Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Creative Cross-Training

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My oldest son is a brilliant musician. (Actually, all three of my children are brilliant musicians, but I am mentioning only one for this post.) I would attribute this brilliance to three things: natural talent, relentless practice, and cross-training.

My definition of cross-training is when creatives step outside of their usual form of expression, and develop other forms of expression. This could mean musicians learning to play a new instrument, visual artists using a new medium, or writers choosing a different genre.

It might even mean moving to a completely different art expression: musicians working in water colors, writers learning piano, sculptors writing poetry.

My son became an excellent piano player, taught himself the drums, and then laerned the guitar & bass. Today he is an accomplished producer with an incredible boundry-pushing creative edge.

Believing that everyone is creative (because we were made in the image of the Great Creator), here is my premise: Creativity breeds creativity. Moving our soul (which includes our heart and mind) into an area that stretches it by introducing and developing a new area of expression opens the door for an even greater capacity to create.

Simply put, learning to paint will make you a better writer. Learning to dance will make you a better actor. I know firsthand: learning to play the bass has made me a better keyboard player. (I'm not sure what makes a better dancer. Again, firsthand knowledge...)

I encourage you to stretch yourself, to try something new, to create beyond the familiar and the comfortable. You may be surprised by what will come of it.

Question: Has creative cross-training benefited you in your creativity? Share your thoughts below in comments.

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