By Megan Egan
Last week was a tough week for me and my partner – we were struggling with ideas, hitting brick walls left, right and centre, and generally feeling a bit deflated. Getting out the studio helped – it was refreshing to be sitting in a new environment to try and reinvigorate our minds and ideas.
The thing that really saved me though, was a little pocket-sized book by Sir John Hegarty, called ‘Hegarty on creativity – there are no rules’. In it, John talks about ideas, creativity as an expression of self, and how to keep ideas fresh and new. As I was reading this book on the tube, one particular sentence about looking for opposites sparked an idea which led to our campaign that we handed in on Friday. It just shows that changing your perspective can really help to unlock new avenues of expression.
Everything in this book is gold, it really is. It’s going to become one of those books I want to read over and over again. Here are some of the best bits that I’ve cherry-picked, but I highly recommend everyone buys their own copy!
Head vs. Heart
Stop thinking, and start feeling. Creativity is an intellectual process, but it is also one driven by the heart. Irish writer James Stephens summed it up perfectly when he wrote:
“What your heart knows today, your head will understand tomorrow.”
For most of us, anger amounts to stress, and the worst type of stress at that. But for artists, anger can be a positive force. If focused and channelled into a piece of work, it is capable of producing something of great profundity.
When you are intent on putting a great wrong right, creativity will often exceed all expectations. Out of conflict, comes purpose.
So get angry but don’t let it eat you up. Instead, find a piece of paper, a canvas, anything, and get it out of you. You’ll be amazed at how therapeutic this can be. And how creative.
The juxtaposition is the art of placing together a number of contrasting objects or ideas usually two. Used effectively, it captures our imaginations immediately, making it one of the most valuable techniques any creator can employ to dramatise their message. And it’s at its most potent when these two objects are as diametrically opposed to each other as possible.
The juxtaposition is employed in every possible creative field, always sharpening our response and reaction to an idea. By placing two things next to one another that wouldn’t normally sit together we force our minds to resolve this apparent conundrum. And it’s in provoking that simple process that an idea really begins to stick.
When the world zigs, zag
By looking in the opposite direction, you might find something new.
Cynicism is the death of creativity. It will kill an idea and a creative career father than anything else.
By and large, creativity is a positive act, a force for good, and it challenges us to change not least so that we can see the world in a different, hopefully, more interesting way.
Creativity should encourage, enthuse, engage and entertain.
An idea is a precious gift and easy to destroy, so be careful and don’t surround yourself with people who want to bury your ideas.
Good is the enemy of great
Understand this and you’ll be very successful.
Within the maelstrom of thoughts veering all over the place, it can be easy to settle on something that feels right. Something that seems to Mae sense of all the confusion. You’ll feel relief when you get to this point. You’ll think you’ve cracked it. You’ll feel good. But then you have to take a step back from what feels really good and ask: But is it great?