When discussing creativity, quite a lot of people seem to think it’s necessary to run around saying ‘wahey! I’m mad me!’, like that annoying nerdy irritant that manages to infiltrate your circle of friends.
Creativity is not about being an idiot. Being creative doesn’t require you to dress like a 1980s children’s television presenter with a pair of comedy spectacles, silly hat and a large sponge hammer to bonk people on the head with who are taking things too seriously. You don’t need a gunk tank nor do you need to give and receive foam-custard pies.
Being creative is a bit like being able to harness The Force from Star Wars. To use it properly and productively, you don’t need to be and shouldn’t be too cocky or showy. The goodies (the Jedi) went around in simple, ordinary clothes. Their lightsabres were tucked away in their belts, out of sight, but ready if needed. They used their powers to help people and get the job done and not for cheap parlour tricks just to make them feel good. The baddies, on the other hand, were different.
The Sith went into showing off in a big way. Darth Maul was such an egotist that he tattooed his whole body to make him look ‘really scary’. It was a bit obvious. He was mad and bad, a one trick pantomime pony with no subtlety at all.
The same was true of Darth Vader. Ok, so he was a burns victim, sure. But, I know quite a few serious burns victims and none of them decided to wear a black helmet in the shape of a skull. Vader wore his bad heart on his sleeve.
To be creative you are bound to be eccentric. You have to be. Eccentric means ‘not in the middle of the circle’. Being abnormal means not being the normal straight up and down at a right angle to the ground (eccentric and normal are geometry terms for circles and lines). We must be abnormal and eccentric with our creativity otherwise we won’t be creative. But we don’t have to be abnormal and eccentric fools. We just need to be ourselves.