Post by Oleg Mokhov.
Want to unleash your creative genius? Take a lesson from a band that knows a thing or two about creating remarkable work: Radiohead.
Love ’em or hate ’em, Radiohead are a major and remarkable band – especially their ’97 magnum opus OK Computer, a creative, critical, and commercial success that sounded like no other rock music at the time.
You can take away a critical lesson from how Radiohead made OK Computer. One that’ll help you unleash your creative genius and create something truly remarkable.
And that lesson is (Phil Selway drumroll)…
When you create, isolate yourself.
You can only create something remarkable when you completely believe in what you’re creating and let 100% of yourself and your ideas come out. And the easiest way to do that is to isolate yourself during creation.
Radiohead, together with producer Nigel Godrich, locked themselves in a country house to record their album OK Computer. No outside influences, people, or experiences. Just pure isolation during creation.
You can edit, polish, and market your work afterwards. But in order to have something remarkable to begin with, you need to keep your creation pure.
You don’t want to consider others when creating. You become self-conscious, thinking about the market or what an audience might want. Or you start second-guessing yourself. Basically, you turn off that subconscious state of creativity; the creative flow that brings out your best ideas and creations.
Isolating yourself stops outside influences that can taint and water down your work, making it less awesome and valuable to yourself and others.
So what’s the best way to isolate yourself? Whatever works best for you in order to stop outside influences. It could be as simple as shutting off the internet when you write, getting out into nature or some special spot, or literally locking yourself from the outside world for a brief moment (like recording a landmark album).
Glen found out during his honeymoon cruise that when he works in an environment free of distractions and outside influence, his best ideas flow freely and creative output quadruples.
When your creation is untainted by outside influences, it’s at its most pure. And when you create something completely unique and wholly you, you get something remarkable.
The reason Radiohead’s OK Computer is so remarkable—much more so than their first two albums, which were similar to other rock music—is because it sounded like no other album at the time. The band was untainted by outside influences during the creation, so they didn’t end up sounding like their contemporaries.
While you could trace back the band’s musical influences, the collection of tunes themselves are unique and wholly Radiohead. In other words, a remarkable creation.
It’s okay to be influenced by what you consume and experience. In fact, you can’t begin creating without having some starting point. But during the creation itself, there should be no outside influences – you want to let what’s inside of you come out unobtrusively.
You pull from your creative influences, but you keep the moment of creation itself untainted.
Remarkable Is Desirable
Okay, so isolating yourself during creation yields the most remarkable work. So what? What if you’re okay with good enough, or being just like the rest? Maybe your primary objective is makin’ da monayz. Why should you care about creating remarkable work?
Because remarkable is a lucrative asset.
Truly remarkable is rare. Even if your remarkable stuff doesn’t fit into what should work or sell, people desiring something of this nature will consume it because it’s the only one of its kind. Like Seth Godin says, instead of trying to fruitlessly compete in an existing category, you create your own category and dominate it.
Radiohead created and dominated their own category with OK Computer, and they were handsomely rewarded critically and commercially.
Unleash Your Creative Genius
Unleash your creative genius by isolating yourself when creating.
Learn from Radiohead and how they created their remarkable album OK Computer. By keeping your creative flow pure and untainted by outside influences, you’ll be able to create something truly remarkable.