Creativity’s secret weapon: relationships

As a creative professional, finding a resource to help fuel my creativity or get a job done more successfully, is invaluable. 

Over the past several years I have had the opportunity of discovering multiple resources that help the creative process; but no one resource has been as helpful and powerful as one that every single person has access to on a daily basis. There isn’t a single creative resource available today that is as affective as this “creative secret weapon” that anyone can use.

What is creativity’s secret weapon?

It is relationships, or to be more specific: the connections between ideas.

That’s right, relationships have been the ultimate resource for creative inspiration since the beginning of mankind. And using relationships to fuel creativity today is just as powerful and useful as it was 1,000 years ago.

How do relationships fuel creativity? By opening the mind to new - previously unthought of - ideas related to an original, or preexisting idea.

Are you confused yet? Let me give you an example of how I used relationships monitored through a mind map to help fuel my creativity…

Recently I was put in charge of a project to create a new, creative identity for a website about appointments. The client wanted something that conveyed “appointment management”, but wanted to avoid using the cliche “check mark” logo.

After discussing a few options for a logo with the client, I sat down and wrote the word “appointment” on the center of a piece of paper. Then I used a handy thesaurus to look up the word “appointment” and try to find words related to it. Instantly I had creative inspiration, with words like “engagement”, “session”, and “date”.

I wrote words from the thesaurus on my piece of paper around the word “appointment” and drew a line to all of them. I then used the thesaurus to look up the words I had linking to appointment. One word that really stuck out strongly to me was related to “date”, it was “time”. Appointments are all about time, and scheduling/managing appointments all revolve around time, right? So I quickly sketched out a few stopwatch/clock variations for the logo.

Voila! Within a few minutes, and after finding the relationship between a few words, I had a great idea for a logo. It was so easy.

So if you ever need creative inspiration, or if you ever feel stuck on a creative project, whip out a thesaurus, or just use your brain to find relationships between words/ideas/concepts. Relationships are the most powerful creative tool you can use!

Is it any wonder why people who are in love are often inspired to do creative things? Relationships are creativity’s secret weapon.