Your Creativity Toolbox: The Idea Pocket

What is in your creativity toolbox? One item might be an idea pocket.

Using an Idea Pocket will help you recognize your creativity and figure out how to use it. Ideas are literally everywhere. You should be able to reach into your “pocket,” find one, and use it.

Creativity is not limited to writing or art. You can use your creativity with cooking, gardening, entertaining, or cleaning house. You can use it planning parties or traveling with your family.

Don’t worry if there isn’t an Idea Pocket in your toolbox. You can make one fairly easily.

The Idea Pocket uses standard office supplies, items you find around the house or out on a walk, and pictures. Here is how you can make yours:

1. Take a standard #10 business envelope and seal shut the flap shut.

2. Cut off the top third of the envelope. (You will be cutting the short side of the envelope.)

3. Either write or use a label to put a short nonsense poem on the front of the envelope. An example I have used for writers/artists is:

My Idea Pocket

I want to write.

I want to draw.

Try though I might,

I can’t think of anything at all!

I reach my hand in here

And find something very near.

I’ll put it back or put in something new

So I can use it another time too.

4. Go through magazines and pictures to find things to put in your pocket. When you are going about your daily business or when you are out on a walk, pick up anything you see that would be interesting to include in the pocket.

5. Cut the pictures down to a manageable size and put them and other items you found to use for your pocket in the envelope. Fold the top down to keep them from spilling out or use a bit of ribbon or a paperclip to keep it closed.

With pictures, try to avoid celebrities and people you know. You have preconceived ideas about them that might not let you be as open to that spark of inspiration as you need to be. Instead of working with original pictures, since there is some cutting involved, you might want to make copies unless you have duplicates or aren’t going to be cutting the picture.

The Idea Pocket is related to a loose collage. Do not glue the items down to anything so it will be easier to hold the items and look at them from different angles to unlock/release your creativity.

There are some rules for using the Idea Pocket:

1. When you take something out of the pocket, put something else back in so there will be a continual supply of inspiration.

2. Use the first thing you take out.

3. Be open to creativity regardless of what form (writing, painting, cooking, drawing, gardening, etc.) it wants to take.

4. Do not suppress it because of disinterest or perceived lack of skill.

With this as one of your many tools in your creativity toolbox, you’ll be able to reach into your pocket and find a usable idea.

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