SlideShare presentation from San Francisco-based cartoonist Betsy Streeter that suggests ways artists can unleash their "creative beasts" hiding within - an interesting approach to creativity that aspiring entrepreneurs can also take advantage of.So you want to be the next big shot entrepreneur to come up with an idea that will change the world, but can't seem to come up with that golden ticket of an idea? Well perhaps you need to look no further than the world of art for inspiration. While looking through Hacker News posts, I stumbled across an illustrated
According to Streeter, the best way to get started is to first "give it permission to come out and play" by throwing away rules and judgements. For artists this means just free drawing at letting whatever comes to mind make its way onto the paper; for entrepreneurs, this means when you are brainstorming, don't throw any ideas away - everything and anything is free game, including the "impossible".
The second step, Streeter says, is to encourage the beast "by appreciating exactly what happens," no matter what form it takes. "When you look at a drawing, see it as it is, not what you thing it is 'supposed' to be," says Streeter. This is really just an extension of the first rule; by encouraging whatever random results come of your brainstorming, you are telling your brain that its okay to think outside of the box, which allows for the further flowing of the creative juices.
This practice actually reminds me of a method for ideation I learned during graduate school. The process was a bit different but the theory was the same; truly creative ideas are generated through a process of throwing out the rule book and encouraging a free-for-all of ideas, no matter how silly. In the method I learned, a group sits around a whiteboard with markers and a pad of sticky notes and slaps any idea for the given question or problem onto the board.
We started with very broad questions, like "How could life be made perfect?" and would encourage the posting of even the most absurd of ideas. The things you think of when you are actually trying to be obnoxious are often the ones that can be molded into a fresh idea. For instance, someone said life would be perfect if they could instantly know what anyone was thinking, which over time actually morphed into an idea for a mobile translation application.
The lesson to learn here is that truly innovative ideas don't appear in your brain, and you can't simply sit down, think real hard and squeeze them out. By brainstorming and teaching your brain accept the previously unacceptable, you have a higher probability of producing a new and creative idea. This process, of course, works even better in groups.