7 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

Hello, my friends! As the newest and may I add, coolest Art Director at Barker & Christol, it was super tough for me to come up with my first blog post topic. I mean, we all want to prove ourselves as knowledgable, witty, and charming right out of the gate, am I right? Thankfully, Brooks had a brilliant idea about how to choose blog content. Read that here. My solution was number 3. As a sidenote, kissing up to the partners of the company is always a great start to your first blog post.

Let’s be honest, creativity isn’t necessarily reliant on natural ability.  Thankfully, new research shows us a lot of mental and environmental approaches that can help boost our creativity.

Here are 7 tips to spark a great idea:

1. Restrict yourself 

Most creatives automatically take the “easy path” and build off existing ideas that have been done countless times. This can lead to less creative ideas. We must place restrictions on ourselves while creating. If your go-to is using bright colors in your design, try designing in grayscale. Only create ads using typography or write 500 word blog posts instead of 1,000. When we limit ourselves, it can bring out our most creative side.

 2. No, it’s not about you.

Instead of looking at the end goal of a creative project ( ” I need to create a stellar campaign”), it’s better to see the problem from a more meaningful angle. Sometimes, the best approach is to picture your audience. What motivates them? What irritates them? What do they already know? What do they eat for breakfast?

3. Be happy 

It’s true. Negative thinking can sometimes spur creativity, but I believe it’s during our strong positive attitudes that our best creative work is done. To break free from my negative ‘tude, I exercise. (So, if you come into the office to see a crazy girl doing push-ups next to the conference table, don’t think anything of it). For Steve, we know he’s re-conceptualizing when he’s meticulously cleaning off his desk and flipping through advertising magazines for inspiration. Everyone’s different. What’s your happy place?

4. Find another happy person and fight 

In the advertising world, we’re asked to present our ideas and defend them-then invite our team members to dissect the idea. It’s important to vigorously debate our ideas. It is the quickest way to expose flaws and carves the path for innovation. Oh and hey, ain’t nobody got time for egos. Leave them at the door.

5. What If? 

I call this the “what if” experiment. ( Warning: this drives left-brainers crazy) Take events that have already happened and re-imagine different outcomes. Take elements out of the event and add elements into the event. Also, a 2 minute conversation with a 5 year-old works great too.

6. Eat chocolate. 

Everyone knows chocolate will not only help your body ward off the effects of stress, but it’ll boost your brain power when you really need it. In fact, studies show, every office would be better off with a chocolate fountain… Yep, I threw that one in there for free.

7. If all else fails

Ask your boss to take you to Burning Man through a company blog post.