Art galleries are cool, quiet places. They give you permission to think. While in Rome recently, marvelling at some of the world’s most famous works of art, I couldn’t help thinking how important creative memory can be in bringing into being, not only these incredible paintings and sculptures, but also our own creative efforts.
Michelangelo and his creative memory
Michelangelo was first of all a sculptor and, according to Ross King in his book ‘The Pope’s Ceiling,’ “Michelangelo had little experience with a paintbrush at the time of the Sistine Chapel commission.” Be that as it may, using his stored knowledge, he recreated the stories and events, giving the world his own unique perception of those moments. He used his creative memory.
Creative memory: This memory does store facts, figures and images but finds new ways of connecting and using them. Just as Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel in his own individual way, we can use our memories to put our own slant on things.
Creative thought is usually considered to be spontaneous and original but it couldn’t exist without memory. The mind accesses this memory and then, if it is relaxed and open enough, it will take that memory and do something different with it.
To get your creative memory into tiptop shape you need:
- a healthy brain, free from negativity
- to have a keen interest in life around you
- to have a relaxed mind
Kick start your creative memory
Here are a couple of activities to get your creative memory up and running
- Take some photographs of your childhood or teenage years. Spread them over the floor and have a good look at them. Start to tap into your creative memories. What do you see? Do you remember anything about the day the picture was taken? Places? Activities? Who else was there? Relatives? Friends? Teachers? Family pets? Is there anything similar to your life now? Is there anything that is completely different? (You are older, of course!)
- What thought threads start to percolate to the surface? Make a note of where they take you. Looking at old photographs in this way allows you to connect with your past and perhaps find something that you can transform into something new. Creative memory leads to innovation.
“It’s easy to forget what you were inspired to do when you were young.” – Unknown
Enjoy your trip down memory lane but use it, too, to tap into your creativity and use it to the full. Memory is a great ally so give it the workout it deserves.
Next time we will take a look at other, different kinds of memory that maybe you don’t know you have and aren’t using. Until then.