Quickly, three different styles of painting are shown below, tell me which one you think is right.
Cubism, surrealism, and realism. Which one did you guess is right? The question itself isn’t a real one. It’s the equivalent of asking what sound yellow makes.
When it comes to artwork there is no “right” answer. A painting that changes style, color, context, and presentation isn’t more wrong than another painting, it’s simply a different style.
The same is true of creativity. But we’re too easily persuaded that’s not the case.
How often do you wind yourself up fearing that your ideas will be in some way wrong? How many times does that fear leave you stuck or like you’re better off abandoning an idea? We become terrified at the idea of someone critiquing our creative efforts before they have a chance to fully understand them. We don’t want to be wrong. So we stand back, we don’t take a chance, we let the idea float into the back of our minds (or notebook) until a less dangerous idea makes itself known.
But, like art, creativity has no right or wrong.
An idea that is different than others – either by execution or context or some other manner – is merely different, not right or wrong in any sense of the words. The only requirements for creativity are that the idea is original and provides at least some level of value. That’s it, and with that definition the world of possibilities for what our ideas can be or become is vastly larger than I think we allow ourselves to see. Your ideas don’t have to fit in some mold of right or wrong!
When we start to look at our ideas in this context it frees us up to experiment more, to play with our curiosities.
All ideas should be explored. It’s only by exploring ideas – getting them out of our notebooks and certainly out of our heads ” that we can see what they’re really about. Only after we’ve done something with our ideas can we see how appropriate and powerful they may be.
Starting today, Don’t worry about whether or not you’ve got the right idea. Worry about what you’re going to do next with the idea instead.