How to Be Creative

How to be creative? 

Well this is question that I have been asked a lot. People are always coming up to me and asking: "How do you come up with so many ideas?" Well I'll try and explain the creative process to you all.

First you got to have a problem. In order to be creative in the first place there must be a problem. For example even an artist would have to decide what he or she wants to draw before creating a creative piece of art.

So keep your mind open and always be aware of your surrounding. Look for anything that is either bothering you or other people. Always ask yourself is there a better way of doing this? What can I do to make life much easier for either me or other people. It will especially help if you have a very good long-term memory as you can jump back to situations and pick up the problems. If you don't especially have a good long-term memory you could try and practice memorisation techniques.

Next you would have to have a fairly good general knowledge. You want to keep up with the times and understand what is out there. For example there maybe certain technology out there that you could apply to solve the problem or you could combine technologies to solve the problem. So use the Internet to research, watch documentaries, watch the news as well as reading magazines and newspapers. It would be a plus if you have good technical knowledge of certain technologies as this will aid in conveying to the people who will implement a product to solve the problem.

When you get an idea make sure you have a medium to store your idea. Ideas can be lost as soon as they are created. Make sure you have a notepad, computer, mobile or even a voice recorder to store your ideas.

Basically being creative is about piecing puzzles together. Seeing something that links to something or is related to something or potentially can be connected to something else. Let your mind drift from knowledge to knowledge until you see the greater picture or until that light bulb hits you in the head. However don't think to hard to a point where you will get a headache that would be just counter-productive in generating creative ideas. Thinking has to be a pleasurable experience where there is no limit or rules, just think of it as a dream that you can control. (Just to mention I get most of my ideas when I'm trying to get to sleep.) It would definitely help if you have an interest or love in the arts (such as painting, creating music or film making), as it helps you understand what it is like to flow with no limit and no rules. 

Final note is that creativity usually takes time. It may seem like an idea came to you instantaneously when everything comes together and makes sense. But usually the idea would've been in the backburner just waiting for the right moment, opportunity or stimulus.

Hopefully some of my pointers will help guide you on your road to becoming more creative.

Victor Tsen, April 2008.

« home