The 3 Step Formula for Creativity

Where does creativity come from?

Are some people more creatively talented than others? Is it just an out-of-the-blue epiphany? How much does education in a specific area play into it?

This is something I have deliberated over.

When you hit a creative rut, the concept itself feels overwhelming. Now more than ever through social media we can view a plethora of creative content on various topics and wonder how people came up with such unique ideas.

This past week I watched an extremely insightful series, Everything is a Re-mix, by Kirby Ferguson. In this series, he identifies a recipe for creativity.

So, what is a remix? Simply put, a remix is “to combine or edit existing materials to make something new.” Perhaps this is most clearly seen in the music and film industries. Artists emulate genres, cultural fads, literature, and books.

“Creation requires influence.” That is the building block for this concept. There are no light bulb moments or epiphanies without context and a build-up of inputs. Your creativity sprouts from other’s creativity.

So, here is the recipe. Copy. Transform. Combine. Think of it as a mosaic.

Look at related pieces to your project and copy a particularly inspiring chunk. Analyze it. What sticks out to you? Why does it inspire you? Then transform it by tweaking and removing elements to make it your own. Lastly, repeat the first two steps from a broad variety of sources - combine.

Creativity does not come from sitting in solitude waiting for a genius idea. No one starts out completely original and full of great ideas. Use copying as a foundation to spark your own creativity.

Make sure to avoid plagiarism. Do not take a direct copy and claim it as your own. If you use word-for-word text, credit the original creator. However, to create your mosaic draw from many sources and tweak them.

Check out Everything is a Re-Mix Part 1 Below:

Kayla SanoyComment