Unlock Your Creative Mind: The 10 Commandments of Creativity | Sean Guthrie | Skillshare

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Unlock Your Creative Mind: The 10 Commandments of Creativity

teacher avatar Sean Guthrie, Multidimensional Intergalactic Unicorn

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Introduction and Welcome

    • 2. Class Project Description

    • 3. What is Creativity?

    • 4. What Creativity Does

    • 5. Just Do It

    • 6. Cultivate Creating Consistently

    • 7. Give Yourself Permission

    • 8. The Major Modes of Thinking

    • 9. Be Perfectly Imperfect

    • 10. What New Ideas Have in Common

    • 11. Cool Creative Constraints

    • 12. Cross-Train Your Brain

    • 13. Conclusion, Thanks, and Best Wishes

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About This Class

The 10 commandments of creativity will guide you to jump-starting your creativity.  You'll learn how to think critically about creativity and how to approach the creative process.

This class is for everyone and these lessons will help you no matter:

  • Your age
  • Your background
  • What you currently do
  • What you want to being doing
  • What you want to achieve

You'll come up with a strategic plan to help you start and complete your next creative project.

Thinking critically about creativity sets the stage for specific creative exercises as you'll build a strong foundation.

Meet Your Teacher

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Sean Guthrie

Multidimensional Intergalactic Unicorn


I love to help people expand their skill sets by teaching them how to use new tools and abilities. After all, would you rather be closer to being a one-trick pony who relies on a single ability or would you rather be a unique, multidimensional, intergalactic unicorn having a wide variety of skills that all compliment each other? :)

I have decades of experience across many fields and disciplines. From starting multiple companies ranging from business consulting to my non-profit public charity, to writing and publishing books, and much, much more, I’ve learned so much throughout the years.

I don’t tell you this to impress you, but instead to impress upon you that I’ve learned so much from so many different people and I want to teach as much as I can to hel... See full profile

