There are people out there who thinks creativity is “gifted talent” one is born with, which is untrue. Today I am sharing my way to stay creative.
Few good books out there I wanted to share with you guys that basically outlined the steps to be a creative person: Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon, It’s Not How Good You Are It’s How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden.
Here are my ways to stay creative.
Read Read Read
Reading is an important method to input your knowledge, if not your attitude towards. Any reading material from newspaper, magazines, novels, books, story books will give you an experience boost like never before. By reading storybooks it allows our imagination grows, we imagine the scene from the book our way, and we tell the story visually in our brain.
General knowledge is also an important factor in critical thinking. Learn how the V8 Engines works, learn why Syria is at war, how modern financial systems f**k us up, how society works, why cheetah is the fastest running animal, etc. By understanding how the world works, you will find that creativity exist everywhere. You will find out how banker creatively “create” money from thin air by rephrasing words and playing around with concepts; How chef creatively cook different dishes with the exact same ingredient you cooked in your hostel everyday; You will realise how ridiculous a hyrid car is designed; You will be amaze how God created this perfectly balanced world.
It makes you see the world in different way, it challenge your normal perception to the society, and it allows you to think outside the box.
If you can’t read, watch!
If you are not a good reader like me, who often need to read the same sentence twice in order to capture the true meaning of that line, you may want to watch videos or listen to podcast. Me personally, I watched a lot of good movies, The Shawshank Redemption, Dogville, Nightcrawler, The Black Swan, The Aviator, The Three Idiots and hundreds more. Watch a movie that excites you, that gives you a mind f**k. A movie brings you to different world, era, it allows you to experience life differently. Experiences last forever. I was watching Amour (2012) the other day, and I was given the experience of being a patience old man who has a semi paralyzed wife, I experienced the life of twilight in the 2 hours film. The movie Godfather brought me back to life of 1960s and how people in that era lives, why do they think that way, why do they listen to that kind of music, I get to experience all that.
In order to create experience, one gotta live the life.
Earlier I was explaining how general knowledge can help to boost your critical thinking, as a person who are not able to read efficiently, I watch a lot of documentary from Discovery Channel, National Geography and History Channel.
My everyday routine on youtube is watching videos from VOX, WIRED, VICE, COLD FUSION, NAT AND LO, VSAUCE, ZAGAT. These are some incredibly accurate independent documentary videos. I gain more knowledge from these channel than from mainstream media. Some of my best inspiration often came from the process of understanding the world.
Just keep travelling
If you have a thousand bucks, spend it for traveling. Experience things in real life. Climb a mountain, dive into ocean, ride a horse, paint in jungle. I personally travel at least three times per year. I want to keep my mind fresh, I want to keep my visual up to date.
Go into the wild and camp once in awhile. Go on unplanned trip and experience uncertainty, the more you experience the world, the more you can create the experience for your audience.
Keep yourself distracted
I learned ukulele and sing in office. I do street photography. I even sell hand drawn postcard in local art market. Neither of the stuff above I am good at, but it keep me distracted from the work I am facing at the moment, it allows me to come back to work with a fresh eyes, clear mind. Getting diversion often helps me to solve some technical bug, spot some obvious artwork mistakes and think outside our idea bubble.
There are no way to judge one’s creativity, I am certainly not the best creative thinker out there, but I do hope you will get inspire from the methods i shared above. They certainly helped me grew this far over the years.
What is your way to stay creative? Share it in the comment below!