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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Creative Mindset

What do you do to stay on top of your creative game? What feeds your ability to think creatively? Here are a list of things that I have recognized put me in the creative mindset and fuel my longterm creativity. Please comment and share your own thoughts.

1. Surf the web by entering buzzwords. Take a word like “poetry” or “creative” or “design” etc. and do a Google search. Visit at least 5 sites that grab your attention. Do the same search as a Google Image Search.

2. Turn off the rock for a bit and take a listen to some classical music or at least -some folk. If you can’t get yourself to go there : : : at least listen to some art rock.

3. Buy a pipe. Pay for some great tobacco. Go to a tobacco store and take your time smelling the blends and picking one out. Grab a book and read while smoking your pipe.

4. Set the clock for 30 minutes. Get a sketchbook and write down as many creative ideas as you can—rapid-fire—in that period of time.

5. Go to the city. Walk through the stores and down the streets. Write down every good idea you see and hear—even if you think it doesn’t apply to you.

6. Always carry a sketchbook or moleskine with you. When you have a brainstorm, write it down.

7. Subscribe to a “word of the day” and/or “quote of the day” feed such as the word of the day. You can also place "art of the day" on your Google homepage.

8. Change your atmosphere. Move to another space other than your cluttered work space. Go to a coffee shop. Go for a walk. Go for a drive.

9. Pick a classic beverage you know nothing about (or little about). Learn everything you can about that beverage : : : the process, the history, how to discern it’s unique qualities. Drink that beverage (if possible) when you are creating (suggestions: coffee, tea, beer, wine, scotch).

10. Find out what your “creative window” is : : : the time of day when you are creatively at your best. Capitalize on that time. Don’t try to be creative at that time of day when life sucks for you.

11. Join a chat group where creative ideas are shared. As often as possible, offer suggestions when people ask for help. Helping to brainstorm other’s quandaries will sharpen your skills and it is often easier to be creative with situations where you aren’t feeling the stress to be creative (make sure you remember your own suggestions in case they come in handy in the future).

12. Read Fiction.

13. Make art. Every day. Do something artistic every day. I mean it. Write. Blog. Sing. Play. Sketch. Build. Paint. Light a candle, grab your beverage, find a space and make art.

14. Practice “stream of consciousness” writing. Grab a sketchbook and write for an hour. Non-stop. Whatever comes to your mind. Don’t try to make sense. Don’t censor yourself. You don’t have to share your notes with anyone. You may be surprised to see what comes out of you.

15. Make sure your work environment smells good. Burn incense or buy some air freshener.

16. Cook gourmet meals. Take time to make good food and take time to enjoy it. Drink good wine with your meal. This past year, I learned to make sushi and I have been perfecting the art. It takes me about 3 hours start to finish to make a sushi meal for my family. For those three hours it is me alone with God and my thoughts.

17. Drink a lot of water. Dehydration increases the risk of headaches/migraines, increases blood pressure, and affects your ability to think.

18. Keep healthy snacks in your workplace. Kashi Bars, fruit, etc. are good to keep your mind engaged and not on your stomach.

19. Don’t dress frumpy. Donate all your crappy clothes to Goodwill and invest in a good wardrobe. Dress nice/creative every day : : : even at home. Just because no one sees you it is not an excuse to dress bad. When you dress nice you feel better about yourself. When you feel better you think better.

20. Stop calling your office an office. Doctors have offices. Creative people have studios.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for those JVO. That's good stuff right there. Except for the stupid scotch thing!