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1. Introduction and Welcome: Hello and welcome to the class! If you want to jump start your creativity then you're in the right place. These lessons will help you think critically about creativity and the creative process. You'll learn the ten commandments of creativity that will guide you in expanding your creative abilities and set the stage for your success no matter what your profession or your hobby. These lessons will help you out no matter what your age is, where you're at in life, where you want to be in life, or what you want to achieve and accomplish, they're going to be able to get you on the right track. I'm not even kidding, even in the slightest when I say that I don't have any creative blocks anymore, and I want to get you to that level as well. As for me, my name is Sean Guthrie and I love to help people expand their horizons and teach them new tools and new abilities. You can't go wrong adding to your skill set. After all, would you rather be closer to being a one-trick pony who relies on a single ability, or would you rather be a unique, multi-dimensional intergalactic unicorn having a wide variety of skills that all compliment each other? I have decades of experience across different disciplines and fields, from starting multiple companies ranging from business consulting to my non-profit public charity, to writing and publishing books and much, much more. I've learned so much throughout the years and I don't tell you this to impress you, but instead to impress upon you that I've been there, I've done that, I've bought the t-shirt. .I've learned so much and I want to share my knowledge with you and help you just as much, if not even more, than the people in the past have helped me. When it comes to this class, take what you need, leave the rest. And with that, let's jump into learning the ten commandments of creativity. 2. Class Project Description: The class project will help you to remember the ten commandments of creativity and set the stage for your success as you'll develop three initial steps that you can take as you get started on your creative journey. You'll find the printable document has a fill-in-the-blank section to get you actively participating and a section where you select three of the creative commandments to help you roadmap and plan for your specific approach to whatever situation you're wanting to think creatively about. I also encourage you to take notes on the back or on a separate sheet of paper or in a digital document. I think it's vitally important to get your mind right before jumping into specific creative exercises. By having the right attitude about creativity in the first place, you're building a strong foundation and you're much more likely to get real benefits from those creative exercises. That way you'll be more open-minded to them, you'll know how they're helping you, and why you're even doing them in the first place. This class and the class project will get you going on the correct path. I encourage you to post about what projects you've started or you're planning to start. You can also describe a completed project and how the ten commandments of creativity helped you. I'm excited and I really look forward to seeing what you come up with! 3. What is Creativity?: As we get started it will help to have a working definition of creativity and that brings us to creative commandment number 1- creativity involves generating novel ideas that have value. Or in other words, coming up with suggestions that are useful to you. When I say the word "novel," it doesn't mean like a book. In this case, it means fresh or new. Novelty is the state of being novel. Sometimes novelty gets confused with innovation or inventing things. Let's take a look at these key differences. Innovation usually involves turning an idea, method, or a product into a commercial success. Invention is the creation of a completely new idea or concept. Novel means that it iss new to you. I tell you all of this so that you can take the pressure off of yourself. This is a good thing. You don't have to come up with some grand idea that will save the world in order to consider yourself truly creative. You don't have to invent a new form of space travel to be called creative. So relax and work on ideas that are useful to you. 4. What Creativity Does: Creative commandment number 2- creativity is a skill and it acts like a muscle. Humans have the ability to think creatively and not just follow a programmed set of instructions like a robot. Creativity is a fundamental human skill. So what makes it seem like some people have large amounts of creativity and others barely any at all? Simply put, creativity is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. Practice, gaining confidence, learning from mistakes... these all help to strengthen your creative abilities. If you ever feel like you're running low on creative energy, trust me, it's there, you just may need to use more of it more often. That way you build strength like you would when you're training your body at a gym or going through exercise. What was once difficult becomes easier and easier the more practice that you get at it. Another tremendous aspect of creativity is that no matter how much you use it, you never have to worry about using all of your creativity up. That's because the more that you use it, the more you have, and on top of that, you get even better at using it. It's a wonderful cycle! 5. Just Do It: The next two commandments, number three and number four, they can be used by themselves but when you combine them they become extra powerful. Creative commandment number 3- get going. Or in other words, don't wait for inspiration. There is no perfect time for creativity where inspiration is scheduled to strike like magic. This means then it's up to you to start and to get the ball rolling. Like anything else that we do there's always that first step to get moving in the right direction. I'll talk about conscious thinking in just one minute but those unconscious, "a-ha" moments, those are much more likely to occur if you've even started thinking about something to begin with. In essence, you're telling your brain what to work on in the background of your mind and in your subconscious. Waiting for divine inspiration to strike is probably not going to get you the results that you want to see. So instead start the process and get going. That's the way to go. 6. Cultivate Creating Consistently: Creative commandment number 4- cultivate creating consistently. We just talked about starting and getting the ball rolling. But that step just by itself is probably not going to be enough. If you want to have better odds of creative success then you need consistent practice at it. As an example, let's say that out of every five ideas that you have, one is a really good idea. If you come up with 10 ideas then on average, you've just doubled the amount of good ideas that you have by coming out with two out of 10. Since creativity is like a muscle and you get better the more and more that you use it, who knows? You might even start to raise your average and say, get two great ideas out of those five ideas instead of just one. Consistently creating and cultivating your practice makes you better and more likely to succeed. 