Get a grip on creativity
Damn, a deadline attack and still a blank canvas! You’ve been trying and trying for weeks hitting your head to the wall and desperately hunting for great ideas in vain!
Sounds familiar? Welcome to the club!
Well, probably you won’t feel like you’re on top of the world if you ever fallen prey to this “creativity block”! but hey: look at the glass as half-full! You are not alone. I’d been there and managed to dig my way out and now I invite you to learn exactly how I did it.
I’ve been a web designer for as early as I remember. That’s why; I fell into this rut a number of times.
Until one Sunday evening, my growing frustration was slapping me in the face and so I slapped it back and decided that enough in enough! Only then, I figured that my only way out is to discover the source of all inspiration, develop the technique and learn to drill the veins of amazing ideas.
Patterns of creativity
To make sure my dream of a constant creative supply will come true I knew I had to discover what true creativity is and why ideas are labeled “creative”.
And so I started my personal quest to ignite my right brain hemisphere (the brain part responsible for creative thinking) by crusading through cyber space, hunting after everything I could label “creative”.
On this hunt, I constantly jotted down small sentences, describing why the things I discovered were ‘creative’.
Eventually, after hours and hours of Google madness, I started noticing that certain ‘creative patterns’ return frequently. Actually, it was very frequent, since I stopped jotting down words and was able to switch to tallying the keywords I already had on my whiteboard.
These are the patterns which returned on very frequent basis:
- The element is completely torn out of context
Example: Sperm cells
- Completely reverse obvious scenario’s and clichés
Example: Sweet little rabbit
- Associate different elements and switch their places
Example: A banana has a peel, banana juice has a…
- Extreme implications or firm exaggerations
Example: Incredibly strong men
- Using great puns
Example: A heart-attack
Let’s put some thunder in your spaghetti!
Eureka! We unveiled the logical patterns of creativity, thus we now know where to look for it!
Let’s get started; Conquer a big, blank piece of paper. On this beautiful scrap of rain forest, ﬁlled with a thousand years of earthly history, you may write down the subject you wish to get creative about. Make sure it’s somewhere in the center and draw a nice circle around it. (circles are always great to emphasize)
Here comes the fun part! Sketch and write down all possible keywords and thoughts related to the subject on the outer side of the circle. Try to focus on ﬁxed keywords but don’t let that limit your thoughts.
You can go crazy and absurd because no idea is a bad idea. If it’s really hard to get in ‘the zone’, go grab your favorite drink to get your creativity ﬂowing.
Do note that your keywords should remain somewhat relative to the general topic.
It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.
When you’re almost sober again, grab some — yaaaaay — colours, and draw same coloured circles around relevant keywords. For example, you can draw red circles around ‘worms’ and ‘elephant’, while you draw a blue circle around ‘milk’ and ‘bread’.
Take a second sheet of silk glossy paper and divide it into ﬁve columns. Label each column with one of
the ﬁve creativity patterns mentioned earlier. As a next step, simply try to develop creative ideas
in each column, using the method described in the title of that column. You’ll try to combine the
keywords of the different colors by using puns, exaggerating, and so on…
I am firmly convinced that to REALLY learn, you MUST practice. The following is my challenge:
A business in Germany has gone bankrupt. The business offered one product: a coffee grinder. However,
the sales of this little device died out almost completely since last year because at the time all
espresso-machines had a grinder built-in.
So, I jumped in and grabbed the opportunity and purchased ten thousand of those
grinders at a fraction of the price. You, the reader, are the creative I am hiring to create a series of advertisements. Every advertisement needs to be an alternative and unusual use of the grinder.
Think of 10 unusual ideas to take advantage of a coffee grinder. Have fun!