book evolved into the art and science of drawing series. So if a project evolves organically into something else, I don't count that as giving up. I don't count it as a failure. Again, this kind of organic evolution is a perfectly natural part of the creative process. The only way I can fail is to give up. So to avoid failure, I just keep working. It doesn't matter how many mistakes or missteps I make. It doesn't matter how many ideas I need to go through to arrive at something that will work. I just keep moving forward. And that to me is success. So the final thing I want to say about this subject has this good work, creative work that actually has value is the product of a lot of work. You're not going to create your masterpiece by sitting down to create one piece of art work. Good work only comes after you make a lot of work. The idea of an artist coming up with a masterpiece after just sitting down and working on one piece start to finish is a total myth. For every famous artwork, you know, the artist created hundreds, if not thousands of pieces that did not work and are completely unknown. And that's how the creative process goes. So if you want to produce good creative work, you need to produce a lot of work. So let me pull all of this together. As long as you're making things, as long as you're moving forward, even if you're making a lot of mistakes and missteps, even if many of your ideas aren't working out, you're not a failure. Because making work, making a lot of work, coming up with a lot of ideas is the best way to arrive at good creative work. Okay, so let's get you to your journal project. At this point, you should be pretty familiar with how the guided journal projects work. You're going to keep the video playing the whole time. I'm going to give you your journal prompt. And tell you how long you're going to write for and I'll let you know when the time is up. So for today's guided journal project, I'm going to ask you about a time that you were able to learn from a mistake. Now the mistake you choose to write about doesn't have to be related to art or creativity. It can be any kind of a mistake. But the goal is to be able to identify a mistake that you've made and write about what you learned from it. After that, I'm going to ask you to write about how you were able to apply, what you learn from your mistake. How did it benefit your life? How did it make you a better person? How is it able to move a project forward? Alright, so go ahead and pause the video and good setup to write in your journal. Once you're ready to write in your journal, go ahead and resume playing the video. Now that you're ready to write, here is your first guided journal prompt. Write about a time you were able to learn from a mistake. Before you write, take just a minute to think about this. I'll let you know when your one minute is up and you can begin writing. If you need more time to think, feel free to pause the video. If you're ready to go ahead and write for three minutes, I'll let you know when your three minutes around. Three minutes are nearly up. If you need more time to write the feel free to pause the video if you are ready for the next writing prompt. Here it is. How were you able to apply what you learned before you write? Take just a minute to think about this. I'll let you know when your one minute is up and you can begin writing. If you need more time to think and feel free to pause the video. If you are ready to write, go ahead and write for three minutes. I'll let you know when your three minutes around them. Your three minutes are nearly up and if you need more time to write it, feel free to continue writing. This is the last guided journal prompt for this lesson. If you'd like to do more writing about this topic, feel free to identify other mistakes you've made, what you've learned from these mistakes, and how you've applied what you learned once you've completed your writing. I will see you back here for the next lesson. 13. Design Your Own Creative Projects: Welcome to the final lesson in becoming creative. In this course, my goal has been to introduce you to some new ways of thinking about creativity. We first talked about what creativity means, what a creative solution looks like. Now, although creativity can come in many forms, generally speaking, a creative solution is something new, something surprising, something unorthodox, something that challenges our preconceptions. We've learned the creative solutions come from combining existing things and making connections between them. And most importantly, we've learned that creativity is not just a step-by-step process or something you're going to learn to do an art project. Being creative is a way of life. Being creative as a way of thinking and being in the world. In order to be creative in art, business or anywhere else you want to increase your creativity. You have to change the way you think and live. So in this final lesson, I'd like to give you a concise description of all of the creative tools we've talked about so far. Remember, becoming creative needs to be a multi-faceted approach. And in this course, I've tried to provide you with a number of tools you can use in order to become more creative. So here's a brief description of each of the tools we've talked about so far. By using these tools on a regular basis, you're much more likely to become more creative. So here are the tools in your creative toolkit that we've learned about thus far. The first tool in the toolkit is to write. Creativity requires self-awareness, and self-awareness requires a lot of self-reflection. Writing about yourself, your thoughts, your emotions, and your ideas is an excellent way to increase your self-awareness. And self-awareness is highly correlated with creativity. Writing is a form of thinking, feeling, and reasoning. Writing allows us to go into our minds, into see what's there, to pull it out of our minds, to get it on a page and to analyze it so we can see how we're thinking and feeling about things. Writing is one of the most powerful things you can do to increase your levels of creativity. I highly recommend that you start a regular writing practice. Writing and self-reflection, demystify the workings of our mind and writing is an essential tool for anybody wanting to become more creative. Next, learn to draw. By learning to draw, you'll dramatically increase your observational skills. And this in