5 Ways to Ensure Your Creativity Machine Never Loses Power

Can you find the yellow flower standing out? pixabay.com

Creativity is one of those nebulous traits shroud in mystery. Can you activate it at will? Are you born with it or can you develop it? If you’re like most people, chances are, you either call yourself a creative person or not. However, creativity is not binary. It’s a skill that can be learned. So how do you go about doing that? Here a few practical examples I’ve found useful;

  1. Focus on Quantity Over Quality

There’s a famous story from the book Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland where a ceramics teacher divided his class into two groups; one class was to be graded by quantity and the other by quality. The surprising result was that the works of highest quality all emerged from the group graded by quantity.

They say, “Practice makes perfect,” but perfection is an asymptote we can gradually approach but never quite reach. So the only way forward is to work on that next piece and the next and recognize our work in progress will always be a work in progress.

2. Force Connections Between Your Work and Daily Experiences

After getting lost in a new neighborhood a few day ago, I reached my relative’s house. The moment I stepped in, the power went out. Power outages are the norm in Kenya, which is why I had to include it in the title because there’s nothing more uncreative than writing about creativity and titling it, “5 Ways to Develop Your Creativity.”

Another story on combining experiences comes from a 10-year-old I had the pleasure of talking to the other day.

“Can’t we use the heat from a volcano to barbeque a chicken?”

He had just come home from a trip to Menengai Crator which is a shield volcano, and for some reason we were talking about chicken. So he combined the two and asked what the adults thought was a very random question.

3. Cloud Spotting

Since I live under a sky that’s always covered with clouds of interesting shapes, I started cloud-spotting. I would do it on Instagram stories to give my followers a chance to cloud-spot with me.

Although I found many shapes, the image that got the most response is shown below the text….

Amy Herman is famous for The Art of Perception; a professional development course to improve perception that has been adopted by people in various professions, including police officers.

4. Work within constraints

As shown in this article, constraints can sometimes force creative thinking. This type of creative thinking is usually expected in fields such as engineering because there’s always a type of constraint, whether physical or cost-related. So instead of thinking outside the box, try thinking within it for a change.

5. Remove one sense from the equation

This is something I used to do frequently. I would close my eyes and focus on a sound and ask the question, “If I didn’t know this sound is being made by a bird, what would I thought it was?”

Disabling one sense has the potential to improve awareness in the other senses.

So which technique will you attempt to build your creativity muscles? Let me know on twitter @ahechoes. Also, visit my blog http://ahscribbles.com/ and follow me @ahechoes on Instagram.