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Newton came up with the theory of calculus in quarantine.
But out of limitations comes creativity.
Dr Seuss wrote using no more than 50 different words.
Not in a house. Not with a mouse.
Shakespeare wrote King Lear in quarantine.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
I love that.
It's a nice myth to think of creativity
as an endless open field of possibilities.
But the reality is, when people face such a wonderful open field
they might become paralysed.
The growth of the human brain is by growing branches.
By growing branches you can make more connections
and it's by having connections that you can say "aha".
Now there's an interesting issue
over whether constraints are actually beneficial
or problematic for creativity.
And I think the answer to both is yes,
both cases happen to be the case.
There's still disagreement, at least in psychology,
about what creativity really is.
It's people making things that haven't existed before.
Everyday elements but putting them together in a way
not that is just novel but that actually has a meaning for people,
that actually changes the way they see the world.
Most people tend to think that
creativity is something that happens to people
who have a particular talent.
There is no such thing as a single gene for creativity.
We can distinguish between two different types of constraints -
the intentional constraints and the unintentional constraints.
These external forces of limitation
and they can be political, socio-economic.
Being a biracial, black, female artist
coming from a working-class background
could be seen as a limitation within the art world,
which historically has been a very patriarchal,
white, middle-class space.
Resilience comes when you have problems and challenges
and that in turn gives you ideas.
An artist who I very much admire, called Faith Ringgold,
wanted to make these huge, huge canvases,
in the same way that a lot of men
were making huge modernist works of art.
But she didn't actually have the space at home to do that.
And so she started to make these huge quilts -
roll it up and take it to various galleries.
She's a great example of how an artist can flourish under limitation.
Avoid familiarity and embrace novelty.
Be it using different materials
or a different method or a different process.
If you always write poetry, try prose.
Schedule a particular time
when you are going to do nothing else but engage in the creative task.
And that's one of the ways in which
people with very little time can write books -
by telling everybody in your family
that that's what you're going to be doing
you're actually protecting a space for yourself,
for something creative to happen.
Start drawing and give yourself five minutes.
Do another drawing, give yourself 10 seconds to do the drawing.
When we are given less time to do something,
usually the most important information comes across.
If you're playing in a band and you're getting really, really stuck,
swap instruments.
That can create new ideas in your songs as well.
Or paint a red dot or a blue line
in the upper left corner of your blank canvas
and then challenge yourself to incorporate those constraints
into the composition.
And even though you may not end up using those particular constraints
in the final product, they can be beneficial for creativity
as long as you play around with them willingly.
What might happen is that the mere experience
with playing around with different limitations
stretches your imagination and improves creativity.


限界が創造性を高める方法|BBCアイデア (How limits can boost your creativity | BBC Ideas)

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Summer 2020 年 9 月 11 日 に公開
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