06-09-2019 – The Imagineering Suite, Amersfoort (NL)

The six basic elements of a working product – Your personal and work experience

Your personal and work experience!

Some of you might be thinking: “What? Didn’t you talk about knowledge last week? Isn’t that exactly the same subject that you are discussing right now?’ Well…not exactly. There is a pretty big difference between personal/work experience and your knowledge. The knowledge I discussed last week, covers the entire spectrum of information that your subconscious has available. Experience on the other hand, is the directly applicable knowledge that stems from your personal or professional life, that can be of influence on the create work you do or are planning on doing.

It is therefore important to know what experiences can be of direct use to the creative avenues you want to pursue and what knowledge you might want to have ready for the future. Both are equally important and are connected to one another. So this new blog is not meant to undermine last weeks’ entry, but more of a specification to bring some structure to the abstract source that is our knowledge base, so that we can divide it into directly useable experience and future knowledge.

An interesting thing is that a lot of people are not aware of how much work experience they actually already have gained in life before they even start working on creative projects. A lot of people already have hobbies or certain predispositions to certain topics from which their later creative work will evolve. There are many musicians that started out as kids with toy instruments, and many artists who drew on stacks of paper when they were younger etc etc. And of course their creative output as adults, which has been refined by years of learning, tweaking and development is far better than it used to be in that earlier stage, but the importance of that stage cannot be overstated.

Unfortunately, this often does happen. And this can have very negative consequences for one’s creative development. People underestimate the importance of those formative experiences and how they can help in the development of a good creative process in a later age.

It’s quotes like “I used to draw a lot as a kid, but it didn’t mean much”, or “I used to do that a lot, but it didn’t go anywhere, so I quit”, or even worse “I wanted to do this when I was younger, but I wasn’t good enough, so I stopped” all show that people think that if they don’t get good results quickly or are good at something INSTANTLY, they just need to drop it and have to accept that they will never be able to do it…

And I think that is a real shame, because it’s thoughts like these that block your effective creative development. It’s this way of thinking that also diminishes the value of the creative process almost entirely. And that is even worse, because a healthy creative proces can be an enhancement to one’s mental health.

As I discussed earlier in these blogs (And as is generally known) you will never reach something good or worthwhile in one go immediately. The development of ones’ creative process is a long road which one must travel and on this road you will encounter both positive and negative experiences. All those experiences will directly influence your creative process and the products you make in the long term. That is why I divided the experience part from the knowledge part in this six part system. Your knowledge is the databank in your brain that you can delve ideas and inspiration from. But your experience is the information that you can directly use to start working on things.

Knowledge is knowing. Experience is doing.

It can also happen thta you want to do something creative, but you don’t have any experience yet… This could discourage you. Because, yeah, you can’t do this now, so why would you start? But that is exactly the blocking way of thinking that I mentioned earlier. By thinking like this, you will never take that first step to actually try and do something (and therefore not reaching anything) with your creative ideas. If you want to do something creative, you have to make that first step to get to it. And yes, that can be quite frightening, but actually taking these steps, will garner the experience you need. And even the negative experiences you can encounter, are of immeasurable value!

So for example… You want to become an artist, in a drawing sense, but you find out after multiple tries that it is not your way of expression… You still gained experience that can be applied to other things you might be able to do. Because maybe, your drawing experiences gave you a better way to visualize things and that can also help you in dancing, singing or writing for instance. There are many ways to expressive yourself creatively and by gaining personal and work experience, you will be able to find your creative flow faster and thus enjoy it far more as a result.

So my advice is simple: Take those steps and get those experiences. In the worst case, you might learn a thing or two!

See you next week!