Interview with Stelios Angelis, Creative Director at Doctor Anytime.
Here is a message that anyone wanting to be creative needs to understand: Creativity is an emotion.
Let me explain, but first, let me introduce you to the person who reminded me of this important message: Stelios Angelis. Stelios Angelis is one of the most pure creative people I have had the privilege of interviewing. A former advertising creative who, for example, worked on the McDonald’s Olympics campaign while at Ogilvy. Now he is creative director at Doctor Anytime, a start-up changing how we book doctors. He is also an artist.
When we talked about creativity, he expressed his frustration around how many people seem to think that they “come up” with an idea, or that they “think of an idea.”
He told me: “An idea is not a thought. It’s definitely not a thought – it’s a feeling. When you have a really good idea you FEEL it.”
And it’s true. The sensation of having a really great idea is a feeling, just like the feeling of falling in love.
So perhaps we should say that we “fall into an idea.”
So, why does this matter?
Because when you understand that an idea is an emotion you change how you approach the creative process. You approach creativity in the same way you would approach love, art, or nature – you embrace it. You do not try to control it.
“Stelios: “Creativity: It is your experience being translated into your soul – not your brain.”
So how do we become more creative? By trusting our feelings.
Stelios made a comparison to falling in love: “I will dance with my love in the middle of the road and scream “I love you!” because that is what I am feeling.”
A person in love is guided by their emotions, not their thoughts, and so is a person with a great idea. They are consumed by the idea and its potential. They allow themselves to surrender to the idea. A person falling into an idea is guided by the emotional reaction that the idea is triggering in them.
Of course, logical thinking can be used to evaluate, improve and test an idea, or it can be used to explain it. But it is not thinking that creates it. It’s not thinking that gives birth to it. That process is a process of emotion.
A positive side effect of that is that true creatives do not think so much about what others are thinking, because they are not thinking, they are feeling. Thinking of what others will think will block you from feeling.
If you want to become more creative – truly creative – then allow yourself to fall into an idea. Let the emotions that the idea trigger guide you and take you to where the idea wants to go.
Fall into creativity. Just like you fall in love.
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