Tips about Thinking Creatively in Everyday Life

You can use the Magical Secrets to generate fresh new ideas in your everyday life. Here are Kathan Brown's suggestions:

  1. Cultivate Sensuality. Touch things, actually or in your mind. Feel the thickness and texture of a fabric, a book, or a flower petal to get a sense of it. Look at an artwork by imagining you are within it, touching each shape or line. You'll learn to think with your senses as a counterpoint to rationality.
  2. Use a Lot of Time. Set up some oasis time when you can focus full attention on something that matters to you. Everything else will fall into place around it.
  3. Get into the Flow. Do the first thing, then the next thing, then the next thing, without strategizing. Obstacles increase the possibility of discovery, so if something throws you off course, meet the challenge and move on.
  4. Have an Idea. Think before and after you do a creative task, but not while you're doing it. While you're working, go where the work leads. Then look at what you've done and see if there is an idea there that you can use to start the next thing.
  5. Don't Know What You Want. Don't set goals. Just start working and get fully involved in what you are doing. If you get stuck, think about how many possibilities there are within the framework you've chosen. What can you use that's at hand?
  6. Know What You Don't Want. Familiarize yourself with what others have done in the field you've chosen, so you won't waste time trying to re-invent the wheel. Don't worry about finding exactly what is most suitable to you. Just start somewhere that is not unsuitable.
  7. Stick Your Neck Out. Advice from mentors and friends can be useful, but you don't need to be part of the party line. Go against the prevailing attitude if you feel like it.
  8. Use Every Tool. If a computer is your primary tool for what you do, try adding work done with tools you can hold in your hands. A trip to the art supply store may be just what you need to get your mind unstuck. On the other hand, if you're not using computers for your art, you might consider that possibility. Old tools are deeply satisfying and should not be completely abandoned, but change is good.
  9. Use Every Source. Art is a speculation of possibilities, and in our day the possibilities include poetic images created over the past two thousand years or more. Tools are conduits from your body to your mind, and you can use images as tools. Do not disrespect your sources; they never mold entirely to your vision and may be stronger than your mind perceives.
  10. Become Skillful. Art is anything done sublimely well, and every kind of creative work benefits from high levels of skill in its execution. However, all the skills you use need not be your own. Know when you must develop a skill yourself, and when you can work with others whom you have instructed and chosen because their skill exceeds your own.
  11. Take Yourself Lightly. Live your life the way you make your art, with pleasure and full engagement, but without forcing things. People who are not self-important are the ones whose work is most likely to develop and change and remain interesting over time.
  12. Go into the Ether. Art-making is a mixture of the practical and the ethereal. The sensuality of concentrating on tools and materials sets the mind free to roam in an unworldly place. Then the necessity of decision-making brings it back. Thinking around the edges of what you are doing, moving back and forth from the ether to the materials in front of you, is exciting and engrossing.
  13. Own It. This Magical Secret will come to you automatically after you have mastered the other twelve. You cannot try to achieve it, but it will come. At some point you will know for sure, deep down, that you are doing your work, the work you should be doing. And at that point, the work is almost certain to be good.

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