Here is a post I came across that gives a nice working technique for enhancing your creativity
Feeling burnt out or lacking creative ideas?
This article is especially for all you writers, artists, business owners or anyone looking for some new ways to get their creativity flowing.
Here are 15 ways to give your creativity a jump start:
Write Your Ideas Down
Get into the habit of writing your ideas down as soon as you get them. This way you train your brain to keep coming up with ideas, and as soon as you get them you write them down.
When they are written down you don’t have to worry about remembering them and this allows more room for new ideas to form in your mind.
Good ideas and creativity usually do not appear under stress. When you are relaxed and rejuvenated, creative ideas usually come rather naturally.
Take a walk on the beach, take a nap, go and play some sport or do whatever it is that relaxes you so that your brain can be more creative when you get back to work.
Have No Expectations
Similar to living with no stress, but specifically no stress from the outcome.
When you create with love and passion and no expectation of the outcome, the chances are much greater that you will create something remarkable!
Be Easy On Yourself
Stop criticizing yourself and stop being so harsh for yourself. Accept yourself the way you are and do things to the best of your ability.
You are enough and you are creative. Don’t let self-limiting beliefs block out your creativity! Remove the barriers and the ideas will begin to flow.
Reading stimulates the mind. The more you read, the more you open your mind up to new ways of thinking and thus the more creative you will become.
I know that reading can be a bore, especially if you have to force yourself to do it. Just start small.
Choose a book on a topic that you like (it can even be about your favorite sport or artist) and spend 30 minutes before you go to bed reading that book. This way you can read 1-2 new books every month without it being a lot of effort, and it will definitely contribute to you being more creative.
Listen to Mozart
Albert Einstein said he owes his creativity to listening to Mozart pieces. Certain songs and compositions allow the brain to be more creative and function better.
Albert Einstein did not know why this was the case, but he found Mozart compositions to help his thinking.
In the present age the concept of music enhancing your thinking has been scientifically researched and proven. Certain frequencies have a positive effect on increasing your brain’s performance and creativity. Today they are known as Binaural Beats and Isochronic Tones.
Basically, scientists have engineered sound-files (I canít really call them songs) with researched frequencies that have proven to increase brain performance. Simply buy purchasing some of these tracks and listening to them with stereo headphones, you can already notice an effect on your thinking and creativity.
There are certain techniques that allow your mind to find peace and that allow you to silence all the hundreds of thoughts that constantly run through your mind all day.
When you achieve this inner calm, it has all sorts of benefits like being more creative and having better ideas.
The effects of exercise and physical movement on the mind and creativity have been studied for centuries.
There is no doubt that you feel much better after exercise. This is because after you exercise, endorphins (feel-good hormones) are released into your bloodstream.
Ask For Help
Don’t be scared to ask someone for help or for their opinion. The input from a friend or stranger could be enough to jump-start a whole series of ideas and new creativity.
Expand Your Horizons
Do something you have never ever done before in your life. Go sky-diving or bungee-jumping. Sign up for hip-hop classes.
The experience of it may be enough to boost your creativity tenfold and give you many new ideas.
Blueberries are said to be the richest in anti-oxidants and good for your brain an thinking abilities. Eat a handful a day, and even if you donít get extra creativity, enjoy the taste and the health benefits.
Stop Doing Drugs
I’m talking about sugars, processed foods, alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes.
(I shouldn’t have to tell you not to do hard drugs!)
Not only will your health benefit, but you will feel much more energetic. The chances are huge that you will find all sorts of new inspiration that comes with your new energy levels once you start eating healthy and stop consuming junk.
Puzzles stimulate your brain to look at a problem from different angles. The easier you are able to open up your mind to new ideas and new approaches, the more likely it will be that you become more creative.
I personally like playing piano. It is relaxing and it allows me to experiment with new tones, melodies and ideas. Often while playing an instrument and making music I get very creative ideas for my own projects.
If you’ve never played an instrument, why not start with something simple like piano, guitar or the drums?
Practice makes perfect.
Yeah it’s cliche, but it’s true. Do you want to be a great writer? Then write ever single day, even if it’s just about your dog.
Do you want to be a good designer? Then design something new every day, even if it’s just a logo for your favorite food.
Diggy also created a cool course that will teach you how to cook easy healthy dinner recipes in 10 minutes or less.
The Secret to Creativity
It is said that art imitates life. To be able to express oneself creatively is both powerful and fulfilling. True creativity resides within all of us, but because of the power of creativity those that aren’t ‘naturally gifted’ feel intimidated to even try. By breaking down the fundamental layers of creativity, we see that the process of creating art is not only simple, but can be applied to all activities of your life – whether you are organizing a file cabinet or painting a self portrait, these 7 steps will help you find art in all that you do in life.
Imagine you’re painting a picture. You find a nice spot, on the beach. You find an appropriate angle, where you will have an interesting view of the sea, with the beach and a palm tree coming in on one side. In the distance, there is a city skyline. It’s a perfect scene.
