Creativity is like a muscle, if you want it to function at its best, you need to work your brain juices regularly. We are all given the mental ability to be creative and it is one of the most satisfying elements of human achievement. Even animals have shown significant creative traits as with gorillas Koko and Michael, who painted both representational and abstract paintings. Creativity has also proven to be something you can practice and become really good at. Here are some tips to help you boost your creative potential and push your abilities to the next level.
Keep a visual diary – this is a notebook or scrapbook where you can put all your ideas, doodles and experiments to work. Get one that can easily fit under your arm or in a handbag. You can whip it out whenever inspiration hits. Don’t be afraid to experiment in here and take some risks before settling on a final idea. Your visual diary is a great place to build concepts and even refer back to years later for re-invented ideas.
Research – it is important to see what other creatives in your field are doing. Look at how they achieve their desired results and find methods and workflow ideas inspired by your favorite artists. Find ways to improve your concepts by striving to push your creativity even further than what you find in your research.
Join a platform like Pinterest or Instagram – here you can post your favorite things and follow people with the same interests as you. You will find something refreshing every day. Don’t be a like-whore – rather try to participate on the platform by posting your own inspirations and photos.
Create mood boards – these are great to get your creative juices flowing. You can spend hours on the interwebs looking for visuals and text that can affirm the direction you want to take with your project. Magazines and newspapers are also great sources to bring inspirations to life. Mood boards can explain everything from your style of writing to the colors you want to use in a project.
Spend some time outside – nature is a great source of inspiration and the relaxation allows your mind to calm down from the constant noise of striving to be the best you can be. Lie on the grass and look up at the clouds. What do you see, feel and smell. Let nature do the talking. Nature is also a great color guide – pay attention to Mother Nature’s color palette and you’ll be inspired for as long as the seasons change.
Take a class – ok so you don’t have to sign up for anything serious, but see what short courses are running in your city or town. It can be a painting class or a Photoshop class, a cooking class or a DIY workshop. Sign up, it will be fun and you’ll learn something new. Other creatives have such a wealth of information to share – go get some!
Try Freewriting – this is something you can include in your visual diary, but if you are into writing and would like to generate some ideas for your blog or other platforms, this is a great exercise to practice everyday. Put a few minutes aside everyday and just write down ideas, concepts and sentences that come to mind. Amongst the madness of words, you will find underlying issues and sentences that can spark a direction to take.
Trust Yourself – creativity is such a personal thing and to be really good at it, you need to trust yourself. If you believe in a concept or idea, go with it. Don’t be afraid to try new approaches that suit your style, rather than sticking to methods that are safe.
*This article was first published in Gumption Magazine