Saturday, 16 January 2016

Diary of a creative person: day 12

Reworking and reusing old material

A key part of Marc's creative process is reworking old material to create new works. He will take the music from a previously written piece and challenge himself to develop it in new ways. This gives his work not only a consistent style but also a strong sense of continuous growth and development. 

When trying to be creative we can easily fall into the originality trap, where we assume that innovative ideas must be based upon completely new concepts and approaches. This is not the case. In fact, as Marc's example shows us, being creative is as much about putting demands for originality 'back in their box' as it is about thinking 'outside the box'; finding ways to reimagine and reuse old ideas in new ways to solve new problems is an often undervalued but essential aspect of effective and productive creative problem solving.        

So, remember the phrase 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue' and focus upon the old and borrowed: adapt old ideas and approaches to current problems; borrow existing solutions from elsewhere and adapt them to your needs. Go back to the original idea, uncover what has been forgotten or is no longer used and find ways to adapt it to your current situation. Time shift your thinking: ask yourself how you would have solved a problem ten years ago and find ways to adapt the approach to your current needs.


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