Creativity is a broad term. It’s not something you can measure and it’s not constant. It’s a learned skill but something everyone is born with. It’s a state of consciousness that, when utilized, can yield some of the most rewarding feelings people are capable of experiencing.
Expression comes in many shapes, colors, decibel levels and resolutions and there are now more ways to create and share it than ever before. The internet is a thumping rave of imagination and manifestation, ever expanding with jaw-dropping and eye-popping content. No pressure.
The first and most obvious creative stimulant is maintaining inspiration. The key is to not limit your sources of inspiration to a handful of favorites. If you read the first sentence of this paragraph and immediately thought, “Books… Reading!”, good. Reading is good! What I’d like to advocate for you is the exact opposite of reading. Ride a bike to somewhere you’ve never been. Go to a concert alone. Spraypaint a wall in your basement (with proper ventilation). Our brains adapt easily; we can’t expect one or a few things to sustain a life-long flow of imagination.
Encourage your mind to wander, but make sure you know where it’s been. Connect the dots in your head. As you go from point-to-point, connection-to-connection, don’t outrun your own cognizance. This way, if you reach a dead-end you can retrace your steps to where you may have went wrong. When you do make a breakthrough, you’ll know where it came from and have a supporting argument to back it as well as the periphery information to really fill out the idea. You don’t need to have a great memory to practice this, pen and paper work just as well.
Especially under deadline, forcing creativity is a winless battle. If the brainstorm process is causing more furrowed brows than high fives due to a mental block or ticking clock, take your own brain out of the equation. Coffee and alcohol work, sure. I’m speaking more in terms of your personal point of view on the subject at hand. Excuse him/her from the table. Asses whatever question it is you wish to answer from every person’s point of view but your own. You’ll welcome the splash of variety that comes with them.
Everyone has a creative spark. It’s just a matter of finding it and using it to open places in your mind you never knew existed. Better yet, creative expression is a tried and true method for staving off the more unfortunate feelings in life. Let your mind wander without adult supervision; see how long it takes to leave your worries in the dust.
We encourage you to share with us creative projects that you love to tinker with and expand upon… After all, you’re looking at ours at this very moment!