turn will make you much more aware of your environment. You'll notice more about the world. You'll see things you've never seen before. You'll have an increased sense of beauty. You'll feel connected to the physical world around you. When you learn to draw, you will see so much more of the world. And by Seymour, you'll have more raw material to be creative with. No drawing not only opens up the world, it also gives you a very powerful creative tool to work with. Remember, drawing is at the heart of nearly all visual arts. Doesn't matter whether you're an architect, a painter, a fashion designer, or a graphic designer, all of these professions require you to know how to draw. So in terms of being more creative, learning to draw plays double duty. It will completely change the way you view the world and make it a much deeper experience. As well as give you a powerful creative tool. Next, seek meaning. If you want to be more creative, you wanted to develop the Soul of a poet. You want to go beyond the literal definition of things and really look at the world in terms of meaning, metaphor, ideas. What are the images and emotions and object brings up. Remember we want to focus on connotation instead of denotation. And connotation has much more to do with the associations of objects. What they make us think about, what they make us feel, the memories they bring up, and the metaphors they suggest. Remember, we wanna go beyond the literal definition of objects and instead focus on their meaning and significance. Next, you should practice divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is the art of generating many ideas or solutions to a problem, not just three or four, but 20-30 or more. And in order to successfully engage in divergent thinking, we want to avoid convergent thinking. We don't want to criticize or judge these ideas no matter how strange or wild they may seem, you're much more likely to come up with creative ideas that will work by generating many ideas, even though most of the ideas you come up with will not work. Next, you want to become a maverick. A maverick is an unorthodox or independent minded person. A maverick will think differently from everybody else. To become a maverick, you want to learn new things. You always want to be seeking new information. And in particular, you want to seek out information that challenges your preconceptions and beliefs. You always want to be pushing your mind into new and unknown territory. So these are the most important tools in your creative toolkit. The more you engage in these kinds of activities, the more likely you are to increase your creativity. So before we get into your final project, I'd like to share a few final thoughts. One thing we haven't talked about yet is the idea that to be creative in a particular field, you need to develop a deep understanding of that field. If you want to be creative in art, you have to know a lot about art. If you want to be creative in business, you need to know a lot about business. No matter what field you want to be creative in, you need to have a deep knowledge of that field and a lot of experience in it. It is very difficult to be creative in a field. You know little about. Innovation in a particular field rarely comes from an outsider. Innovative and creative ideas in a field usually come from a maverick that it has a deep knowledge of the field. Only by gaining knowledge and experience of afield can you be creative within it. So whatever fields you want to be more creative in, you want to immerse yourself in that field. If you want to be creative in the arts, consume arts of all kinds. Seek out art from every culture in time period. You want to look at art you love and look at art you hate. You want to immerse yourself in the culture that you want to be more creative in. Don't just stand by the sidelines, really get in deep to whatever area you want to be creative. And finally, I'd like to remind you that becoming creative takes time. It is not as if creativity will just turn on like a light switch. After you finish this course, you need to be patient. Remember I've given you a number of strategies you can use to increase your creativity. But again, it takes time. The more you engage in these kinds of activities, the more likely you are to become more creative. But in this course, I've tried to provide you with the most powerful tools and techniques that will most dramatically increase your creativity over time. Creativity is a way of life. To become more creative, you need to live more creatively. To do this, you need to design a creative life where you're engaging in all of the activities that I've talked about. I know many of them seems strange, but again, these are the most powerful ways you can increase your creativity. Ok, so with all of this in mind, let me lay out your final project. For this final project, I'm going to teach you how to design your own creative projects. In this course, I've tried to lay out a general idea of how to become more creative. But I imagine that you might want to be creative in a particular area or field by engaging in the activities that I've previously laid out, it'll increase your creativity overall. But now I'm going to give you some strategies on how to be creative in a particular area when you want to be. Okay, so here's the first step. You need to identify the area you want to be creative in. Now the area that you want to be more creative in, it could be related to art, like painting or sculpture. It could be related to business. Maybe you want to become more entrepreneurial, or perhaps you want to figure out new ways your business can bring in income. Or maybe you want to be more creative in your relationships. Creativity can bring positive benefits to nearly any aspect of life. But first, we need to identify where you want to be more creative. Now one of the most important parts of identifying where you want to be more creative is to be specific. To say, I want to be more creative in art is too vague to be actionable. Even something like painting is not specific enough. You really want to focus in and identify specifically where you want to be more creative. So let me give you some examples. So painting is a good start, but again, we need to get much more specific. What part of the painting process do you want to be more creative in? Do you want to be more creative in your use of color, brushstrokes, subject