7. Give Yourself Permission: Creative commandment number five- give yourself permission to be creative. As I mentioned earlier, as human beings we all have the capacity and the capability to think creatively. Creativity is a vital part of the human experience and you can add your part to the process as well. You can do this by finding your own voice and what you want to say. This ties back into cultivating creativity consistently because it may take you a few tries to find your voice and that's perfectly okay. Also, don't worry if what you're trying to say changes as you learn and grow because that's a natural part of the process. You might end up using one method such as writing, or maybe it's art. It might even be several different ways so experiment with getting your personal work, your voice, and your creations out there. And whatever you do, don't let that annoying little inner critic that we have in all of our heads... don't let that voice get in your way because the only permission that you need to be creative is your own. 8. The Major Modes of Thinking: Creative commandment number six- use the two major modes of thinking to your advantage. The two major modes of thinking are focused and unfocused. We use different parts of our brains in those different processes. When you think of "focused," that means that head down, concentrating, getting stuff done type of approach. Now you can get some creative ideas here, but you're much more likely to arrive at creative ideas when you use the unfocused side. The unfocused side is more of the background process in your head. It's more of the subconscious side. For example, how many times have you gotten a really great idea in the shower or while doing something totally unrelated to focusing? Both major modes of thinking are essential to us. Just realize that if you're trying too hard to be creative, you could miss quite a few opportunities to make connections from a seemingly wide variety of things. For me, I love getting ideas while I'm taking a walk and enjoying nature. That's when I'm not focusing entirely on one subject or topic. I just let my mind wander and I come up with some great ideas. Bottom line: know the two major modes of thinking (focused and unfocused) and their advantages to get the most out of your creativity. 9. Be Perfectly Imperfect: Creative commandment number seven- be perfectly imperfect. In other words, avoid perfectionism. In life we have good stress that can promote positive change. Then we have the "not so good," negative stress that can cause undue harm. Perfectionism causes undue stress and that's the type of stress that erodes creativity. We just talked about the two major modes of thinking and how trying too hard can limit opportunities. Now if you take that a step further, if you feel like you have to make an idea perfect, you might miss out on new and better ideas because you are so intently focused on getting the original one to work. Having high standards is one thing, but setting impossible goals, that's quite another. Identify what the most vital parts of your project are, (here's a hint for all of the perfectionists out there, not everything is of equal, utmost importance). From there, concentrate on the ideas that deserve the most attention. 10. What New Ideas Have in Common: Creative commandment number eight- every new idea is just a combination of old ideas. Let's start this one a little in the abstract by taking a look at human beings in general. Every single person is unique in some ways but at the same time we all share some similarities. One major similarity is that we're all made out of the same type of stuff. All of the types of atoms and chemical compounds are the same but those parts are arranged differently. A human being is an example of remixing things that already exist. Whether you're an author, an engineer, a teacher, or whatever... we've all had influences in our lives and those influences have helped shape the way that we view things. Creativity involves using the similar building blocks and combining them in new combinations. As an example, two distinct already existing elements helped shape the direction of this class and the idea for it. First off, you have this platform where people are creating classes and teaching on a daily basis. It already exists. Secondly, I stumbled upon this meme about cat commandments. Mashing these two concepts together I came up with a new idea for this class from those parts that already existed. Going back to the first creative commandment (that creativity involves generating novel ideas that have value), remember the difference between creativity and novel ideas versus inventing. Where inventing is coming up with something completely new, creative ideas are novel, useful to you, and those ideas involve combinations of existing ideas. This means that you can take the pressure off of yourself because you don't have to start from absolute scratch. And the best part about it is you can find inspiration practically anywhere that you look. 11. Cool Creative Constraints: Creative commandment number nine- constraints can be cool. Whenever you start a brand new project with a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen, have you ever been intimidated by it? Does that blinking cursor seem to talunt you? You have virtually all of these potential possibilities and you can do practically anything. But you still hesitate? That used to happen to me as well. This can be a normal response when we have seemingly unlimited choices. It can be kind of an "analysis by paralysis." However, having constraints can help us focus our creativity to generate novel ideas. Even if we have to put those limits there ourselves. Creative constraints already exist across professions: from having to stick to budgets dealing, with supply chain bottlenecks, and even the laws of physics themselves! Even if after all of those constraints you still feel like you have too many choices, you can add some more constraints yourself. For instance, if you're an artist it can mean using a pencil on a project where normally you would draw digitally. If you write poems then using a different poem structure can jump-start your brain. Time constraints can also help. There's a famous story that one of Dr. Seuss's editors bet him that he couldn't write a book with fewer unique words that he used while writing the Cat in the Hat. That book had 236 different words. Seuss went on to write Green Eggs and Ham using only 50 different words. Constraints kind of relate to when people would describe projects as being a mile wide and an inch deep versus an inch wide and a mile deep. Within that range, we can create more impact on our personal projects. Simply put, constraints are not the boundaries of creativity, instead, they're the foundation of it. 12. Cross-Train Your Brain: Creative commandment number 10- Cross-train your brain. I love to paint and draw in like most people I started off with two-dimensional art. However, after I started painting 3D pieces that I either made from clay or 3D printed, I noticed that my two-dimensional work had improved even though I didn't concentrate specifically on improving that portion. That cross-training really helped me to grow as an artist. It's natural that we have our own mental filters and we view the world in certain ways. When we create something it's done through using those mental filters. But when we use a new tool, a new method, or a new line of reasoning, we then see what we're looking at through at least a slightly different lens or a viewpoint, seeing things how we didn't see them before. That helps so expand our horizons. It gets us out of our comfort zones. That way we can come up with new solutions to our old problems. 13. Conclusion, Thanks, and Best Wishes: The ten commandments of creativity will get you on the right path for thinking critically. Creating is a lifelong journey that gets even better the more that you learn and the more practice that you get at it. Thanks for watching this class. I hope you'll learn a lot. Stay tuned for much more, and I wish you the best on your creative adventures!