Artists are considered the most creative people, and usually they are also considered free spirits. However, when you think about it, all of them have to deal with limits or constraints. Picasso, Dali and Monet were limited by the size of the canvas they were painting on. The great Mozart composed his masterpieces with only 7 notes.
I am always skeptical when people ask for “no rules” in order to express their creativity better. Actually I’m convinced that rules and limits help to focus and boost creativity.
I had a very nice surprise when I found the other day an interesting article from a Stanford professor (Tina Seelig – Innovation and Entrepreneurship) titled: “The Power of Doing More With Less -Using constraints to enhance creative problem solving”.
In her article, Tina Seelig explains: “Constraints of all types play an important role in creative output. With severely limited resources, we need to make trade-offs and find creative ways of solving our problems. We have to sacrifice things we want to do in order to do the things we need to do. Constraints force us to be thoughtful, to prioritize, and to be as innovative as possible.”
Twitter itself is a proof that supports this theory. I don’t know if it’s the case in your country but in Spain, popular humor passed from being expressed in long jokes to be expressed in tweets. It is quite astonishing to see how funny people can be in just 140 characters. By the way, I doubt people will be twice as funny or creative with 280…
I recently discovered an experience conducted by Google/Youtube in that field. As part of 2017 Sundance Film Festival, they challenged agency creatives and filmmakers to tell a video story in just six seconds. The request proved an amazing catalyst for innovative storytelling.
The proper testimonies of the participants are quite illustrative:
“We originally thought the time constraint would be a hindrance to tell an emotional story. But we quickly learned that you don’t need to tell an entire story in the traditional sense to evoke emotion. One word, one image, one second is enough for someone to be drawn in.”
—Mia Kuhn, Producer, TBWA/Chiat/Day
“Restrictions are important to creativity. Hurdles give us direction on where to go and what to jump over.”
—Tony Xie, Associate Broadcast Producer, Droga5
Enjoy some of the best super short films and remember: embrace constraints and be super creative!