Unwrap Your Inner Artist
By Jacob Krueger
Take Your Creative Brain Out Of Cold Storage
Remember the expression on Hans Solo’s face when Darth Vader pulled him out of the carbon freezing chamber? That’s how our Creative Brains feel most of the time. Frozen. Helpless. Paralyzed. Lost. Mouth open in a silent scream. It wasn’t always this way. If you want to remember the time before your editing brain took control, just watch a child play with their holiday presents. Watch how effortlessly the creativity flows through them. Each and every child is a creative genius. They can make things up forever, without ever getting blocked, or every running out of ideas.
A child doesn’t worry about whether or not she’s playing with her Barbie properly, whether her My Little Pony’s journey has the appropriate arc. A child doesn’t fret over whether or not she has a talent for dialogue, or whether her Tickle-Me-Elmo is a likable character. A child doesn’t beat herself up over playing wrong, or breaking the rules, or making up a story that nobody else understands.
A child simply plays.
Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest artists of all time, said he spent the first half of his life trying to paint like Rembrandt, and the second half of his life trying to paint like a child. There’s a reason he felt this way and dedicated so much time to this unlikely goal. There’s a reason why Picasso was so prolific. And there’s a reason why the work he created in this way was so tremendously successful.
When you tap into your inner child, you’re tapping into the limitless power of your creative mind. You achieve what Zen Masters call ‘beginners mind’, that magical state before you know the rules, when everything seems possible, and is. I’ve seen this again and again in my classes. Young writers who have never picked up a pen before outshining the perfectly polished work of graduates of top film programs. When you find beginner’s mind, you have nothing to lose. Because you’re not trying to be good. You’re just allowing yourself to write.
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