The Switchblades creative technique facilitates a complete change in creative direction.

The Switchblades creative technique is for those times when the current creative approach just isn’t working or, alternatively, where you wish to challenge or revise the current creative direction.

Creative Thinking develops from the specific to the general.

Specific Ideas are the foundation of a creative project – i.e. the essential subject matter on which your artistic work is constructed. General Ideas build on this specific foundation, providing direction for a creative work to take.

The Switchblade is a completely new general idea which comes out of left-of-field – i.e. a general idea that constitutes an extreme sideways glance at your specific idea.

How does Switchblades work?

The Switchblades Creative Technique relies on a provocation that encourages the change of creative direction required.

The change of direction is created through imposing an additional, significant rule on the creative work, environment, premise, concept etc that you are working with.

The approach is to establish a series of different, significant rules that impose conditions or alter the environment in which the creative work is developed.

Each successive addition of a new rule forces a change in the creative solutions deduced, which combine together to build new creative possibilities – and thence into a new creative direction.

Switchblades uses the term GS (Glanside) to define a new rule. Each new rule is composed in the manner of: GS demands or defines or describes the following new situation.

Illustration: Switchblades

The Specific Ideas

In this Illustration of Switchblades the specific ideas from The Tailor novella are described as follows:

Anjali’s Uncle weaves his way between the ties of family and the demands of business.

The General Ideas

The revised conditions underpinning the creative direction being take across this section of The Tailor are defined by the following rules. In each case the new rule is followed by the creative response to this rule.


Switchblade Rule:

GS people talk in Tailor-Speak

Creative direction derived through imposing this Rule:

He paused, perhaps for thought, perhaps for effect. ‘I think she is right,’ he said as definitively as a cross-stitch. ‘You force me to make a choice. I think Panya is right.’

‘You told me to find new markets, uncle, new things we can sell, and I have done that,’ Anjali responded with the same resolve.

‘A tailor must understand her tools, Anjali. You cannot embroider with a thimble.’ He continued more quietly, ‘Every person is the tailor of their own future. Will you forever stitch the past back together, or will you design a future that is worthy of you?


Switchblade Rule:

GS people are made of river water.

Creative direction derived through imposing this Rule:

I cannot work with Panya any more,’ said Anjali, with that same emotion that causes a reservoir to overflow its dam. 

‘Anjali, you remind me of the river that flows beyond our factory wall,’ replied her uncle. ‘One day there is the calm sound of water flowing smoothly to the sea. The next moment we are rushing to get the expensive fabrics to the high floors in case that same river decides to flow right through our workshop, destroying everything it touches.’

His tone changed, and furrows framed in his face like the ripples of a sharp wind on river water. 

‘You do not know the contempt that I feel when I stitch the lining back on a pocket of a jacket that never deserved a hanger in the first place.  I am feeding dogs.  But, as you have seen, there is much money in dog food.’ 

Anjali sat down at the other side of the table and stared closely at him, as she had once stared into the depths of the river in search of different answers. 

Essential Glanside

Essential Glanside is a detailed process that can help manage the development of original artwork and written work through the use of Glanside Creative Techniques.

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