I am a fan of the illustration blog, Muddy Colors. For artistic inspiration alone its a great site, but from time to time the idea of inspiration and creativity is added to the conversation. This week a Muddy Colors contributor posted this video from Monty Python veteran John Cleese. In the over 30 minute long lecture, Cleese provides some amazing and insightful ideas about how creativity works. Throughout I laughed and nodded at Cleese’s insights into the nature of creativity, techniques for encouraging it.
What really rung with me occurred at roughly the 30 minute mark when Cleese talks about humor, explaining the laughter comes “at a moment when you connect two different frameworks of reference in a new way.” That is the essence of Asymmetric Creativity, the ability to have two entirely different frameworks or ideas meet and produce a new or unexpected result. Such as reading about religious ecstasy, finding a reference to the origins of consciousness and creating a science fiction short story set in 2030. That is Asymmetric Creativity.
Here is Cleese’s lecture in its entirety.