By Nadia Hammoud
Process & Limitations
My process almost always begins with assessing my limitations. To a creative this might sound counter-intuitive. However, I find that limitations give me a clear starting point for ideas and often serve as inspiration.
Having limitations gives birth to the process of finding resolutions, which in turn gets our creative juices flowing. Our imaginations are therefore ignited by the very act of trying to find a solution.
As a creative, coming up with solutions to even budgetary and technical problems can inspire the utmost creativity, and often when left with total freedom, creatives flounder.
Take Jeroen Leth in Lars von Trier’s The 5 Obstructions as an example. Von Trier gives Leth the task of remaking a short film five times, but with different ‘obstructions’ laid out before every shoot. At first Leth tries to argue these limitations down, and sees them as nuisances. Very gradually, he begins to take to them, learning to love them and his strange new creations. A brilliant twist sees Von Trier offer no obstructions as ‘the obstruction’ to one of the films. Leth fights to have Von Trier set him some limitations, but to no avail. Leth consequently frets a lot and makes a terrible version of the obstruction-less film.
“When forced to work within a strict framework the imagination is taxed to its utmost – and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom the work is likely to sprawl.” T. S. Eliot
For creatives, more limitations means we”re afforded more freedom.