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  • "The link between child imagination and creativity," wise words from Hayao Miyazaki.

  • One of Hayao Miyazaki's very first memories is a bombing that he witnessed when he was just four-and-a-half years old.

  • He remembers waking up in the night, seeing his city in flames, and fleeing while holding on to his father's hand.

  • Despite the danger, he was unafraid, because seeing the light from the burning buildings meant the sky was as bright morning.

  • Miyazaki created vivid worlds for many to remember that stems from his stirring childhood.

  • This is why Studio Ghibli is more than just an animation company.

  • It became home to millions of people who choose to believe in something more.

  • But what's the secret to Miyazaki's creativity?

  • And how do his stories come alive with such a vigor, hope, and fragility?

  • As much as discipline and perseverance play the backbone into all of his works, there's one important ingredient he, and many artists, embrace.

  • Imagination.

  • It's true, the most creative geniuses are the ones who never really grow up.

  • The world can be a scary and dreadful place.

  • Children are smart enough to understand that when the lights go out every night, but they are also resilient enough to stand up to those monsters.

  • When they witness something terrible happening, they can't help but combat it with their creativity, to make their sadness and fears go away.

  • It's a curious thing, how playing keeps the brain young and healthy.

  • Miyazaki states: "The greatness of a mind is determined by the depth of its suffering."

  • Creativity had two phases: intuition and analysis.

  • It's not so much about finding a muse, but rather, research shows, it's about exposure and experience.

  • It's only from experiencing pain, pleasure, and everything in between that allows an individual to understand other perspectives, problem solve, and come up with new ideas.

  • So, what helps Miyazaki stay focused?

  • One word: escapism.

  • It's only when the individual observes the world and recognizes monotony in darkness, that they feel an urge to cling and absorb to a different reality.

  • Although Miyazaki lived through the terrors of World War II, he still treasured the idea of flying.

  • Spellbound by his father's company that manufactured fighter planes for the war, he didn't see them as destructive weapons, but escaped these harsh reality through his dreams instead.

  • This is where make-believe comes in.

  • Erase the idea that imagination always stems from rainbows and butterflies.

  • Research shows an individual is more likely to tap into their imagination in response to traumatic events.

  • At first glance, looking at the colorful animations of Miyazaki, one might assume that he's a cheerful jokester, but Miyazaki has admitted to being quite pessimistic.

  • Still, he wants to persevere hope in his films for kids, to build the courage to face to world in all its horror.

  • Miyazaki states: "When one of my staff has a baby you can't help but bless them for a good future."

  • "Because I can't tell that child, 'Oh, you shouldn't have come into this life.'"

  • "And yet I know the world is heading in a bad direction."

  • "So with those conflicting thoughts in mind, I think about what kind of films I should be making."

  • Portraying emotions truthfully is probably the greatest asset he has brought to his films.

  • As his characters always search for something, whether it means making a delivery, discovering their talents, or finding their parents, Miyazaki does his best to illustrate the complexity in the simplest of actions.

  • He had a talent of finding adventure within the mundane, and relentlessly held onto hope, despite what he grew up seeing.

  • Without the power of flexibility, he wouldn't have opened doors for us to explore his mind that learned resilience through the creative arts.

  • Are you a Miyazaki lover?

  • Which film resonates with you the most?

  • Please share your thoughts with us below.

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"The link between child imagination and creativity," wise words from Hayao Miyazaki.

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Hayao Miyazaki's Thoughts on Creativity & Imagination

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    Elise Chuang posted on 2021/06/21
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