Where do you get inspiration to be creative? How do you keep the innovative and creative ideas flowing?
Here are five ways that I find helpful in quenching my thirst for creativity. I’m sure there are many others, and I welcome your comments to keep this conversation going.
1. Associating – Something good can happen when two similar, but different, elements enter into a relationship with each other. In my journal I include words and pictures from magazines to symbolize metaphors. It is powerful how an application of a word or phrase to an object or concept it does not literally denote can cause creative tension to spark insight and discovery.
2. Questioning – I question everything, including subject-matter-experts, by asking “what if”, “why”, and “why not” questions that challenge the status quo and open up the bigger picture. I ask “what if”, “why”, and “why not” questions of myself to awaken my imagination. If I want to originate breakthrough solutions, I need to think differently than I usually do. In a familiar phrase, I need to “get out of the box” and be curious by using the same kind of curiosity and inquisitiveness I see in small children.
3. Observing – Closely observing details of things in my world by using my five senses to engage. I find that all creative writing – depends on the writer being able to convey impressions of their world through the senses. To define and appreciate the details, I pay attention to the details of people’s behavior and also the color, shape and fragrance of a flower. It is a real treat to be outdoors for a nature walk and whether the walks take place in a park, on a nature trail, or even in my own back yard — all I need to do is go outdoors and use all five senses in my observation: sight, smell, feel, taste, and hear.
4. Experimenting – I experiment by taking what I call “creative excursions” to give me inspiration from other places, people and products. I visit galleries, go to lectures, markets and parks that I normally wouldn’t have time to explore. Sometimes I take a different route to recharge with the sights, sounds and rhythm of the city. I am free to make mistakes. I try to grow by experimenting with people and things to recharge and recover creativity.
5. Networking – To me isolation is a dream killer. I have a creative community who share my passion, values and interests. My tribe of creative people give me energy to climb in a direction that unleashes my creativity in ways that I would not do on my own. It is a diverse group with musicians, artists producers, doctors, lawyers and engineers (to name a few) and we find it insightful to share our disciplines. Some of the best thinking is done with a “walk ‘n talk” in the woods, it sure helps to exercise the body with the mind.
There’s a starter. So, what do you do for inspiration?