The other example that I use is the rock band ‘OK GO’. They made a music video for the song “Here I go again” that used six treadmills and creative dancing. It was 2011 and their goal was to make a low-budget music (but cool) music video. This video spread all over the internet and was a big hit. They began making other creative videos for their music. Since that first viral success, their videos have become more and more complex. They have music videos of enormous rube goldberg machines, floating in a zero-g airplane, and a slow motion video that they filmed in four seconds.
We gawk at these videos in class. The lesson is that this band did not set out to be known for their quirky videos. Their goal in 2011 was to make rock music and a quirky music video. They had no idea they would become just as famous for their cool videos as their music.
Most unique creators have a story like this. Here is how it looks
First, they were an average creator (OK GO was a medium successful rock band).
Then they try something new and that leads them in a new direction.
Or a mistake helps them see a new opportunity.
Or they have to overcome hardship in a creative way.
Or a random idea combination gives them new inspiration.
Our students see these unique creators and have no clue how they got there. We need to show them just how simple and random this process can be. Students need to know that the first step is effort and persistence.
Martin Molin didn’t think that his first marble machine would change his life. He was just trying to make a cool new machine to make music. The machine that he made couldn’t even perform on stage because it broke down constantly. It was good for exactly one video. But that video got enough attention that thousands of people wanted to see more. He had thousands sign up to support him while he started the “Marble Machine X.” It has been his full time job for years to engineer a better marble machine.
There is no way to know where a new attempt will take you. Students often think they know the result of a project will be, but they do not. They don’t yet realize that each mistake, each new random thought, and every setback is an opportunity in disguise. Creators don’t even need to know where they are going, as long as they keep moving.