While everyone is born with an inexhaustible well of creativity, many of us lose the ability to use this gift because we no longer practice it. Exceptionally creative individuals are not necessarily smarter in fact research suggests that they do not score higher on intelligence tests. Creative adults are curious, energetic, spontaneous, independent, individualistic and uninhibited.
Sounds like the natural playfulness of children doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, the creativity does not appear whenever I most need it. Many times I look for that moment of inspiration and originality, but it does not arrive. It may well be because I am not inspired because of the all the related problems that crowd my mind.
According to Edward De Bono – Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns to look at things in a different way.
If anything is in existence today that only came into existence because of you – that’s a creative act.
So today I will share some tips that I use, for those days when it seems that I have a black cloud over me!
1. Use the internet … but in moderation
The Internet is a primary source of inspiration for me. The internet provides us with a well-developed base of-of knowledge enabling us to furnish the ideas, images and phrases we use to free mental blocks. I am often faced with a mental block when I need a visual image or cue to represent an idea.
2. Order your desktop
It may seem a cliché, but it works: keep things tidy helps organise the mind. There may be people who work well with chaos, but in most cases, we need the quietness that accompanies order. What you are doing is creating a creativity zone. If you work in an office designated office areas where informal meetings or spontaneous brainstorming sessions can occur foster creativity.
Thus order your workplace, and your computer, too many folders on the desktop can make you lose focus of your work.
3. Draw paint and colour
Sometimes we try to start with the most difficult, but it is precisely what we have at hand that can save us. Instead of starting to think in general terms, maybe it’s time to think about the details. Grab a piece of paper and doodle. Graphic designers call this thumbnails. Move away from your computer, find a quiet place set a timer for 10 minutes and just draw quickly. It might be a problem you are stuck on or just an opportunity to get the ideas out of your head.
What happens when you do this?
Do you notice a shift or a change in your state? Do you feel light, heavy, warm, cold? It does not particularly matter as long as you feel a change your state.
Do not necessarily be attached to getting an idea or solving a problem just get what is in your head, free up, open and expand the mind.
I recently discovered colouring in and enjoyed the non-commercial creative focus. Check out my recent post on Adult Colouring-in an excellent way to relax and get calm.
Brainstorming is a great technique for generating ideas quickly. If you have a creativity block enlist others to help you move it with a brainstorming session. The first step is writing a statement for the problem that you want to solve. Be sure to construct the statement so that it encourages participation from everyone in the session.
Ask yourself everything a child would ask, maybe in one of those answers is the key you are looking to get started. Do not say no to anything!
5. Go for a walk
If none of these things works, I think it’s best if you get up from the chair and change your environment. No matter how many infinite combinations you come up with, if you have a closed mind, it will not open unless you can attain a different perspective. Go for a walk and unplug, remind yourself that there are other ways to get inspired – to calm down the fast pace and allow your thoughts to flow freely.
There are things that can be forced, but creativity is not one of them.
I hope you are served by these tips, and you can put them into practice!
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Simon is a Sydney based digital designer. He is the Director of a boutique digital design studio, Bailey Street Design located in the vibrant inner west suburb of Newtown. Simon studied graphic design at Shillington College and specialises in web design for small and medium size businesses. Simon and his team (Toby the studio dog) are passionate about visual communication in the digital environment
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