As someone who works in a creative industry, I'm always trying to imagine my next project or
trying to improve on things I'm currently working on. It seems simple, right? Come up with an idea
and make it happen. Welcome to the wonderful world of creativity. But I'm sure we all know the
struggle of how it often isn't that easy.
One does not simply find new inspiration in a matter of seconds, and it can take a long, long time
for your creativity to take this and turn it into something. For me, the two concepts of inspiration
and creativity go hand in hand. I used to seriously struggle with coming up with new ideas, but over
time I adapted and learnt how I can best deal with it.
The first step of this process? Making notes. Whether you carry a pen and paper, or your phone,
always be ready to take down a note whenever you stumble across something interesting. This
doesn't just mean an idea that you suddenly think of. I mean anything. An interesting phrase that
you hear. A funny name of a town or shop. Anything can be a source of inspiration, whether in the
moment or in the future.
I would highly recommend having a note book that you can fill with all of these notes, which you
can flick through and fill your mind with the collective information written inside.
Broadening your horizons and trying new things is a great way to fill that book with new ideas and
experiences. Try new sports and go to different events like music festivals or conventions. Visit
local attractions or try going on hikes. Speak with new people and learn from what they have to
offer. Any new experience you can either have yourself or learn about can be a source of inspiration
"It is pointless to just passively consume media unless we analyse it. Break down the elements and try to see how it was created from a creative stand point".
Another key aspect in being creative is to consume media. Nowadays, media is so readily available
to us in many different ways of viewing that it is easy to consume it. However, as a creative, it is
pointless to just passively consume media unless we analyse it. Break down the elements and try to
see how it was created from a creative stand point.
As a filmmaker myself, when viewing a film, I will try to go in with no expectations. Afterwards,
I'll look into the collaborators behind the film (director, actors, producers, etc), from what their role
was to what they have created before. I will look into the production of the film itself and the
process of how the film was made. That way, I'm able to see the film at more than just face value
and not only understand it better but be able to appreciate it more.
"Do you remember your teachers telling you that you need to revise by spending time studying quietly in your room? Well, I hate to break it to you but they were onto something!"
With keeping on top of all of these new activities, keep in mind the most important aspect of
creativity; time to think. Do you remember your teachers in school telling you that you need to revise by spending time
studying quietly in your room? Well, I hate to break it to you but they were onto something.
From a creative standpoint, it's essential to give yourself time to reflect on your thoughts.
Personally, I wouldn't recommend locking yourself in a room and sitting at a desk like you might
have done when revising. Instead, just be sure to give yourself quiet time. Rather than aimlessly
scrolling through your social media feed, put your phone down and allow your mind wander. I find
I usually come up with creative ideas when doing a mundane task like washing dishes or cleaning
my room. It's the same reason why you come up with good ideas when in the shower; because
you're both relaxed and without distractions.
Creativity is "a way of operating" and "not an ability that you either have or do not have".
Simply put, there's no way to make yourself more creative. Instead, you have to allow your mind to
be able to be creative. I can largely thank English actor and comedian John Cleese for helping me
find my foundation for creativity. Several years ago, I stumbled across a lecture he gave about the
creative process which he heavily supported with research from philosopher Donald MacKinnon.
Cleese explains that creativity is “a way of operating” and “not an ability that you either have or do
not have.” When you are thinking creatively, you need to be able to keep an open mind and allow all manner of thoughts and ideas to come to you. From here, you can effectively 'play' without consequence, exploring these thoughts and turning them into something creative. You need to be able to access the 'open mode', a relaxed contemplative and playful way of operating that allows creativity to thrive.