How to avoid creative constipation.
Everyone has creativity but not everyone is a creative. Creative status depends on whether you choose to use your creative ability or not. Creativity can be found in anything from a world-wide marketing campaign to a lie from a five year old trying to get out of eating broccoli casserole.
People have been on a hunt for creative inspiration for thousands of years. Creativity was only a concept to Plato and his posse back in the day; it simply meant “to make.” To the ancient Greeks, the artist was not an inventor but a discoverer, but the poet was a “maker” or a creator, if you will. The artist discovered things that were already there, but the poet invented.
Today, creativity is about discovering or creating original ideas within. The trouble is, people sometimes have trouble reaching these ideas. Some of the freshest ideas are buried deep. They’re beneath the “Pick up more Nilla Wafers at the store” and “Don’t forget to call Aunt Doretta” thoughts. In fact, some ideas are so deep they’re in their own little world. The challenge is getting your brain into that world.
Sometimes just thinking about being creative can block the entrance into your creative realm. It’s like the harder you think about coming up with a creative idea, the further away from that idea you become. You could slam your head against a wall for hours and get no ideas, yet the instant you hit the sheets at night the idea will float to the forefront of your consciousness. Why is that?
Creativity is kind of like a seat belt—no, it’s exactly like a seat belt. I’ve ran into this trap numerous times and every time it’s the same story. I hop in the passenger seat of the car & buckle myself in. Everything is going great; I’m being a safe citizen, a great seatbelt role-model—I don’t even notice it’s there. Then the driver slams on the brakes and the strap across my chest immediately locks. I instantly get frustrated and start tugging as hard as I can on the belt—nothing happens; I’m stuck with this damn seat belt crushing my entire chest cavity. Eventually, I calm down and stop. I ease myself back into the seat and slowly lean forward again—the seat belt is loose. I can no longer feel the collar bone crushing tightness. It’s a miracle!
You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this—Creativity has to be treated like a locked seat belt. If you rush into a creative thought and try to push it, you’re inevitably going to get stuck. Try taking a step back. Get yourself out of your normal work environment, stop thinking and just go relax. Do something you like to do. The best ideas come when you don’t even know you’re in the creative realm.
Why does this work? Creativity needs fuel. A good mood is a major source of fuel for forming creative solutions. If you’re crammed in an office all day sitting in the same seat, looking at the same computer and the same faces you’re not going to get anywhere simply because your probably not happy in every day monotony. My best thinking is done on the weekends. I have free time to have fun and do my own thing. I let my mind take a break. Just knowing that I’ve got hours upon hours to do what I want opens my mind and allows my thoughts to wander wherever they want, including the creative realm.
Creativity is also fueled by experience. If the highlight of the weekend is the new Family Guy episode this Sunday, maybe you should get out more&hellip a lot of ideas are in the environment just waiting for you to discover them. The more you expose yourself to different environments, the more experiences you have to draw from when you’re thinking creatively. Experience creativity at it’s best—check out the tips i’ve listed below and see if they create a spark:
Check out some of these books:
Go to amazon.com and sample some new music :
Visit these brain boosting sites:
Another thing to keep in mind when trying to spark creativity: you’re not instantly going to have creative ideas in your head one day. If you want to be more creative in your field, you’re going to have to exercise your creativity. Look at creativity as a muscle. The more you flex and use this muscle, the more you’ll be able to do with it. If you don’t use this muscle, sure it will still be there, but it won’t be of much use. Below are some creative exercises from the book Caffeine for the Creative Mind. They may seem childish, but they keep your brain conditioned for creativity:
- Exercise 1 (Dirty Ice Cream) Describe the most disgusting flavor of ice cream you can think of. Name it. What kind of toppings would it have? Would it be served in a bowl, a cone or some other nasty container?
- Exercise 2 (Market yourself) Come up with an ad for yourself. Write a headline, copy and draw a visual that describes you.
- Exercise 3 (Totem Pole) Design a totem pole that represents your typical week. Include feeling, objects and actions.
- Exercise 4 (Scribble) Close your eyes and scribble at random for as long as you want. Open your eyes and turn your scribble into a recognizable piece of art. Look for shapes and patterns.
- Exercise 5 (Cardboard Dowel) Come up with 25 ways to use a cardboard dowel (the cardboard that is in the center of a roll of paper towels) other than it’s original use.
The main thing to keep in mind once you reach your creative realm is to look at your concept from multiple angles. If you settle on the first idea that pops into your head you may be settling for something less than what you’re capable of creating. Fuel yourself with time, experience, mood and passion and you are bound to hit the creative mark every time.
Tony was the proud owner of OnWired, the web design agency he’s raised since birth in 2001. A designer-entrepreneur with a nose for trouble, he keeps his peeps on their toes and his sights focused on what’s next.
Since 2001, OnWired has delivered beautiful websites that make your business known. Don’t be shy, check out our work.
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