Do you ever get asked ‘Where did you get that idea from?’ in any of your projects or pieces of work and you couldn’t answer the question? Well, I have actually come across that a few times and it made me think to myself, where do I get my creativity?How do I get my creative juices flowing? How do I boost my creativity?
I made a short list of where I usually got my ideas from and came down to two things I always did to get my creative juices flowing, that being mind mapping and finding inspiration. I then compared my ways to other creative individuals on the net but we will get to that in a bit.
So what? Everyone has heard of mindmapping but are you doing it in the best possible way – the way that suits you best? The key to perfecting mind-mapping is creating your own personal style.
- Do you use keywords? Images? Both?
- Do you use a variety of colours?
- Do you use a hierarchy system? A number system? Outlines? Circles?
- Do you use random words for inspiration or do you relate words? Both?
- Are all lines & thoughts connected? Or do you loiter off into new mind maps?
You must find the best method that suits you, as the key to getting great ideas and getting your creative juices flowing is by perfecting your own personal style, as not everyone has the same way of doing things.
If you are really stuck for ideas (even after mind mapping), I have always found that by getting an idea of what other people have done and what has succeeded (or failed) is a great way to get your feet off the ground again.
Try looking in books, magazines, newspapers, on then internet, journals, and any where else you can think of! Check this post on where to find design inspiration.
Although mind mapping and inspiration are two great ways of getting creative, there are many other ways to help you out. For example, a creative blog by the name of Think Simple Now outlines in an article how to get to your inner creativity.
Other Creative Methods
Have you ever tried practicing any of the methods below? Give it a try, you’ll be surprised.
- Get Relaxed – Take a moment to do something that makes you happy; that brings you joy; that you love; that centers you. Meditate, take a walk, go for a swim, read something that puts you in a good mood, write a diary – writing down your thoughts.
- Give Gratitude – Thinking about all things you are grateful for produces a positive energy flow and vibration. As you feel the love in your heart for all the wonderful blessings and gifts in your life, you will instantly relax and feel all warm-and-fuzzy inside. In that moment of warmth and love, you are open to creative energy.
- Tickle Your Imagination – Imagination is highly visual. Try closing your eyes, and imagine that you are in a scene, any scene. Okay – pick your ideal scene, practice seeing the details of your environment in this scene. See the colors, the textures, touch something. What does it feel like? What do you hear? What do you smell? What is the temperature like? Etc. This makes you more relaxed and gives you gratitude also.
- Be In the Moment – Every outstanding musician or artist will tell you that when they are creating great music or art, there are no thoughts, they are completely in the moment, and experiencing flow. Athletes call this ‘being in the zone‘. You can practice present moment awareness by giving full attention to whatever you are doing: eating, washing dishes, making your bed, etc. Meditation helps tremendously. The book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle is also highly recommended.
- Be Inspired – Practice seeing beautiful things that moves you emotionally. Flip through a book containing thought provoking images, go to an art gallery, read something inspirational, talk to someone who calms you.
- Draw – This may sounds funny, but one of the effective ways to practice getting in touch with your creative side is to start drawing. Drawing forces you to see things differently.
- See Alternatives – Be curious. Practice asking yourself how to do something differently. When seeing the solution to a problem, ask yourself, “What are some alternative ways to doing this?“. Develop the mental attitude that “there is always another way” even when alternatives seem ‘impossible’.
- Be Open – Never shut down any idea that comes your way, do not make judgments about it. Appreciate any idea that comes to you, even ones that seem “stupid” or “obvious”. This way, you encourage more creative ideas to surface from your being.
- Think on Paper – With a bunch of loose paper, start jotting ideas down. Write everything down that comes to your head: random words, phrases, ideas, thoughts: sometimes you might want to circle things and draw lines to connect ideas. When an inspiration hits, follow it. If you suddenly have a different idea, jot it down somewhere on the page or in a new page.