You must work at being creative. The mind is a muscle and it too needs exercise. The best way to do this is practice – the more you practice being creative, the easier it will be. Establish a goal for yourself, like coming up with five or ten new ideas each day. It doesn’t matter how many. But you should practice every day.
Anyone can be creative. I think most of it is dependent on relearning how to “see”. Creativity is in the details. Try really looking at something. Not for five or ten minutes, but longer. Look at that object and force yourself not to be distracted. Challenge yourself by staring at a photograph. How many details can you recall? The following is an example of the type of exercises I use to improve my creativity – the ways in which I try to challenge my normal perception.
I’ve mentioned before, I’ve played basketball all my life. I wanted to create a new indoor basketball game for kids. So I went down to Toys R U and looked at the basketball games. I spent a great deal of time in the aisle, analyzing all the fundamental aspects of the product. They all had rims, a net, a backboard. I took pictures to help myself remember in additional to the images I absorbed. And I even went to the computer, to try to find absolutely everything that had been done.
I then began to break down every individual part. There was a rim, a net, a backboard, and a ball. I wanted to question all those parts. If I look and question, I might be able to come up with different possibilities. Does the backboard have to be square? What other shapes could it be? Could it be made of a different material? Does it have to be wood, plastic, paper? Does it have to be smooth? Does the rim have to be round? What other shapes could it be? The net – does it have to be a certain length? Does it have to be made of cord?
By asking these questions, I begin to see other possibilities. In order to capture my ideas, I jot down notes on a large artist’s sketchpad with a big color crayon. I’m trying my best to get all my ideas down – at this stage, there’s no good, bad, unrealistic, stupid. Just possibilities. Creativity is pumping.
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