The Empowering Team is saddened with the passing of David Bowie. He served as an influence to us and his legacy will live on for many generations to come. We found this article from Inc. Magazine that celebrates lessons that we can learn from David Bowie in creativity.
I’m feeling David Bowie’s loss acutely this afternoon as I listen to “Heroes” through a pair of cheap headphones in a lonely coffee shop. In a monochromatic world, he was a splash of color. He was always on the cutting edge of creativity, daring to showcase what many people felt was off-limits or outside the realm of accepted societal or gender norms. Bowie built an image that was as eclectic as it was extraordinary. His influence defies generational boundaries. Needless to say, he will be sorely missed.
Bowie’s creative process evolved throughout his recording career, and he drew inspiration from many unconventional places. Here are a few lessons we can put to good use as we celebrate his legacy:
- Use what you feel. Bowie’s music was deeply affected by world events like 9/11 that underscored a collective sense of fear and uncertainty. “It’s all despondency, despair, fear, isolation, abandonment,” he said when asked about what inspires his writing process. This idea should resonate with every entrepreneur who’s ever tried to solve a problem or relieve a troubling pain point within their market. It begins, on some level, with suffering. It can be the catalyst for creativity.
- Free associate at will. In one interview, Bowie elusively described his creative process by listing 42 evocative words (with little supporting explanation). Among them were identity, domination, glide, urban, and nerve. Each of these words carries distinctive imagery, and Bowie was masterful at weaving a narrative out of little more than a feeling or a fleeting theme. Try using single words in your brainstorming process and see what shakes out.