The best of Creative Something 2008

Wow.

The year 2008 is just about over, and that means Creative Something is just about to turn a year old!

For the past year we’ve shared a lot of creative insights together, and the blog has grown tremendously! So, in celebration of the past year and how far we’ve come, I want to share eight of the best posts here on Creative Something from 2008.

  1. How creative are you? Take the quiz and find out!

    How creative do you think you are?

    Do you ever wonder how creative your friends, your boss, and your family might be? Well wonder no more. Creative Something is proud to announce The Creativity Quiz!

  2. Six confessions from creative professionals.

    From not really being creative, to thinking that creativity is incredibly hard, these creative confessions are an interesting look into the secret thoughts of some of the biggest creative geniuses of our time.

  3. 10 of the greatest web sources for creative inspiration.

    Have you ever sat in front of a blank computer screen, or empty piece of paper, or a really white whiteboard, and wished you had some source of inspiration to help you with your creativity?

  4. Seven creative habits you need to acquire.

    If you are a creative amateur, professional, or wanna–be, these are seven creative habits that will help you increase your creative potential, and give your creativity more “oomph” when you need it most.

  5. Top 10 ways to fuel your creativity.

    Simply coming up with creative ideas can be extremely hard and time consuming, especially for – but not limited to – creative professionals; finding advice on fueling creativity is almost just as hard.

  6. NY girl creates functioning invisibility cloak.

    New York City, NY – What scientists have been trying to create for years, Abby Dougal, age 7, has put together in only a few hours.

    With some help from her parents, using nothing more but a bed sheet and scissors, Abby has constructed a fully functional invisibility cloak.

  7. Six of the best ways to produce incredible ideas.

    Let’s face it, generating ideas is not an easy thing to do. But there are a few techniques you may not be aware of that can make generating ideas easier than you originally thought. In–fact: there are a lot of techniques you can use to help you generate ideas, but not all of the techniques produce great results.

  8. How do you spark creativity?

    Creativity is like fire: it can be difficult to start if you don’t know how.

    Creativity is also like fire in the sense that one little spark has the potential to turn into something extremely enormous and powerful. All it takes is a little know–how to spark your creativity, and before you know it you will be overwhelmed with creativity. At least, that’s what we all hope for (it doesn’t happen like that all of the time).

So there you have it!

2009 is just about here and with it are some BIG announcements from me regarding Creative Something, including the announcement of a NEW book, creative juice for sale, and more!

See you next year! And thank you for reading!



Is creativity really just in your head?

Creativity, in all of it’s glory, is only in your head.

Think about it.

Have you ever tried to be creative for somebody else, for any purpose other than your own desire to be creative? It’s almost impossible to be creative for anyone but yourself (let alone a paycheck or pat on the back).

The actual act of being creative takes place simply because someone wants to be creative.

No amount of money can cause someone to be creative (though it can be a great motivator). Anyone in a creative industry knows this. These people aren’t painting or designing or creating things for a customer or client or business or quick dollar, they are doing what they do because they want to solve a problem; because they want to feel creative. Creative professionals are creative because creativity is what motivates them every single day.

For everyone else creativity is almost alwaysjust another thing.

So what is creativity to you? Do you find yourself dying to do something creative at your job, or do you get by doing what your told? Are you someone who day dreams of ways to be creative or do you just go with the flow? Do you often think of ways to do things differently, to do things that nobody has done before, to question that status quo?

What is creativity to you? A paycheck, or a lifestyle?



Finding the time to be creative

What’s your excuse for not being creative today? What about yesterday or the day before?

Were you “just too busy to think of different possibilities”? Or maybe you simply “don’t have time to be creative”. While you may have led yourself to believe that these are good excuses for not being creative, these are horribleexcuses for not being creative.

When it comes down to it: you DO have time to be creative. Everything you do, every day of your life, is an opportunity to be creative.

You do have time to be creative!