matter, style, presentation, composition. All of these, none of these. Maybe you already have a style that you really like, but you want to be more creative in your subject matter. Or maybe you have the reverse issue. Maybe you have a subject matter that you really love and want to work on, but you want to be more creative in your painting style. Maybe you want to paint botanical, but you're tired of your paintings looking just like everyone else's. These require different kinds of creative approaches. The more specific you can be about where you want to be more creative, the more you can focus your creative energy. Here's another example. Some of my students went to write and illustrate a graphic novel or comic book. Now when I ask the students where they want to be more creative, they'll often say they want to be more creative in their drawing style. Fair enough. However, when I start talking to them and go deeper into their creative challenges, what I really find is that they want to be more creative in their storytelling or their character design. Now these can overlap withdrawing, but ultimately there are different kinds of creative issues. So again, the first step is to identify the areas that you want to increase your creativity in and to get specific about it. It might just be one area or it might be many. But you want to get specific about what areas you want to be more creative in. Step two, design divergent explorations. So sticking with a previous example that we just talked about, here are a few ideas for some divergent explorations. If you want to be more creative in your painting style, maybe you could select one subject, but to commit to doing 20 different paintings of that one subject, each in a different style to save time, these could be small quick paintings. Maybe you can give yourself a time limit of ten or 20 minutes per painting. But the idea here is to apply the divergent thinking process to your project's. Painting one subject in 20 different ways is an excellent way to expand your sense of style to figure out what you like and what you don't like. Let's say you want to be more creative in your painting style. You've selected your subject. You've done 20 or 30 quick paintings, each in a different style. Now you can sit back and take a look at your work. Many of the paintings may not have worked out or you may not like the results and that's fine. That's to be expected, but likely a few of them will stand out. Maybe you'll find one or two paintings that you really like the style of. So by doing many paintings, each in a different style, you'll be able to arrive at a few elements that you like and that you can incorporate into your regular painting style. Or here's another example. Let's say you decide that you want to be more creative in your storytelling for your graphic novel. So in this scenario, maybe you could commit to writing 20 short stories, no more than a paragraph. Each. And each of these short stories could explore a different idea, have a different ending, have a different set of characters. Remember, the goal here is to come up with as many ideas and possibilities as you can. And remember, most of these won't work out, that's to be expected. But a few of the short stories may yield something you want to pull into your graphic novel. You're not gonna find creative solutions if you're not willing to go into the unknown to look for them. These kinds of divergent explorations are an excellent way to jump into the unknown. And if you're doing quick projects, quick paintings or short stories, you can have the benefits of generating these ideas without having to go through a much longer process of attempting to do more finished and polished work. I do these kinds of divergent explorations all the time. Most of the good ideas I've come up with in my creative career come from projects like this. Now, many people will complain that if they do 20 or 30 paintings that don't work out than they've wasted their time. But I don't look at it this way. I understand that these are the kinds of projects where creative ideas are going to show up. To come up with a creative idea, we have to generate many ideas. And if we're not willing to do that, the creative ideas will not appear. These kinds of divergent explorations are what are going to open the door for creativity to walk through. So when you're doing these kinds of divergent explorations, don't put pressure on yourself to come up with good or finished work. Remember, they're just explorations. Relax, enjoy the process. Experiment. Know that even though most of these won't work out, it is still worth the effort because this is how you're going to find creative solutions. This is where creativity flourishes. So in this final lesson, I've tried to sum up everything we've learned so far. I've tried to give you a series of tools for your creative toolkit. I've given you the tools necessary to change the way you think and live in order to become more creative. I've also given you a strategy to apply the creative process to a specific area of your life. This process of identifying and getting specific about where you want to be creative and then designing divergent explorations is an excellent way to develop your creativity in a particular area. So now it's up to you. You now have the necessary tools you need to become more creative. It's up to you to apply them in your life. Remember, creativity is not just going to turn on like a light after completing this course, It's up to you to apply these lessons. And remember, creativity is a way of living. If you just learn one new thing, challenge when minor believe him, draw one picture, that is not enough to become more creative. You need to engage in these activities consistently over time. You need to cultivate your creativity by committing to live and think differently. As a creative professional, I can tell you that it is not easy to do, but it is absolutely worth it. Well, thank you so much for joining me in this course. Now I know, I don't know you personally, but I can tell you that I am genuinely excited for your creative future. Becoming more creative is one of the most challenging but fulfilling things you can do. Hopefully, this course will be the beginning of a longer creative journey that will help you to achieve whatever your creative ambitions are. So once again, thank you so much for joining me and I hope to see you in future courses.