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The Art of Layering for Novel Experiences With Depth

What can different kinds of artists teach us about creating unique, immersive experiences? Creating a highly desirable experience is a process, much like a musician finding their ‘sound’. So, what can we learn from Bob Dylan, or Nirvana’s Dave Grohl?

All creative work builds on what came before, and everything is a remix of something else. Odetta was the inspiration for Dylan. Grohl has been disarmingly open about borrowing ideas from the unlikeliest of places, including disco bands that couldn’t have been more different in tone and style from early 1990s Seattle grunge.

Trying to do something completely new is a recipe for paralysis. But we know novelty is incredibly important. In fact, a new study found that 45% of middle-high income earners are strongly driven by novelty and escaping the mundane. Novelty is what switches someone off autopilot mode and it primes guests to engage deeper.

But if there really is ‘nothing new under the sun’, then how do you appeal to the novelty-seeking part of all humans? This is why layering and combining the familiar is an essential process for standout success. Build off what has come before and give it a fresh voice!

For example, bread-making became a popular activity during the pandemic. It’s a beautifully simple and almost therapeutic activity. With just a few ingredients, anyone can do it. Bread-making workshops can be found all over the world, with slight variations depending on the destination.

But what if… you combined bread-making and painting? Have you ever seen painted bread before? Probably not. While bread-making isn’t novel, and neither is painting, when you combine the two together you get something that people are going crazy for! 20 million views for a loaf of bread? Over 1 million likes on one post?

This is the power of layering, combining, remixing, tinkering… whatever you want to call it, it’s something all creatives and artists need to tap into. In fact, it’s kind of crazy to me that this is the first time we’ve seen someone paint bread… I mean, we decorate cookies all the time, so why not bread?

This act of taking two disparate and perhaps unrelated activities and blending them together requires people to widen their field of vision. As Rick Rubin puts it in his book The Creative Act:

“In the wild, animals must narrow their field of vision to survive. A tight focus prevents distraction from critical needs: food, shelter, predators, procreation. For the artist, this reflexive action can be a hindrance. Widening one’s scope allows for more moments of interest to be noticed and collected, building a treasury of material to draw from later.”

We've seen tunnel-vision destroy businesses again and again because hosts are so focused on what's in front of them that they forget they are powerful creators. You are not a wild animal just trying to survive! So start looking outside of the norm, get REALLY curious, and start looking into the power of mixing, matching, and layering to create something no one has done before.

But don't just do it for novelty's sake...

Do it because it adds immense value to your guests.

Do it because it helps your business stand out & thrive.

Do it because it's a passion of yours you've been suppressing.

Do it because it aligns with your mission and vision for the world.

In the next month, we will be sharing a tool that will help you master your mixing skills so that you can create immersive experiences with depth. Subscribe to be the first to know!


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