You have time to ask a few additional questions, or do something just a little different, or change your routine slightly, or bring up a concern, or use a different tool, or change your perspective. You DO have the time, you DO have the methods, you CAN find the time to be creative.

Use your creativity right now to quickly jot down a few additional ways you can find time to be creative today.

Here are a few ideas to help you get started on your list.



Does thinking outside the box hinder creativity

We’ve all heard it a thousand times.

Think outside the box. It’s a metaphor that seems to have worked for hundreds of creative geniuses in the past. But could thinking outside the box actually be wrong? According to Harry and Christine Clifford Beckwith, authors of You, Inc., thinking outside of the box can greatly hinder your creativity.

Here’s one chapter from the Beckwith’s book about thinking outside the box:

“Your box – you way of thinking, working, and living – has worked for you. It’s the box in which you were born, a product of the DNA with which you were encoded. You can change your box about as easily as you can alter the shape of your head.

You are methodical or mercurial; you are lateral or linear; you tend to be inward, or outward. But from birth, you are who you are. It’s a pretty good box. Most important, it is yours 镃 the box in which you have operated forever.

Don’t try to think outside your box; it’s too hard. Instead, grow it.

For a wonderful inspiration and example, consider the story of singer Paul Simon.

Simon wrote some of our previous century’s classic songs, including an album that became the background music for an entire generation: Bookends. Millions bought it, and millions more heard its songs as the background music to the movie classic The Graduate.

Simon flourished inside his box. His box was filled with the culture of rebellious 1960s America, torn between chasing California girls on the beach on one hand and protesting the Vietnam War on the other.

Simon flourished inside his box – and then he didn’t. He stayed there, and the box that had helped him produce classics started producing fluff… Simon’s box closed in on him.

Simon solved it, but not by changing his thinking. He changed his box by bringing new things into it. To find them he ventured a world away; he flew to Africa. There, his box changed from what he felt and saw. As he wrote in one sone, he sang ‘angels in the architecture, spinning in infinity.’

Africa and its images and sounds startled, moved, and overwhelmed Simon. With his head stirring with these new influences, and inspired by the African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, he wrote 'You Can Call Me Al’ and one of music’s truly outside–the–box creations, the album Graceland.

Simon didn’t think outside his box; few people can. Simon grew his box. He brought into it new things, studied different culture, and listened to African music rather than his own.

From that he transformed himself, and flourished.

To become more creative – always a good idea – don’t try to think outside your box. Instead, grow it. Bring new things in.

If you read Vanity Fair [magazine], read In–Fisherman. If you read Tattoo, pick up Architectural Digest. If you read People, scan The New Yorker. If you attend the theatre, catch a NASCAR race…

Tinker with your box. Buy an orange sport coat and a pair of red suede shoes; see what changes.

Grow a bigger box.”

To be honest, I could not have said it any better.



How thinking can make you more creative

Once a week I take a 45 minute drive up the middle of the state to spend the weekend with two of my favorite muses.

The first muse is, of course, my girlfriend of two years. The second muse, however, cannot really be given a title, per say. Because the second muse is simply my own thoughts, the ones that have crowded my mind again and again for the past two years.

Some people would ask: “Why drive 45 minutes every week, isn’t there a way to meet in the middle?”

And the truth is that: it’s the only time I have to think with myself. That’s 45 minutes of my week that I dedicate to sitting in a quiet space just to think. Sure, occasionally traffic is bad and I can’t really focus on anything but it, but the majority of the time I find myself thinking about problems I had faced that week, or something creative I want to do over the weekend or what I need to get done next week.

For the past two years I have spent one day every week driving and thinking (sometimes at the same time).

Turns out that merely thinking – taking some time to sit alone and let your thoughts run rampant – is a great way to become more creative. Taking just a few minutes every week to think about anything and everything is the easiest way to find creative inspiration.

It’s not really a mystery, more like one of those “Ah hah!” moments. The more you think: the more creative you become. Don’t believe me? Why not?

Think about it.