by Andy Capp

First of all, just so there's no confusion, I am not an expert on creativity! The General Manager of KELO once presented me with cards which proclaimed me, "ANDY CAPP, CREATIVE DIRECTOR," an act some salespeople mistook as proof of some mystic power I might have over my Muse, rather than the "Wizard of Oz" gesture it actually was. (Sing it with me now -- "If I only had a title....")

The truth is, I'm not even sure I'm that creative. I've never built a better mousetrap or discovered a cure for cancer. Heck, I've never even dreamed up a Burger of the Month! All I do is write and produce a bunch of commercials and promos that I hope are interesting enough to keep our listeners from spinning the dial between songs, and keep our paying clients well stocked with customers.

So why am I writing about creativity? Well, I am a creative "Groupie" of sorts. I spend a lot of spare time reading and listening to what the real experts have to say about the creative process -- looking for answers, hoping something will sink in. I hope bits and pieces have stayed with me through the years.

So here I am, a guy with a box full of over-optimistic business cards and a head full of other peoples creative juice machines -- and now, a fresh outlet. Let's say we plug in a few juicers, fire 'em up, and see what pours out! (Oh, and don't forget to save the pulp...more on its handy uses in a future installment of "Cooking with Capp....")

All right, here's your assignment for this month: Open your mind and let the world in! Expose yourself to at least one new experience daily. No, it doesn't have to be a huge and/or radical experience; it can be as simple as taking a different route to work, doing lunch with the person you'd least likely spend time with from the office, listening to a randomly chosen sound effects CD while cleaning the heads in the production studio (you do that from time to time, right?), stopping by the library and reading a magazine you'd never subscribe to in this lifetime. Take in as many new sounds, sights, and smells as you can. Don't force yourself to think that deeply about any of it, just be a sponge and soak it all up. These new images will become the seeds to grow the fruit to stick in those creative juicers we'll be working with in the future.

But, a word of warning: this single act may immediately inspire new ideas, new options, new creative angles; and that could lead to (gasp!) new business cards! Don't say I didn't warn you....

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