Now, many would assume that the creative process involves simply transferring this beautiful image onto a canvas, that this is what it takes to be creative. I’m here to tell you that creativity is in fact a much deeper process than this. It involves many layers of thought and meaning. The good news, is that this in fact makes it easier for anyone to get in touch with their creative side.
The Subject Matter Layer
In this example, nature has already given you a piece of art that anyone with a camera can share. Nobody should have a problem finding this layer. It is simply an observation, something interesting in the world around you. For a story teller, it could be an event that happened, or is imagined. It’s what your piece represents.
The Creation Technique Layer
In a painting, the next layer is the artist’s personal brush technique. A professional photographer will add this layer in a similar way with their choice of lens, filters, exposure etc. A writer will use their practiced techniques of arranging sentences and paragraphs. Any artist’s use of their tool of choice makes their work different from anyone else’s interpretation. This is a special layer of the piece that requires a lot of attention and is developed over an artist’s entire life.
Style is a very important part of this layer. The same image can be drawn in watercolor, charcoal, or pencil. Shading can be rendered in various ways, even the choice of paper is part of the creation technique. In all forms of creativity, including writing and music, there are infinite possibilities for style.
The Perspective Layer
Painting or photographing a picture is only the beginning of a creative exercise. What turns a generic photo into a piece of art, is perspective. The human holding the camera will always be an integral part of the piece.
In the case of our painting, it is the artist with the brush that provides this layer. They can chose how to present the picture. The audience should be forced to ask themselves, even if it is subconsciously, why has the artist chosen this perspective?
The Interpretation Layer
This is the layer where a piece will really begin to stand out. While the artist’s perspective gives a lot of depth and personality, their interpretation is where they have the opportunity to show something that might not be visible at first. Remember our painting. Well, the artist could see the city in the background as tarnishing the beautiful natural scene, and paint it in a way that makes it look grey, dull, maybe even sinister.
In this layer there is much scope to represent the scene in a way that is based on what it means to the artist, and the confines of reality need not be a limitation.
The Depth Layer
Your view of a cityscape from a beach has a lot more to it than meets the eye. Why is that city there? Who lives there? What are their lives like? What is their history? What does the future hold for them? Any of these factors can be brought into the painting if the artist wants to. As a very simple example, if the artists feels that the people of the city have been mistreated, he can draw something into the picture (or emphasize something that is already there) that represents this, such as a person looking sad.
Another way to represent depth is to think about the ways certain parts of the painting interact with each other. For example, the palm tree that frames the city brings shade to the beach, but it is still brighter than the city. Perhaps this illustrates how nature is more forgiving than the hand of man.
The Emotion Layer
All of the other layers will mean nothing, if your piece doesn’t provoke emotion from your audience. Quite often, your other layers will provide this simply with the story they tell, but perhaps they won’t. You should make sure that whatever else is going on with your creation, you think about how your audience is going to feel when enjoying it. It doesn’t matter if they’re happy, sad, angry, or shocked, just as long as they’re not disappointed. The emotion layer is so important it can almost stand on its own without the other layers.
Connecting with your audience emotionally is an art form in itself that takes a lot to master. There are many ways to press people’s buttons so I recommend you research this topic further. Ultimately, you must relate to their hopes and fears. Learn what makes people have certain emotions and incorporate this into your creations in whatever measure you see fit.
You could probably stop here, and you will still have a phenomenal, multi-layered piece of art that stands out to its audience. However, there is one more layer that you can add to your creations. This powerful layer can turn you from a hobbyist into a respected professional.
The Focus Layer
When you feel like you have enough layers to your piece, add one more. This layer does not add to the creation, but actually takes away. It hides many of the details, but those details are still present, underneath. They still affect the characters in our story. We have just focused in on what is important.
Poets understand this layer better than anyone. It is the metaphorical layer – the images they use to hide raw emotions.
Add this layer either by hiding the creation’s true meaning behind a metaphor, or by telling it from a perspective that does not give everything away. Your audience will still see the meaning, but it will give your piece even more depth. This is the magical layer, the layer that transforms an idea into a story.
Anyone can be creative
Although I used a painting as an example, these techniques can be applied to any and every kind of creative outlet. If you’re a writer, take an interesting event and write about it in your own unique style, using the perspectives of your characters. Give your characters history, emotions, and needs, and guide them using your interpretation of the story. Connect to your readers emotionally by relating to their hopes, fears, and dreams. Finally take this story and express it through a metaphorical veil, refining and clarifying the main points of your story.
Never again will you be able to use the excuses “I can’t draw”, or “I can’t play a musical instrument”. Even if you find yourself held back by your lack of creation technique skills, you can now create powerful pieces of art with your utilization of all the other layers. Learn how to bring perspective, meaning and depth to what you see, and you will become a true artist.
