How To Be Creative!

Many people believe that creativity is a special gift, only granted to a few geniuses out there. A widely held belief still is that the ordinary person can’t possibly come up with something original or new, as they simply don’t have a special talent like drawing skills, artistic understanding or poetic expression to name a few of those creative gifts. 

I believe creativity is given to all of us and being able to create is part of human life. It’s needed when we need to come up with any solutions that are out of the box to solve problems, or replace ineffective thinking.

Whether you need to find a solution to train your dog to not chew up half the furniture while you are at work or simply find a more interesting way to ‘spice’ up your CV to stand out from the competition, you’ll need to engage that part of the brain that ticks a little different, a little less ordinary, a little bit more creative.

What does it mean to be creative?

When we are creative we embark on a journey into new and unexplored territory. We find new paths, untrodden ways of doing things in our daily lives. Creativity means doing the unusual, the un-tested, the un-approved. Sounds exciting? Well, it is! – It’s a hell of a lot of fun. 

So, what’s holding you back?

Like with most things that haven’t been tested it comes with a tiny bit of risk. The risk of looking stupid. An unusual idea being picked up by closed minded people, can easily be dismissed or worse, ridicule your brave, creative ego. So you have to be a little bit brave too when your creativity tries to find a way of expressing itself. 

If you really want to get into the flow of being creative you have to start taking things with a pinch of salt and don’t take yourself or other people’s comments too seriously. At least not at the early stages when you want your ideas to ‘germinate’.

Creating the possibility of solutions, finding new ways to solve a problems, finding new expressions while dipping into the unknown comes with a huge reward: creativity releases dopamines in your brain, which is one of the body’s happiness generators.  

Creativity makes us happy. 

Can you jump on the creative train?

By the time we’ve finished school or university we’re well equipped with a mindset that helps us divide right from wrong, good from bad, efficient from inefficient. We are educated and our intellectual abilities have been trained well over decades to think a certain way. We’ve all been taught that there’s always a right way to do it, a best way to do it and hence we are striving to achieve just that. In the hunt for approval we are often afraid to make mistakes and hence tend to follow what’s proven and tested. 

Now try and forget everything for a moment. Approach the world with a fresh pair of eyes and a mind that is truly open. The question is not, what do you see – but what could you see? What could you do? Who could you be? 

When you truly want to learn something new, do something fresh – be brave and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, they are inevitable when you have no practice.

Being creative means to temporarily defer all judgment that we have about the world (e.g. Bread is just for eating and making sandwiches – see below). Forgetting that there’s a right or wrong, forgetting how we were told it works. 

Shift your perspective and gain a new outlook onto the world around us – because nothing new has ever grown from the repetition of the old,

Being creative means dipping into temporary madness and playfulness in which you’re taking your world apart and putting it together with new possibilities, even if it makes no sense to start with (see below)

Being creative means adapting a ‘what if’ mindset. The key really lies in enjoying the process of letting your mind wander, rather than trying really hard to solve a problem (which can really inhibit the process). Use any picture that comes to mind – any association is as valid as any. Switch off. Disconnect from the known. Play.

Join the fun! Choose an object you relate to and start thinking of other uses for that very object.

  • What if that object appeared in a different context?
  • What if it had other attributes and qualities?
  • What if it was 100 times smaller or 1000 times bigger?
  • What if it was made out of a different material?
  • What if it was part of a different environment?
  • How would you use it if you were 5 years old?
  • How would you use it if you were 100 years old?
  • How would you use it if you were an optimist/pessimist?

Find analogies

  • Transfer information or meaning from one object to another
  • Associate freely, effortlessly
  • Let yourself be surprised.

By Christina Denham – Creative Director, Sliced Bread Animation

For further reading please see What To Expect When Working On A Project With Sliced Bread. Or if you would like to know more about how being creative can support your corporate communications. Please feel free to drop us a line at info@sbanimation.com

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