Sometimes, even though you’re creating plenty of new art, it can feel like a factory conveyer belt line if you’re simply turning out near-identical work time and time again.
So here are 5 top techniques to help you experiment, and give your creativity a fresh boost of inspiration:
- Free yourself with limitations. This seems to go against logic, but imposing a few restrictions on your creativity actually stimulates it more, and encourages it to work harder. Rather than staring at a blank page or canvas wondering what on earth to create, give yourself a few boundaries to work within. As soon as you do, your creativity leaps into action and comes up with ideas of how to create in those limits. Which is easier to come up with ideas for: “Go and paint something” or “Go and paint something that represents happiness using only shades of red and one 1/4-inch brush?”
- Randomize your art. If you’re short of new ideas, a great way to come up with some new ideas to experiment with is to randomize. This just means take 2 or 3 objects or ideas at random, and ask how they might be connected. Because our minds naturally seek patterns and connections, as soon as you fuse different elements together, you’ll generate ideas as to how they might connect. For example if I said to you, “Write a story involving a red lamp, a horse and a box of matches,” your mind instantly would start producing interesting ideas you can then explore further. Often, the more random the objects seem, the more creative the ideas are that come up.
- Experiment with the language of your art. Whatever you create, in some way it communicates with whoever comes to experience that art. So try experimenting with different languages in your art. This could mean literally – if you’re a writer, try writing purely phonetically rather than in recognizable words. Or it could be less literal. For example, create a collage that tells a story about rekindling an old friendship, or a painting that aims to communicate the comfort of a lover's arms. Forget about materials and form and simply try different languages and ways of communicating through what you create.
- Create in a new medium. What forms have you always longed to create in but never got around to? Now’s the perfect time to try. The best-case scenario is you love the new form(s) you try and spend more time creating in them, expanding your experience and enjoyment of creating. The worst-case scenario is you discover some new perspectives and ideas and return to more familiar forms with a new appreciation of your abilities in those. Your creativity benefits either way.
- Remove your regular materials. Whatever form you create in, you have a set of regular materials and equipment you use. To encourage experimentation, remove these completely and ask how you can still create in that form. For example, if you paint, ask yourself: “If I don’t have a canvas, what can I use instead? If I have no paints, what else could I paint with? With no brushes, what can I use to apply the paint?” This radical removing of the supplies you’ve become comfortable with can lead to highly creative new approaches that you never could have thought of by always creating with the same raw materials.
Pick one of these techniques to experiment with today and notice how it rejuvenates YOUR creativity.
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