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People think if you can paint a picture or sing a song you’re creative. The thing is that creativity isn’t just art. Scientists and Mathematicians can be extremely creative as well, like when Edison created the light bulb. I imagine Thomas had the first, lightbulb turned on in my head, moment. I argue that creativity is as valuable as any other skill you can possess. So many think you either are creative or you aren’t, but I say it’s like a muscle and you can work to be more creative.
People tend to try something once and if it doesn’t go well, they quit. Reaching the point of the greatest takes years and years of discipline and work. You can argue that you may not have enough time to be great, but if I can, you can learn how to think a little bit more creatively to find solutions, and in some cases, make great art.
Most of my life my creativity has been my best asset. First as a chef, then as a designer and marketer. I’ve been obsessing lately about how to take my creativity to the next level. I have broken down the tips that have helped me so far and what I fall back on when I’m in a slump.
There is so much pressure to be productive all the time. If you’re constantly going, you don’t usually give your brain time to think, idea inspiring deep thinking. Letting your brain wonder and yourself to daydream leads to some of the best ideas.
Many successful people meditate or go on long walks, but sometimes an idea just pops unexpectedly. Sometimes this means going on a Google or Youtube click hole.
When an idea comes don’t be afraid to let your mind wander and see what you come up with. I often find this type of mind wandering ends up being more productive than doing what you’re doing half-assed.
The fear of failure holds everyone back. Magic Johnson was one of the most creative basketball players ever to play, but he could be creative because he possessed the fundamentals as well. This can be said for almost any application, Picasso with painting, Stevie Wonder with music and Albert Einstein with Math and Science all were experts in their fields and then took it to the next level with their creativity. How do you reach that point? By failing and failing a lot. If you never try, you’ll never know.
This is my goto. Remember in algebra class your teacher always said work backwards and show your work. You would always think why do you have to do this? I know the answer. Well if you apply that to a project or your life it can help immensely. When you can envision an outcome, it makes it easier to create steps, (showing your work) to accomplish it.
It can also make your goal or idea more obtainable. If you have a big goal that seems too big to accomplish you can break it down into steps. Accomplishing one step at a time can give you that reward of accomplishment. Before you know it you’ll be tackling creative projects that once seemed impossible.
Side Note: Sometimes when I Work Backwards I don’t always end up where I intended but I come up with something else as good or better instead. Especially when I’m working on design projects.
The old quote goes, “Great Artists Steal.” I’m not one for stealing but mimicking a look, an idea, or few notes can sometimes help you discover new techniques that can open new worlds for you creatively.
Stick with it till the end. Many people lack patience. I know I do at times. They give up on a creative project before they even get started. Go easy on yourself, especially when you’re just starting out. But for god’s sake, finish what you start. The lessons learned by completing creative projects can only ignite your imagination and creativity.
If you always choose what you’re used to or what you like then you could possibly leave a ton of inspiration untapped. So read a weird book, listen to some different music, maybe just walk down a different street. When I struggle to find new ideas this is the best way to get out of a funk.
BBBBZZZ .. that the sound and feeling of all the new creative ideas popping off in your head right now. Go create, go solve, go innovate. There is no better time like now.