Friday, February 10, 2017

Creator's Corner: Conflict Has Creative Value. Learn How To Use It.

Somewhere along my life's journey, I received a strong message that stuck in my gut for a very long time: "Do not discuss religion or politics in mixed company (or in any social or business settings) because you are asking for trouble." I was taught that discussing these topics will create great conflict that will destroy friendships and potentially make me a persona non grata in professional circles that can lead to isolation, and perhaps even dismissal (though that reason would never be cited as the true reason).

Yes, I have seen the damage in other people's lives; but not in my own. Sure, conversations have become heated, but I always took the approach that we can agree to disagree because--well, there are so many other things that I often like about people with whom I have a difference of belief or opinion. I learned to value the whole person, and not divorce myself from relationships because of a strong contrast. My oldest friend is a Republican (and always has been). Another dear friend is an atheist.

Image: Bernie Sanders, Credit: Reuters

Column Inspiration:
  Americans Skeptical Of God But Believe Heaven Is Real, Somehow (vocativ.com)
Perhaps, our relationships would be rather dull and bland without the challenges.

Conflict and Contrast Are Creative Goldmines

As a creative professional and healing artist, I was taught to value conflict and contrast as vital creative tools: contrast in colors, contrast in textures, contrast in lighting, contrast in perspective, contrast in camera angles, contrast in point-of-view, and contrast in characters to create the conflicts necessary for telling an engaging story. Conflict and contrast are CREATIVE tools and principles.

Rebellion Meets Divinity (Andrew Saunders)

Column Inspiration:
Top Designers On The Next Decade's Visual Trends (marketingmagazine.co.uk)
Actually, spirituality and mindfulness is trending (and spiritual practices include religions), and it's viewed as a creative trend in this and the next decade (see Creator's Corner on Sacred Geometry); yet, the content in the articles cited that inspired this Creator's Corner are examples of even more contrast and contradiction. One includes research citing that Millennials are disengaging from religion and spirituality. Another cites that Americans do not believe in God, but somehow believe that Heaven is real. The third article might seem like an oxymoron: it explores the concept and practice of Imaginative Conservatism.

The story of good and evil, of strength and weakness, of love and hate, of beauty and ugliness . . . neither can exist without the other . . . out of their groupings creativeness is born. --John Steinbeck

Creative breakthroughs often occur as the result of conflict in many aspects of the human experience. I feel like screaming again because conflict and contrast commands attention. They SHOUT and we all pay attention. The content then engages us for short or long periods of time depending on our interests, desires, emotions, and needs.


Creative Strategy

1) Become students of conflict and contrast from a creative arts perspective (Although this article is geared toward children becoming arts students, we adults can become students again for our own growth and sustainability now and in the future). Learn as much as we can about the use and value of conflict and contrast. Watching films and television with an eye for identifying their use in these mediums (and their success or failure from which we can learn lessons) can only help to shake off our antiquated negative attachments to them. Immersing ourselves in them helps to shape-shift our relationship from enemies to allies.

2) Share what we discover as part of our content offerings, or use these new allies in content strategy, content marketing, marketing strategy, songwriting, storytelling, or even to become more comfortable in our own psyches and skins with their value to attract, reach, impact and inspire others as creative professionals, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, content curators, coaches, mentors, etc. through the variety of communications and media we use as calling cards and other enduring connection platforms in our careers or missions. 

3) Read content sources in the April 20, 2016 edition of the Creativity & Spirituality Magazine that include elements of conflict and contrast through color, dance, innovation, and challenging preconceived or learned concepts that inhibit our creativity. Plus read the Creator's Corner column: How to Work Well and Play with "The Others" To Succeed.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Best Visual Content = Storytelling Solutions via A&E Professionals, Lies & Storytelling: Strange Bedfellows in Shades of Gray, Best Storytelling Has Sensory Empathy (or It's Important to Engage the Senses), Get Up To Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling: On a Low Budget, Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin), The Joy is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible), Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life; Religion, Spirituality--Contrasting, Trending; Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona, Here Comes Play-Doh, and Sacred Geometry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016etry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016.

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie






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Creator's Corner is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine (as the editor) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and spirituality as content, for usage in arts & entertainment, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions.

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