Let's explore DAYDREAMS!
This TED Talk really has had an effect on me lately. I never paid much attention to how daydreams can make or break an artist, but there is something about the way Damian Kulash embraces his daydreaming that has truly inspired me to take a second look at my inner thoughts.
Artists are some of the most self-doubting people. A person who tends to zone out and drift away to fantasy places might come off as weird or unfocused to a teacher, parent or significant other. That type of judgement can suffocate an artist's main source of creativity and inspiration, creating so much self-doubt in the daydreamer that they immediately start to shut down those thoughts, making it difficult to create.
In the beginning of this video/podcast, Damian talks about how he finds ideas in his zone outs. He describes how he often finds himself shifting focus between both of his eyes, or moving his head ever so slightly so a plant sticks out of his wife's head like a ponytail. These are pretty common experiences for a daydreamer, but these aren't just trances to him, they're ideas. He builds on top of what he sees and turns these playful visions into something bigger. By using his every day fantasies to fuel his artistic fires, he his tapping into a part of his brain most of us rarely think about using.
So how is this inspiring me in my day-to-day life?
Well, I, too find myself staring into the depths of space quite often, but my daydreams aren't as visual. They are more of elaborate stories from an alternate universe.
Today in the car, I counted 15 abandoned traffic cones on the side of the road. Which got me thinking, "Are these ordinary traffic cones? Or are they explosives, cameras, secret messages, or just the guys from Toy Story making a move?" Now, normally a thought like this would exit my mind as quickly as it entered, but this time, I held onto those fantasies and explored all the different songs and stories I could create from my imaginative drive home. I spent the entire car ride asking Siri to take down notes for me, and when I finally got home, I had pages full of notes to work with.
This is a great exercise for creativity, but remember, this is where self-doubtcomes into play. Even trying to find the words to explain how a traffic cone can take up that much space in my brain is extremely difficult. If it's confusing to me to begin with, how will it make any sort of sense to someone else?
But guess what, there will always be people who will have a hard time tapping into their own imagination in order to understand the art that you're making. It's unfortunate for them, but we make art so that maybe one day, your creation will spark imagination in someone who thought they had lost their artistic fire a long time ago.
So next time someone brings negative attention to your daydreaming, stick your thumb out in front of your eyes and squish them like the tiny bug they are and then make something out of that experience.