Our desire to be creative sometimes interferes with being creative. What do we mean by that? We have probably all, at some point, heard the advice of “clearing our minds” to promote productivity. In reality we should be doing the opposite. Don’t sit around waiting for inspiration to strike. To come up with new ideas we actually need to research the subject in question and let ourselves be inspired by others. In our quest to be unique and authentic we fear being influenced by other people’s ideas. And that is a big mistake!
Allow External Input
Just because you are drawing inspiration from other people does not mean that you are “stealing” their ideas! It's about collecting, processing, digesting, evaluating and linking the ideas in a new way, because a brain that is empty of content cannot produce anything new. The more relevant input our brain gets, the more fodder it has to generate completely new, unusual ideas, be it design, fashion, art or anything else.
New ideas don't come out of nowhere: they need fertile soil. The soil is our desire to create something new, but we have to keep nourishing it with the ideas of others.
One can hardly expect an artist to create something strange and interesting if he is not familiar with the masterpieces of classics like Albrecht Dürer or Michelangelo. In the same way, one of the most creative people of today, Elon Musk, absorbed the ideas of Nikola Tesla, Steve Jobs and others before unveiling his innovations to the world.
Where should crafty people go for inspiration? You've come to the right place! You'll find enough inspiration in the Wunderlabel blog to keep your creativity and ideas flowing.
Creativity is Contagious
"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." - Thomas A. Edison, Inventor
Sharing your ideas is crucial for your creativity: Presenting your results to the world in turn stimulates creative thinking. Don’t be afraid of criticism as it’s important to get a different perspective. Keeping your ideas to yourself is counterproductive. Feedback from others can be the fuel that motivates you to keep going.
Creative Thinking Techniques
Creative thinking can also be improved through practice. Here are some tips:
1. Get out of your usual mindset. The best exercise for this is changing your everyday habits. Drink tea in the morning instead of the usual coffee. Try something unusual in a restaurant. Arrange furniture differently. Choose new travel destinations. Try new activities.
2. Write down ideas straight away. Many ideas don't come to fruition simply because they are lost in the stream of thought. Keep a notebook handy to write down your ideas. You can then come back to your notes and implement the idea at the appropriate time.
3. Forget about boundaries. This exercise consists of conjuring up images in your brain of what is impossible or not allowed, of turning the world upside down: Water flows upwards, people can fly, etc.
There are also many books that can help you develop your creativity:
- „Six Thinking Hats“ by Edward de Bono
- „Steal Like An Artist“ by Austin Kleon
- „Thinkertoys. A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques” by Michael Michalko.