My brother in law, Jeff Kinney, is a rock star songwriter and equally talented musician who, on occasion, asks me to create a thing or two for him. I recently dug back into my time machine vault to locate a couple of old images I did for his band a few years back. Looking through his digital folder, I found some stuff I still like. The reason has less to do with the love for the final images, but more to do with the creative process I went through to create the work.
I approached the design and photography assignment for the band with more of a beginner’s mind. Beginner’s mind is Zen practice in action. It is the mind that is innocent of preconceptions and expectations, judgments and prejudices. Beginner’s mind is just being present to explore and observe and see “things as-it-is.”
My 3-year-old son is the poster child for the art of creative play and beginner’s mind. He romps around his world experimenting with everything under the sun. His spontaneous unedited improvisation morning, noon and night flows with wondrous imagination that is to die for. Looking at the world through the eyes of a three year old is so refreshing. Who would have ever thought that we would have a little ZEN Buddha living in our house? I love asking him how his day is going? His response is always the same, “My day is going great.” The thing is that his day is never that perfect, but his overall attitude is.
It seems to all come down to a positive outlook. PLAY, EXPERIMENT, HAVE FUN is my personal national anthem this year. Approaching new assignments with a beginner’s mind. Collaborating with inspiring imagineers who approach creativity in an open minded way is my creative mission at this moment and beyond.
MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten professor, Mitch Resnic writes as part of his department’s mission statement, The ultimate goal is a world full of playfully creative people who are constantly inventing new opportunities for themselves and their communities. That seems to sum up the way I want to live my life.
What creative new year resolutions do you intend on making for 2011?