Albert Einstein was once asked how many feet are in a mile. Einstein’s reply was “I don’t know. Why should I fill my brain with facts I can find in two minutes in any standard reference book? In fact in today’s Google era, answers are far faster than that. Type in the question and the answer is delivered at the speed of light; a concept that would have tickled Einstein in an ironic way. Einstein certainly had a unique way of looking at the world, by removing extraneous matters and then to reduce complicated concepts into their component parts making them easier to understand.
Think about his formula, E=MC2. Many can recite it, but few know its significance. This simple formula distilled from a highly diverse, and seemingly unrelated systems proves that mass and energy are related. But more importantly it also answers the question of how much energy is created when mass is converted into it. The elegance by which the formula ties together three seemingly disparate parts of nature, energy, the speed of light and mass, is profound in its simplicity. Yet Einstein never knew how long a mile was.
A small, brown notebook, known as the Zurich notebook, was found among his papers after Einstein’s death in 1955. It was filled with all of his private calculations from 1907-1915. That was the time during which Einstein was working on this theory of relativity, resulting in his formula, E=MC2. The entire notebook can be viewed on Internet for all to see his genius.
How does all this relate to your artistic creativity? It does so with the understanding of several key observations of Einstein’s work processes. First, Einstein disliked trivial and ancillary information, the kind that was easy to look up. It cluttered his mind, he stated. He wished to keep his mind clear for his creative thought experiments. Secondly, he also kept a notebook whereby he documented his creative ideas. The documenting allowed him to build on his creative concepts and then clear his mind for more artistic creativity. So if we artists wish to build on our creativity, what better mentor to follow than Einstein himself, now that we know his secret to his creativity? Who are we to argue with his genius?
That is, if you the model maker, artist or sculptor want to improve your creativity in your art don’t dwell over remembering such details as mold material set times, pot life, cure times, mix ratios and so on. This information is clearly marked on the material packaging. If you are using a special or new technique, then write it down in your studio notebook. As you brain storm ideas for art pieces, also write them down in your notebook. Then from time to time review your notebook and your ideas, as with Einstein, the results will often lead you to a much greater serendipitous ideas that would not have been produced had you not written out your thoughts in your own Zurich notebook, for future reference. By clearing your head of non-essential information and writing down your creative ideas as you go along, over time you will discipline your creativity to out produce itself in ways that will surprise you and provide you with greater artistic rewards.
Though Albert Einstein may not have been a painter, sculptor or mold maker, no one can argue about his superior creative successes. His work habits helped him accomplish his extraordinary revelations that changed the world. Who are we as artists to argue with his methods that resulted in such great creativity? Get a notebook, write down your art ideas and forget the mundane details that are readily available on the Internet. You will increase your creativity in ways you never imagined, thanks to Albert.
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