What is the From-the-Barstool Technique?
The From-the-Barstool creative technique harnesses the creativity inherent in the complainer and the complaint.
From-the-Barstool is a technique for creativity that is used to generate a change of stasis in a narrative – or an obstacle for a narrative to overcome.
One of the basic drivers of creativity is the overcoming of obstacles. Drive to the island of Lindisfarne in a car, and you have a journey. Sail to the island of Lindisfarne in a small boat, across an unpredictable North Sea, and you have a potential poetic or visual artwork.
The From-the-Barstool perspective is the summary of everything that is wrong and everything that can go wrong.
The specific ideas – as always – are the focus ideas behind the artistic piece.
The general ideas – in this creative technique – are the problems inherent in these specific ideas as seen from-the-barstool.
Glanside (the creative glance sideways) is established from the combination of specific ideas and general ideas – which generates the points-of-departure.
The most promising points-of-departure are then developed from the warp (critical thinking – progression) and the weft (creative texture and colour) which structure and detail the artwork or written work.
How does From-the-Barstool work?
Creative direction flows from the specific to the general. Begin with specific ideas: a clear direction, belief, material, concept or theme that you wish to investigate or dissect.
Demonstration: Object Concepts
The following is a simple illustration of the From-the-Barstool Creative Thinking Technique.
The Specific Ideas
In this Illustration of the From-the-Barstool Technique the Specific Ideas are outlined by the following sentences:
- She was applauded by influential critics for her originality and daring.
- He enjoyed wide fame as a champion of working people’s struggles for justice and change.
The General Ideas
Creative Thinking Technique: From-the-Barstool
The following general ideas were developed by taking the From-the-Barstool view – i.e. searching for a commentary that flows from the negative and cynical response to the positive ‘specific idea’ proposition..
- Daring is just cockiness and cheek described by the person doing it.
- Change is just the destruction of the good things that have gone before. Change is only positive for those who benefit from inflicting revolution on the powerless.
- Not the champion of the working people, but the tyrant of callous commercialism.
Points-of-departure which can be further developed into a creative text.
The following creative points-of-departure derive from the stated specific ideas combined with general ideas – i.e. a diverse, different and disparate barstool view in this case.
This text could be developed – or alternatively the From-the-Barstool technique can be repeated – to provide further point-of-departure options.
I have an abhorrence of those who provide the labels. I will give you my own label to work with. He is like – or maybe has even become – our God. He is present everywhere and visible nowhere. This is what happens when the truth is lost behind a myth created by those with enough influence to weave legends out of fairy stories. The view puffed out by our societies’ reporters and reviewers tells of the great good that he has brought to this community. There is no point speaking truth to power when power has such a fixed and favourably-trumpeted view. The only solution is to arm the truth and release it in waves against a deceitful personality: one that has infected and clouded our once clear vision.
- What has resulted in the narrator taking this position?
- How does the narrator relate to other characters?
- What action breaks the stasis in this narrative?
- How is the narrator changed by the end of the narrative?
- The phrase great good is a perimeter of this statement.
What other words or phrases could replace this perimeter – and so lead to further point-of-departure ideas?