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The world’s most creative people have this one thing in common

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When it comes to creative careers, success can be hard to achieve and even harder to define. But what if there were a magic formula that could increase your odds of a creative breakthrough?

A new study suggests that this magic formula may well exist. The secret to creativity lies in hitting “hot streaks,” or bursts of repeated successes, like Jackson Pollock’s “drip paintings” begun in the late 1940s, or Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy in the early 2000s. Published in Nature, the study explores exactly what people do before and during a hot streak. Using artificial intelligence to comb through rich datasets related to artists, film directors, and scientists, the researchers identified a pattern that is present across all three fields. The study author believes it could apply to designers, too.

The pattern goes something like this: Artists experiment with myriad formats, styles, and ideas for months, sometimes years, before they zero in on one of those experiments. According to the study, that becomes the hot streak.

[Photo: Susan Wood/Getty Images]Take abstract artist Jackson Pollock, most famous for his “drip paintings,” the majority of which were produced during his “drip period” from 1947 to 1950. What was he doing right before? Dabbling in drawing, printmaking, and surrealist paintings of humans, animals, and nature.

Now take film director Peter Jackson. Spanning three years (from 2001 to 2003), his The Lord of the Rings trilogy can be understood as his hot streak.........

© Fast Company

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