Artists are inspired by a wide range of emotions: joy, sorrow, tenderness. But even anger can be a powerful muse when it comes to tapping into your artistic potential and creative thinking abilities.
Anger is something that everyone feels from time to time – myself included. I work really hard to be positive in happy, and it is definitely a work in progress. But this is normal. I’m sure even the Dalai Lama must get a little peeved sometimes.
This doesn’t have to be bad. It just so happens some of the most creative people that ever lived – from Beethoven to Christian Bale – were rather angry individuals.
In Creative potential – Anger and Creativity, a clinical and forensic psychologist, Stephen A. Diamond, PhD, discusses the “daimonic” – the concept that anger and creativity come from the same place in the human psyche.
As artists, we are passionate people full of raw emotion and creativity. But we can channel our anger into a burst of creative thinking. Here are a few ways I have learned to turn my anger into creative problem solving:
- Idea Storming: Whenever I get angry, I grab my idea notebook and immediately do stream of consciousness writing. I write for at least three pages without holding back, thinking about what I’m writing, or censoring myself. Every time I do this I end up with either a great idea for a performance or a new solution for one of my companies.
- White Board Drawing: One of the walls in my office is a white board. If I’m feeling steamed, I just pick up a dry erase marker and start drawing. Like the previous exercise, I just scribble what comes into my mind without censorship. This is a fruitful exercise for me personally since I am a very visual person. After I cool down, I will step back and look at my anger-induced artwork. I often see creative marketing solutions for my clients or ideas to help my community.
- Physical Exercise: Exercise is definitely not my favorite activity and it sometimes takes me a bit of motivation to get going. So, whenever I find myself pacing the floor, I change my clothes and go for a run, practice Kung Fu, or do some yoga. Not only does the rage push me through the physical exhaustion, but it also helps my mind come up with alternative solutions that I would not normally consider.
We all know how destructive anger can be, which is why turning it into a positive energy to help with creative thinking and creative problem solving is good for all of us.
Since anger and creativity go hand-in-hand, what are some of the best ideas you’ve come up with while touched by the muse of anger?
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