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How to be creative

Can you learn to be more creative or is it just a ‘have or have not’ quality?

4 min read

We asked a musical theatre star, an artistic director, a lighting designer, a festival director and a professor of the arts for their tips on how to be creative.

Their answers may surprise you. But they’ll definitely give you some ideas!

If you’ve ever been in an audience at QPAC, you’ve helped create something truly magical, according to our Chief Executive, John Kotzas.

“Often times we think of art as something purely created by the artist. But in live performance, it is the interaction between artist and audience that creates a work of art.”

So there you go – you’re creative simply by supporting the arts!

But according to these creative folk, there are other ways to tap into, use, and cultivate creativity. Here’s a selection of their ideas for your inspiration:

avatar for Elise McCann
Elise McCann
Helpmann award-winning performer as Miss Honey, Matilda
“I don’t think people are ‘Creative’ or ‘Not Creative’. I think it just manifests in different ways. One person might create through text, someone else through images, someone else through music, but someone else can be creative by creating a brilliant stage management bible! I think wherever there is someone trying to do something differently, or working to develop an idea, a system, anything – there is creativity. In relation to the arts though, I think great creativity is about access. The more we surround ourselves and engage with art, the more creativity we generate in individuals and a community. And the more creative we individually and collectively feel!”
avatar for Rob Tannion
Rob Tannion
Artistic Director, Circus Oz
“For me the word creative is synonymous with freedom. It is the freedom to express oneself. The freedom to find solutions, think outside of the box, to take both personal and emotional risks. I have travelled a lot, and every job I have ever had has offered me a positive learning curve and added so much to how I approach life and art. Ceramic tiling certainly helped me choreographically with spacing, symmetry and sense of harmony. Working on a farm, gave my work time and contemplation. Working in a bar, helped me understand the importance of the audience experience. If you want to get in touch with your creative side then be curious and try something that you always wanted to do. Remember that there is no “too old, too late” for anything.”

Donate to QPAC today. Who knows what you’ll create!
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avatar for Professor Judith McLean
Professor Judith McLean
Former QPAC Scholar-in-Residence
“I believe that everyone is born innately creative i.e. able to symbolise and imagine possibilities not yet encountered. The creative process requires us to make connections through play and make loose associations – ironically by giving up structure – so as to try out other ways of being. If you want to get in touch with your creative side, try to suspend your rational brain and allow yourself to daydream. Uncertainty and mystery are vital components to accessing creativity.”
avatar for Brett Howe
Brett Howe
Festival Director, Out of the Box
“What would I say to a person who wants to be more creative? Think about this… children are widely acknowledged as fundamentally creative. They have lots of questions and they answer them in a range of ways – they sing, talk, draw, dance and imagine and through this they get to a creative response that informs how they move forward with that idea. So find the question you really want answered, and think of a medium you want to use to articulate your response. Then start – go – do. It will not only teach you about the world but teach you about yourself in the process.”
avatar for David Walters
David Walters
Lighting Designer
“You asked if creativity comes easily to me, or if it feels like work? Sometimes a specific project can be hard work and some solutions work much better than others. The joy is that one is never repeating oneself and always learning. From a design point of view there is often a phase early in a project which I call the “dreaming” where we let our imaginations run free unencumbered by pragmatics. I have a vivid imagination and an insatiable curiosity, so I live in a world of possibilities. What would you say to someone who wants to get in touch with their creative side? I would say that it involves taking risks but the rewards are manifold.”

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For more information, contact QPAC’s Development Team.
P: (07) 3842 9018

 Join the conversation - #QPACcreatory


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We pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestors of this land, their spirits and their legacy. The foundations laid by these ancestors – our First Nations Peoples – gives strength, inspiration and courage to current and future generations, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, towards creating a better Queensland.