August 31, 2012

John Cleese Shows You How To Foster Creativity in This 36-Minute Lecture

As 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).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VShmtsLhkQg

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 -- BoingBoing.net

Your Comment

15 Comments

that's Sir John Cleese to you

August 31, 2012 at 11:36AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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that guy

I stand corrected :-)

August 31, 2012 at 4:14PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Your disagreement on the usefulness of time boundaries could also be worded: "I am curious why, in my case, some of the time boundaries are not as constructive as for other Sir John and those cited in the research."

Fantastic video, wonderful subject, many sincere thanks for sharing it! Key for me was the linking of--and revitalizing of--Play as the creative mode.

August 31, 2012 at 4:14PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Patrick

This was really great.

August 31, 2012 at 4:35PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Wayne

Now THAT'S a good way to use my time on the internet. Thank you for the post!

August 31, 2012 at 10:20PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Raoni Franco

That was brilliant.
Thanks for posting.

September 1, 2012 at 12:10AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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like!!

September 1, 2012 at 1:22AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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This is so brilliant. Thank you for posting it.

September 2, 2012 at 11:59PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Brilliant and very insightful! A got-to-see-it-video for anyone interested in generating new and original ideas and creating new things. Wow, love it !

September 6, 2012 at 4:26AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Erwin (Netherlands)

Very enjoyable and quite inspiring..... especially as his parody of the "custodian of creativity" at the end reminds me so much of a former boss of mine in BBC current affairs.... absolutely priceless!

September 6, 2012 at 3:58PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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G.

I thought we are an Anarcho-syndicalist commune Pip Pip! Cheers!

September 6, 2012 at 4:38PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Lord Bronco

Very informative. Thanks for this post, keep them coming.

September 10, 2012 at 9:10PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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JJB

I find I can't work without a time constraint...both because I tend to procrastinate, and because I'm a perfectionist. Without a cold hard deadline, I'll never be truly done with something (I think this is why I'm a cinematographer...rarely doing my own projects as writer/director, as much as I would like to do that more, I rarely actually get my own projects finished.)

September 19, 2012 at 8:50PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Daniel Mimura

I think I have a new hero. I'm blown away by how concise and insightful that video was. Although I shouldn't expect less from Sir John Cleese! Time to go and create an oasis of time and space...

October 21, 2012 at 11:13PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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August 25, 2014 at 4:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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