John-cleese-creativty-lecture-video-arts-224x138As artists, it's important for us to be able to be creative, but much like telling two people to have a conversation, most attempts at trying to force creativity results in little to nothing happening. In this lecture at Video Arts in 1991, John Cleese (of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame), tells you what you can do to increase your creativity both by yourself, and in groups (as well as a few light bulb jokes).

A lot of the ideas and approaches that Cleese mentions ring true, especially in accentuating the positive when brainstorming with other people. Some projects I've worked on never got past the writing stage in part because either myself or someone else would be opposed to a certain idea or line of thought, which resulted in the playful momentum of the meeting being stopped cold. The only points I would take issue with are Cleese's explanations of the time factors. While I agree that you should give yourself time to let your mind settle and let go of daily concerns --as well as take periodic breaks-- I don't necessarily agree with setting a specific end time on your creative space.

For me, when I'm in a creative state I want to keep working there as long as possible without having to worry about outside constraints on my time. This allows me to stay in the state longer since I'm not being distracted by thinking about what I have to do next.

What do you think of John Cleese's advice on encouraging creativity? What do you agree with and disagree with? And what do you do help increase your own creativity?

Link:  John Cleese on How to be Creative --