What is creativity?
Quite simply creativity is an individuals' response to a new situation. The response is built from the experiences and strategies learned by that individual. Helping the artiste to expand their library of responses is the job of Artist development and deals with the whole person, not just their art.
Creativity only appears when there is a challenge, so here are a few ways you can exercise your creativity.
Fill in the gaps. Sit in a quiet room and listen to your favourite radio station or a favourite music play-list, turn down the volume down a little after each song, keep lowering the volume until it becomes harder to follow the music. Try to follow the beat, the bass or the vocals if you know them. Now really concentrate on the music as you lower the volume to a barely perceptible point, keep following the music as if you were listening for faults in the mix. If you are in the right mood, if you are lucky something wonderful may start to happen, your mind will start to fill in the gaps it cannot hear, with the best guess. This best guess is likely to be something new, this is your creativity cutting in. This next part is very difficult, you need to act quickly to transfer that new idea to a new song. Write the line that your mind filled in, sing into your 'phone memo or a keyboard recording midi. As you become more adept at this you may be able to construct major parts of songs in your head and remember them.
Create a simple universe
Then follow the characters in that universe doing something quite normal. This helps because limiting possibilities forces your creativity try to solve the question 'what would happen if?'
For example a universe where emotion and senses are overpowering. A family breakfast takes on a new dimension as father watches in amazement at the cereal falling into the bowl, laughing as it tinkles and rolls out of the box, the children come in wide eyed and intense staring at the shafts of morning sunlight striking the table, mother enters, looks at father and cries as she realises how fragile life is. Now, imagine the music, simple but overwhelming…
Working with other people encourages creativity, a group of people can multiply the library of responses and strategies available. Within a stable, structured team it is possible to experiment and create solutions unattainable by an individual. A good label will create a stable of artists of many disciplines to allow for ad hoc collaboration. Sometimes this kind of collaborations leads to longer term relationships between the artists.
For example A singer with a set of songs collaborates with a graphic artist to produce an album of beautiful songs with amazing artwork The finished product is a whole item which could not have been produced by any one of the individuals involved.
Much has been written about the use of substances to aid or bring about creativity. Substances are admissible during the research and gathering phases but stay sober to create and perform. Use your trips into the other worlds to give you insight and understanding of this tightly bound and conditioned world. Use the extra time and space to touch the world, this understanding can bring you extra strategies and views to use in your creativity.
For example, you may gain the insight (by watching birds while in a heightened emotional state) that we fit into this world like the other animals, using this insight you may better communicate your ideas on the animal level, using a sigh or a shout instead of words.
Creativity is not limited to the arts, it is at the heart of the human condition. Learn to recognise yours and encourage it.