[accent]Remember when your creativity was flowing and your ideas came so easily? You approached every new assignment with verve and imagination. But lately, you’re just not feeling it. You’ve hit a wall, exhausted your ideas and your creativity is running on fumes.
It happens, we’ve all hit a creative dry spell. But there are all kinds of ways to get those sparks flying again. Here are a few tips to help you re-ignite your personal creative process.[/accent]
Cast a wide net to expand your horizon. Try attending conferences, industry events & meet-ups or working out of co-working spaces. When you surround yourself with like minded people, and tap into all kinds of new connections, you can inspire your own creative nature. This environment can help you to grow, learn and think differently about your work.
Creativity can strike at any time – a thought, a word, a picture. Make sure to always carry a notebook and pen with you so when your ideas strike, you’ll be ready to capture them. And when you draw, write, sketch in a notebook, you’ll also be building a reference book you can go back to time and time again to help trigger new ideas.
Sometimes, it helps to get the bigger picture. A good way to tap into what’s going on is to read up on industry blogs and publications. You’ll get a bigger sense of what’s going on outside your immediate projects and assignments, and you’ll pick up ideas that can help feed your creative spirit.
Doodling used to be frowned upon, most often by your teachers. But evidence suggests that doodling is really a way of engaging with ideas and working things out to resolution. What may have looked (to your teacher) to be visual gibberish, could really be the path to a creative breakthrough.
Sometimes it pays to collaborate with others and two heads can be better than one. Find a person or persons you can bounce ideas off of, knowing they can do the same with you. You all benefit from additional viewpoints and experiences, and there’s often a chance that someone will say the right thing, at the right time, to get you to an “aha!” moment – and a new creative insight.
Check out the competition. Look at their websites, look at their best work. Check out entries to award shows, and check out the winners. How did they handle an assignment? How would you have done it? It’s like getting timely advice from some of the best in your business.
Walk It Off
Get up. Go outside. Walk around the block. No matter where you are, a simple walk takes you out of your mindset and opens you to new sensations. The “walk it off” method is simple, but effective. Because while you’re out walking, soaking up new experience, your mind is still working over the puzzle pieces you can’t seem to put together. When you come back to it, you just may find your elusive inspiration.
Organize your workspace and you never know what will turn up. Don’t see it as a chore, but as a process of discovery. As you declutter, you might also be removing some of the clutter in your brain. You’ll find tools, materials, ideas, and things that inspired you in the recent past. Plus, when you’re done, you’ll have a neat place to work. Sure, you’ll mess it all up again, but then you can go through the “straighten up” creative process again, too.
Something Completely Different
To revive your senses and your vision, sometimes you just need to get out of your comfort zone. Are you right-handed? Try doing everything with your left hand. Always go to work the same way? Try a different route. Eat the same lunch every day? Try new foods. The point is to take the routine out of your daily routine – seeing things anew is a great way to awaken your senses and pull yourself out of a creative rut.
Don’t let impending deadlines and business demands kill one of the all-time best fountains of creativity: fun. If you’re not willing to be even a little playful, your ideas will suffocate and suffer as a result. So find the fun in your day and embrace it. Good ideas will pop up in that fertile playground.
Try just one of these tips or try them all. The more you revive your creativity, the better your work is and the easier it is to tap into your creative side. “Creative” isn’t really a state of being, it’s more a state of doing, of taking actions, of making connections, of finding the unusual in the usual.
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