You’ve hit the creativity brick wall. Whether you’re a writer, a painter or a creator of professional stock photography this happens to all creative types from time to time. No matter how imaginative you think you are, there will be occasions here and there where you will need a proverbial kick in the creativity pants.
The next time this happens to you, take a deep breath and look around. Sometimes the next great idea materializes right in front of you when you search these tried and true themes for your inspiration.
Tired of creating still lives of Christmas lights and ornaments? Look to some of the more unusual holidays celebrated around the world for your genius. There is a day dedicated to just about any food, fetish or trivia somewhere. Search the web and you’ll find a wacky holiday, festival or celebration sure to be a catalyst to your creativity.
It’s hard not to be inspired by the beauty of nature. The majesty in a sunset, the colors of the rainbow or contrasts in fields of flowers are all awe inspiring. But the trick is to see beyond the obvious draw to find originality. Look small – at the tiny spider building a web on that stunning flower. Look big – at the storm clouds parting to form that breathtaking rainbow. Draw from contrasts of light and dark, hot and cold, big and small. Look not as an observer, but as an artist and you’ll be sure to see a new side to Mother Nature.
It’s easy to create awesome imagery when traveling to exotic places, but try to be a tourist in your own backyard. Think like someone who’s looking to book a trip to your area – or better yet, think like the tour director, travel agent or pamphlet designer looking to promote your area. What is unique to your geography? To your history? To your climate? To your architecture, or people, or traditions? Use these as your muse.
Sometimes we simply take art – and ourselves – too seriously when all we really want is a good reason to laugh. Use your naturally silly side to capture practical jokes, caricatures of folks you know, or just a good old fashion pun. Think of any person, place or thing and then see how many different ways you can use that in a humorous setting. Don’t forget to poke some fun at yourself while you’re at it.
Geek is the new chic! Every avenue of scientific research and study can be a model for your thoughts. Go to an observatory, or science and nature museum, with an open mind. Read scientific magazines or watch television shows that discuss astrology, chemistry or any other scientific field. Or just watch The Big Bang Theory for a few days to see what physics can inspire you to do.
News and Current Events
We all read a paper or watch the evening news so why not use the relevant topics as motivation. See what’s trending on social media for insights into what the world is talking about and challenge yourself to see how many ideas you can brainstorm from a single hashtag. Look at the topic of the latest viral video to see what they bring to mind – if nothing else, you’re sure to see some really cute videos of kittens to make it worth your time.
And speaking of animals, they are a great boost to ideating. They can be used as a subject in their own right, or studied to identify characteristics that translate well into art; kitten/playful, fox/sly, dog/loyal, crocodile/cold, etc. etc. etc. Use them to represent universal themes like a butterfly flying free.
List all the things you do on an average day. What are the weekly or monthly items on your to-do list? What annual events centered on home, work and family occupy your time. These can each be an impulse to an idea. Close your eyes and let the mundane become exceptional.
We’re already a world of food paparazzi; why not use the daily bread to add incentive. If you like to cook, think farm to table to uncover unique examples. If you like to eat, think happy times with friends and family shared over a kitchen table. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Fish is good brain food. Every aspect of the food can generate a wealth of new angles to consider.
Health, Nutrition, and Fitness
We are bombarded daily with the importance of balancing nutrition and fitness for good health and the consequences of not doing so. Instead of obsessing over them in your personal life, let the topic encourage new visions.
A few additional tips to help with your creative flow.
- Keep a notebook or journal to jot down great ideas when they come to you.
- Try doodling as a brainstorming technique. It’s amazing what can come to you when you release your mind to the creative process.
- Get moving! There is scientific proof that motion helps to improve creativity, so take a walk to help get those juices flowing.
Images copyright Karen Foley via Dreamstime.com.