Why the key to creative success is embracing failure
Creativity without failure just doesn’t exist. Our society often prizes stories of creatives who work hard and gain recognition from a “magical source.” However, a more comforting way to look at the creative process – which is less exclusive – involves a change in perspective. Famously, Thomas Edison (the credited inventor of the lightbulb), said he didn’t fail. Rather, he found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Similarly, in both our personal and professional lives, we can learn to embrace the notion of failure as necessary on the path to “perfection.”
We get it, creativity can be hard. That’s why we’re exploring the philosophies behind creative work and collaboration in our creativity blog series. Keep reading this article to find out what top writers have to say about the process. Hint: it has something to do with celebrating the mess!
A creative life is full of discovery, experimentation, and invention
Reading the quote above from author Liz Gilbert makes us think about the inability to contain creativity. We think those who are truly creative see the world in a different way. (Actually, we think everyone can exercise their creative muscles: read our full article on Why BlueMelon Likes to Sponsor Creativity.) When you embrace spontaneity, anything can arise. It can appear on the canvas as visual art, or in a conversation with a friend, or a decision to try a new street food while traveling. At the core of a creative life is not artistic prowess, or fine art degrees and prestige, but a willingness to embrace the unknown. And according to BlueMelon director Juan, unknown = possibility of failure = epic creation to be born from the process.
The creative process requires open-mindedness and playfulness
Here, Cameron has hit the nail on the head. Sometimes, the wish to come across as worldly and sophisticated can block the flow of ideas which are such. When you’re concentrating too hard on sounding smart, you close yourself off to other opportunities for self-expression. For example, in the human-centred design workshops we run at BlueMelon, we allow for open brainstorms and blue-sky thinking exercises. We want to retrieve any golden idea. And ideas can be hard to find when you’re feeling anxious or stressed. Play requires attention to the present moment, and acceptance of the unknown (and a potential failure!) It presents a challenge for out-of-the box problem solving, and develops our creative thinking skills. In fact, CEO of the LEGO Foundation, Randa Grob-Zakhary, has cited this drop in curiosity and play as a widespread social issue. In fact, the Lego Foundation has launched some initiatives to incorporate “hands-on play” directly into school curriculums, with the knowledge that it’s the best way to develop creative skills we’ll need throughout our entire lives.
Playing it safe can kill your creativity
You heard it. It’s near impossible to create new designs without having the confidence to do unexpected things, and take risks. When you throw fear of failure out the window, you can come up with unique approaches. Often called the “real Don Draper,” Lois is pointing to the fact that you have to be prepared to look silly to create, and share your creations. Sharing our new ideas with others can be nerve-wracking. However, it is essential in developing creative skills. While some argue that artificial intelligence is already replacing creativity, we Melons believe that messy, human part of the process cannot be fully replaced. If you’re too careful, and don’t account for space for play to discover along the way, you may miss out on some grand creations.
So, why let failure into your creative endeavours?
1. A creative life is full of discovery, experimentation, and invention
2. The creative process requires open-mindedness and playfulness
3. Playing it safe can kill your creativity
You can find out more information in our blog on what the role of the creative agency is in all of this.
For a more personalised approach to your content strategy, book in a one-on-one with a Friendly Melon here to kickstart your creative visions off the ground.