Stuart Dobson is a Guest Blogger for PickTheBrain. He is the co-founder of
The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. -Einstein
The biggest misconception about creativity is that it involves a moment of magical creation when the incredible appears out of thin air. The truth is less romantic. Everything comes from somewhere. All ideas have been thought before and all artists, especially the most brilliant, have their sources of inspiration. I’m going to break Einstein’s famous rule by revealing some of my sources and explaining how I use the genius of others to further my own ambitions.
Everyone starts somewhere so I might as well come clean from the beginning. Before I started this website my creative credentials were nonexistent. I had no tangible experience as a writer, designer, marketer, or entrepreneur. Aside from this site I still don’t. All I can say for myself is that I read voraciously and draw fairly well. You’d think a chump like me wouldn’t stand a chance in the hyper competitive online world.
So how did I end up with this fine looking site, a readership that’s growing every day, and over 100 original articles, several of which have been featured on the likes ofLifehacker.com, Problogger.net, lifehack.org and all the major social sites?
By observing how others became creatively successful and combining their genius with my own.
A seed was planted the day I read Steve Pavlina’s, 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job. Through that article I found How to Make Money From Your Blog and ever since I’ve been obsessed with creating a profitable website based on my own original writing. It wasn’t Steve’s monetary success that inspired me, it was his literary style. The wit, the humor, the brutal honesty, and the fact that people were eating it up and begging for more made me believe that I could do it too; that I could build a business around my passion.
From Steve I learned the value of lengthy original articles, serving the reader, writing from personal experience, and choosing topics that apply to everyone. More than through his words, I’ve learned from observation; from the locations of his ads, the frequency of his posts, and a thousand other details the casual reader would never notice.
Sure, I could have ignored everything that worked for Steve, but what would be the point of that? Too many people try to reinvent the wheel when a Ferrari’s roaring past.During the Renaissance apprentice artists learned by replicating the works of the masters. The secret to being creative is recognizing the genius of others and re-purposing it for your own ends.
If you want be more creative, you have to learn from people who are smarter than you are. Unless you can find a mentor this means learning from observation. When you see a piece of work you admire, dissect it scientifically and discover exactly what makes it great. Is it the tone of an article? the subject matter? the author’s personality? its usefulness? The same concept applies to design. What creates that feeling of visual pleasure? What made you click that ad? What made you subscribe? The clues to creativity are everywhere. You need to gather them and apply that understanding to your own creative work.
It’s also important to find models that fit your profile. If you’re a nobody like me, don’t try to build the next TechCrunch. It won’t work because you don’t have Mike Arrington’s insider connections. Think of yourself as an engine in need of a body. You can find one that fits by investigating people with a background and style similar to yours.
It’s important to note that collecting inspiration is distinctly different than plagiarism. Although Steve’s work has influenced mine I haven’t stolen any of his content. I’ve taken the model and adjusted it to my own needs, the same way Steve probably followed the examples of other successful people when building his site.
In truth, he’s only one of many influences. If I had to list them all this post would be 100,000 words. Some of the more prominent dead ones include Bertrand Russell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, Henry David Thoreau, and George Orwell. Some living ones you may know include Jason Kottke, Merlin Mann,Brian Clark, Robert Scoble, Darren Rowse, Seth Godin, Hugh MacLeod, J.D. Roth, andTim Ferriss. But only naming a select few neglects countless others. I draw inspiration from everything I read and everyone I come in contact with.
I need to give an extra special thanks to Chris Pearson for designing the Cutline Theme. When I started this site I didn’t know any CSS or HTML. Like any beginner I downloaded the best free theme I could find. Over time I’ve continuously built on it, doing at least 3 major overhauls and making small changes on a daily basis. The key to making a good design if you have no experience is looking at other sites, finding what works, and blending it into a unique creation.
All art is imitation. The most creative people imitate rarer, more brilliant sources and cover their tracks. That’s why reading nothing but blogs makes you write dull generic posts. If you absorb a mediocre style, your output will be mediocre. If you scour the classics for the most intelligent, passionate writing in existence your own inspiration will follow. Pay close attention and you’ll even notice the passing of ideas through history. No one could read this essay by Oscar Wilde and Plato’s Symposium without noting a remarkable similarity.
There’s a reason great artists are always clustered together, both geographically and chronologically. Interacting with creative individuals makes you more creative. Rival artists exchange techniques and competition increases effort. The present is the ideal age for creative people. The internet has connected everything, allowing us to draw inspiration from classic works of art and our finest contemporaries without leaving the couch.
It’s also important to draw from a wide array of sources. Your best option is to play the statistics. Creativity isn’t a spark it’s a boiling pot. Sample an enormous amount of creative work and you’ll produce an inspirational concoction. The most important creative asset iscuriosity.
Genuine creativity doesn’t exist, particularly in a cosmic sense. Living beings don’t create life, they re-purpose existing matter into offspring. Nothing has been created since the Big Bang. All we can do is rearrange the stuff we find around us. If you want to be more creative, stop waiting for inspiration and start experimenting. Creativity isn’t creation at all, it’s reorganization.