The Observer interviews various leaders in their field about what creativity is, their creative processes and inspirations. Some heroes of mine in there:
“If you’ve got a strong imagination it’s there all the time, it’s working away. You’re kind of remaking the world as you walk down a street, sort of reinventing it. I have a walk every day and a good think about things. I sometimes think maybe this town is a complete conspiracy, or maybe it’s a very advanced kind of psychological experiment – all these ideas occur to me and every now and again I think: ‘Hey, that’s not bad. That’s worth pursuing.'”
“Architecture is generally presented by one name, but it’s a fantasy and very 19th-century to claim it is a one-man product. A lot depends on the people you have around you and how good they are.”
“Ideas never come out how you first imagined them – something else happens along the way, and if you’re lucky it turns out better. For me the process of thinking about things goes on all the time. I’m very often quite happy to sit down and watch some football, or pornography, late at night, in order to avoid thinking about things, to avoid reading another interesting magazine or journal or a new book.”
Some good quotes in the intro to the interviews by Guy Claxton, a psychologist:
“Essentially, creativity is all about learning to listen to the unconscious and being able to cultivate that relaxed and alert time that is typical of meditation and dreaming. Very creative people may be able to do this intuitively, but it is important to realise that we were all born with creative minds.”
This is great. I can’t stand it when people maintain that “creativity”, especially in the field of design, is some special exclusive right of those in the mysterious turtle-necked/expensive-vintage-t-shirt caste, and any idea originated outside of “the design team” is automatically to be discounted.
To paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke again, creativity isn’t magic, it’s just indistinguishable sufficently-advanced thinking; and anyone can do that.