What’s your trade? Graphic design, video production, photography, public relations, education, engineering?
Regardless of what career path you follow, creativity is needed; whether it be coming up with a new way to teach your first graders, or creating a full length feature film.
Creativity involves gathering inspiration from your past experience and knowledge, and making something completely new. We all have our own different processes for creating, but lets look at a few tactics that will help you get started:
I had a professor that would always say, “You can’t design in an empty box”. What she meant was you can’t look only at your own work and expect to give your best results, but rather you have to research what other people have created that’s similar to what you want to make. Look into what you like, what you don’t like, and it might spark an idea to put you in the right direction. Or if you’ve already made your product, looking at other examples will help you add the finishing touches.
- Look where you normally wouldn’t
Having an open mind is incredibly important when it comes to creativity. Often when someone is creating something they get stuck in a creative box, meaning that they set limits to what they can put into their product, and this hinders the creative process.
Try looking for inspiration where you normally wouldn’t; for example, if you are trying to find ideas for creating a music video, you might see someone’s outfit on the street that gives you inspiration. Or, the color of a sign you see while you are on a walk might give you an idea for a color scheme to use in a poster design. You can always find inspiration in everyday life; all you need to do is look at the world around you.
- Take a walk
Yep, you read that correctly, I’m suggesting to get up and go take a walk! Staring at something you are trying to create for hours upon hours can drain your creative energy.
Drawing wisdom from one of my past professors again: I had a history professor that said our brains can only fully concentrate for about an hour. He suggested studying for an hour, and then taking a break for 20 minutes. As much as you want to keep on working through something, sometimes it is best to let your mind take a break. The best way to spend that break could be to go for a walk! When I take a walk my whole mindset becomes more positive. And you know what you might see on that walk? (Hint: See #2!)
There are many ways to find creative inspiration, and there is no limit for what you can create! The best way to stay creative is to keep an open mind and to draw inspiration not only from your own mind, but also from the world around you.
If you need a little push in the right direction, check out some of our design work at www.michigancreative.com!
– Siobhan Findlay