By Kristen Harris
Every creative person has one of “those days” where we just don’t feel creative, our ideas seem stale and we’re boring ourselves let alone the client. The next time you need a boost to your creativity, try one (or all) of these tips.
1. Get Out. Leave the house, office or studio, get away from your cubicle, desk or computer, get out of town and maybe the country. It doesn’t matter so much matter what you do or where you go, just the change of scenery helps get you out of your own head. With a fresh perspective or new point of view comes fresh ideas. Looking at new things can help you see old things in a new way, and bring that same thinking back to your creative work. Try to make a habit of “getting out” at least once a day…walk around a new neighborhood, take a different route home, shop in a store you’ve never visited, take your laptop to a new coffeeshop, or check out a different department in your own office building.
2. Connect with Creatives. Interesting and creative people gravitate towards other interesting and creative people. Talking (and listening) to someone else is an excellent way to see a problem differently, re-think your ideas or find a new solution. And you really don’t need to talk to them ABOUT your project or creative roadblock. Just talk to them about their own work, interests, the last book they read or movie they saw, music…really anything. Go to a presentation or lecture by a designer or writer you admire, or one you’ve never heard of. If the speaker is outside of your particular area of focus, even better. Some of the freshest ideas are inspired by things that are entirely unrelated to the problem at hand. Challenge yourself to connect with a different creative person at least once a week, either in-person or long-distance. Seek out lectures and presentations on creative topics, even (or especially) areas of focus outside of your own.
3. Learn Something. Constantly learning keeps you fresh, and inspires new creative thinking. Take a class, read a book, research a topic online, watch a webinar or online video, or listen to a podcast. There are so many ways to access information, the problem may be narrowing down the choices! Learning something within your field is a great way to freshen your thinking, open your perspective and advance your career. Build your skillset, experiment with new technology, research the history of your craft, or study the masters of your industry. Learning something outside of your area is a great way to get the creativity flowing as well. For a writer, doing visual art can get them out of their head and opened up to new ideas. For a visual artist or someone who works heavily with technology, try some reading or writing for a new perspective. Challenge yourself to learn something new every day, and purposefully take advantage of classes and other formal learning opportunities as often as you can.
Making a habit of getting out, connecting with other creative people, and learning something frequently can help break through (and perhaps prevent) creative roadblocks and keep the creativity flowing.