Artist block, writers block, fill in the blank block – whatever you want to call it — there is the inevitable great wall of China that anyone, artist or farmer alike, can face when looking for a solution to ease that temporary ache. The dreaded brain freeze that cripples us from producing work or playing nicely with the creative process. helium has recently moved into FAT Village, Fort Lauderdale’s budding art district. We have made invaluable connections with local artists and innovative businesses that have reminded us of some great tools for staying creative when your mind just doesn’t wanna.
1. Drawing board.
Make an outline. Embrace your left-brain and develop some kind of framework. And don’t worry about making it fancy – we have notes and ideas scribbled on napkins, scrap pieces of paper and of course various appendages – the point is to just get stuff out and structure it so an idea grows beyond just a thought. Push it further and actually sketch it out or build an outline. A couple of bullet points here — some 1, 2, 3’s there — and naturally an inevitably large amount of doodling to make it somewhat interesting.
2. Keep a Journal.
Not a diary. A collection of thoughts, ideas and inspiration. We are certainly not asking you to vent about your last breakup or your coworkers oh-so-appealing Monday morning attitude. Write about what you know – what’s going on in your community – things that compel you to think. A journal is a good habit to get into and can become a great source for inspiration or reference.
3. Read something.
Pick up a newspaper. Log into your USA Today or New York Times app. Get the latest issue of Print Magazine (because it’s the best). helium can sometimes be spotted in the Design section of Barnes and Nobles sitting on the floor flipping through books and snapping pictures with our iPhones.
Sometimes you have to get out of yourself – the mind can be a boring and sometimes dangerous place. Join forces with other creative people who are doing what you love – find passion in their passion, inspiration in their process. Bounce ideas back and forth and see where it goes. A synergistic approach to any creative process can produce some amazing results, taking you to new places that may have otherwise gone undiscovered.
We admit it. Google image search can save the day. Guilty as charged. You can type in just about any slew of keywords related to what you need and are guaranteed a ton of images that can be used as sources of inspiration, visual references, or even portals to other sites that may help out. There are other great websites out there dedicated to inspiration in various categories. Pinterest is also another great place to explore.
6. Starved Insomniacs.
Certain designers at helium get cranky when they don’t eat, let alone stay up past their bedtime. Cranky designers equal crappy design. That pretty much goes for the masses. There’s this romanticized image of the starving artist staying up until 5am smoking cigarettes by candle light as he plugs away at the finishing touches of a project. Maybe that’s just me, I dunno. Bottom line – not so romantic. Clear your head — get some sleep and eat a good meal.
Here’s a thought: venture out into the world and do something different. We can get so stuck in our own little bubbles of work, home and routine that we don’t take the time to enrich ourselves. Our scope of the world becomes this narrow little abyss of the mundane day to day that we forget about life. Some recent things helium has done that have jolted our creative juices a little:
-Hot air balloon ride
It could be as simple as taking a drive, listening to good music and getting lost somewhere. Break the cycle of blah blah blah and discover something new. We have a tendency to play with our scanner a lot too. It really never gets old.
8. Push it.
Even when you get that killer idea that sparks something great – push it further. Creativity comes with constant movement – challenging yourself to look at what else can be done, where else can the idea take you? helium creative doesn’t settle for the first solution, but rather uses it as a starting point from which to build a strong myriad of ideas and concepts. This tip is best done in conjunction with #4.