This is probably no surprise to you: Creativity and efficiency aren’t the most natural of bedfellows.
I was listening to a Hurry Slowly podcast in which the host, Jocelyn K. Glei, was talking about this very thing.
Her take is that it’s actually being inefficient that leads us to create something beyond the ordinary. That it's the very fact that our work isn't scaleable that makes artists so important to the world.
I’m sure that, like me, you’ve got plenty of experience of planning a creative project only to find that it not only takes three or four times as long as you thought, but that it expands along the way to encompass all sorts of new facets.
Sometimes this is just bad planning and fear of finishing presenting as function creep.
But at other times - and I think, deep down, we can tell the difference - it’s because we genuinely feel the project needs more care and attention to give it that special oomph.
The inspire-surprise-delight filter
When I decided that my focus for this year would be to inspire, surprise and delight whenever and wherever possible, I realised that I could use these ideas as a filter by which to measure each thing that I created.
I think that in my pre-inspire-surprise-delight mindset, I would have called done on my paper doll kit many weeks ago. (As you might know, the doll itself was finished way back in the middle of last summer.)
But instead I found myself constantly running the kit through my inspire-surprise-delight filter. I really went the extra mile in every direction in a bid to pack the kit with these qualities.
To inspire, I included quotes about - of course - growing wings.
To surprise, I included extra images adapted from other pieces of my art.
And finally, to truly delight, I added a colouring page that doubles up as a template to create your own personalised version of the doll.
The result is a product I’m really proud of. Though, of course, only time will tell if my audience responds by feeling the inspiration, surprise and delight that I worked so hard to stimulate.
But that’s now out of my hands, and I feel at peace with the work I’ve done.
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