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How to activate your creative state

We work in a creative industry so the more often you get into a creative state, the faster you produce good inspired work. In the commercial world, like the Games / Entertainment industry, you need to be creative to be competitive. Innovation, thinking-out-side-the-box, thinking-inside-and-outside-of-the-box, and other related buzz words means that you have to be in your creative state when you want it.

Many times we find it frustrated that we cannot get into that state. You want to start coding a game but you do not know where to start. You have to create a 100 pieces of detailed visual illustrations by a weekend but don’t even know to start on the first one. You have to find a new game idea but the only thing that come out of your head is how WOW will kick your game’s ass when it comes out. It had happened to me and you. It sucks. In this article, I will attempt to share my experience of entering a state of creative flow consciously, when you want it.

A Clear Intent

Know what you REALLY WANT and then WHY you want it. Repeat until you really know your intent. Remember not to limit yourself with negative thoughts.  Having a clear intent will help you get into a state of flow. To be in a state of flow, you need to link your conscious and subconscious mind together. They need to be in harmony.

Your clear intent can be anything you want to accomplish. It can be “How do I beat my opponent in WarCraft III?”, What do I want to do with my life?” and yes even “How do I get my small team to create 100 pieces of detailed visual illustration by a week?”.

Motivation

After having a clear intent you need motivation. You must have that burning desire.

It is natural for you to do what you like to do. In many cases, people in situations where they have “no choice” trick their mind to like what they have to do. People choose to work in jobs that they can have maximum creative output. Sometimes that means being your own boss. Besides the love of games, this is a primary motivation for Hatchlings Games co-founders, no.wing and Jarod and I to venture into game development.

How do you get that burning desire? Through your imagination. Imagine yourself to be in the position to do what you want to do. Imagine that you are the director of X movie, if you are the game designer / producer of X game.

Basically, imagine that you are truly responsible for that thing thing you intended. No one is your supervisor, boss or lead. You are the only person who is responsible for what you intent to do. It could be something big or small, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is you must have motivation.

Just Do It

After you have a clear intent and motivation, let it sink in for a while and then start doing whatever you want to do. Action begets motivation. Just doing it (Sorry Nike for using your decades-old motto) starts up your subconscious brain. Often you will get into the state of flow soon after doing it.

If you follow the first step (have a clear intent), your heart will be true. When your heart is true, you will do the true task that your heart desires. Doing that true task is fundamental to creativity. As someone or some civilization I can’t remember said, know thy self. That consciousness and self-awareness is truly important for creative work.

The more self-aware you are, the easier for you to enter the state of self-unawareness, the state of creative flow.

Play

You must not be afraid to play. To play with your ideas. Life is a game. Hmm, I just mentioned a life metaphor. How you look at life (your life metaphor) is very important for setting directions and having a life vision. For anybody who wants to be in a creative state frequently, the best metaphor you can have is: Life is a Game – you are its main character and its Director. The Director in you will want the main character to win. Winning is a strong motivation, only if you know how to Play.

Physical Discomfort

My experience tells me that physical discomfort prevents me from entering into a creative state often enough. You have to be in optimal physical condition for creativity. When you enter that state of creative flow, you often lose yourself. That is you do not remember how you are feeling. That makes you sit with a bad posture, smoke more ciggies, skip food, and do other health degenerating things.

All this will makes it harder for you to enter to the state of creative flow the next time you want it. You will find that it gets harder each time.

What I suggest is that every time you are not in the creative state and you do not need to accomplish anything creative urgently, just take a break – go for a meal, a jog, a gym session, a swim, or just sleep.

Keep Practicing

The act of consciously entering a state of creative flow is a skill. Like all skills it requires practice. Adapt the above guidelines to your situation. Constantly intent to be flow, practice it, you will realize that your conscious mind can switch your subconscious mind on and off, at your will.

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January 23, 2007 - Posted by | Education

4 Comments »

  1. […] food for his colleagues. Feeling motivated, he went berserk(over-excited) and posted a new article How to activate your creative state. We were laughing about Moysh writing a legal-document-lookalike article with some Concept Arts […]

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