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Get Those Creative Juices Flowing!

Un_Standard Ways to Get Those Creative Juices Flowing

We here at Un_Standard know the importance of the whole creative process. After all, that’s what we are in the business of. But often times, it can be difficult to get those creative juices flowing. Wouldn’t it be nice to turn on your creativity just like you turn on your vehicle? Just insert your key into the ignition, and away we go. There would be no end to what you can accomplish. The reality is that often times, the “car” won’t start, there’s no gas in the tank, and the road ahead is congested and traffic slows to a complete standstill. But don’t get discouraged. There are many little tricks that are easy to set into motion to get those creative juices flowing.
And we’re happy to share a few of those tricks with you.

Be inspired by what’s around you

Inspiration can come from some of the most unlikely of places. Fashion designers often times travel to far away places to get inspiration in designing their next collection. But for most of us, traveling halfway around the globe to get the creative juices flowing is out of the question. So don’t be afraid to get inspiration from your immediate environment. Be aware of what is around you and be open to triggering creative bursts. And if you’re stuck staring at the same four beige walls day in and day out, then don’t be afraid to step outside of that environment to get those creative juices flowing.

Step outside of your comfort zone

Often times, we live inside of a bubble. We’re happy there. It’s comfortable. We’ve decorated it with all of the things that make us feel safe. But unless we venture out of this comfort zone bubble from time to time, we run the risk of stagnation. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Pick up some new sources of reading material. Explore some different avenues. Be curious. Try teaching yourself something that you didn’t know anything about. In order to get those creative juices flowing, we need to open ourselves up to uncharted and unexplored territories.

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes

Failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We have come to fear failure. Fear of failure can hold us back because it prevents us from trying new things. If you’re not failing from time to time, then you’re not challenging yourself. Whenever a mistake is made, it can’t be thought of as a mistake if you learn something from that mistake. So don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Opening yourself up for experimenting is a great way to get those creative juices flowing. When we discount ideas and thoughts right off of the bat, then we run risk of shelving that truly great new invention.

Be sure to question everything

Often times, it’s easy to take things at face value. But those of us know that challenging the status quo is a critical part of the creative process. Question everything. As why and how to determine if there is a better solution to a problem out there. Look at what is missing, what can be improved upon or what can be completely reinvented. When you aren’t afraid to question everything around you, then you’re more likely to get those creative juices flowing.

Get a sounding board

Bouncing ideas off of someone is a great tool to use to spark creativity and get those creative juices flowing. Some truly great ideas come out of brainstorming sessions (and some not-so-great ideas too). Be sure to get a sounding board that isn’t afraid to challenge you when necessary and doesn’t just say what they think you want to hear. When you have a sounding board, you’re not limited to your own perspective and experiences.

Start recording your thoughts in a journal

And finally, a critical tool to get those creative juices flowing is to put your thoughts down in a journal. Record those ideas as soon as they enter your head, because often times those thoughts can exit your mind as quickly as they entered it. Use this journal filled with your random thoughts to kickstart an idea or as a tool to get those creative juices flowing. Your thoughts and interests can trigger solutions to problems later down the road.

David Garrard is the resident Agent Provocateur (and Managing Director) for Atlanta-based creative consultancy Un_Standard, a creative consultancy specializing in Branding and Marketing for small businesses and entrepreneurs. David Garrard is part Creative Director, part Strategic Planner, part Brand Strategist and part Marketing Director all rolled into one. View my Google+ Profile