Learn how to be creative and think outside of the box all the time
Learning how to be creative is one of the best things you can do as a designer/editor/writer. You probably already know that creative ability is one of the most valuable assets in todays market. Without creativity, upon first viewing, your work will be tossed away by your audience, never to be considered again. Creativity gives your work purpose. Everybody wants to see something they’ve never seen before. Everybody wants to think in ways they’ve never thought before.
But your not a creative person? Good news, creative ability IS NOT innate. It can be exercised, practiced, and perfected. With a little work, you can learn how to be creative and think outside of the box 24-7. I am going to give you three practical exercises to do throughout your day. After a week of performing these exercises, you’ll be thinking faster, more efficiently, and more creatively.
Get inspired. For just fifteen minutes a day, read creative things. Mostly poetry. Exercise your visual cortex by picturing, in as much detail as possible, everything you read. Note that this exercise only works if you are reading. Watching creative vimeo videos won’t do much because it utilizes a different part of the brain.
For a virtually endless database of poetry, visit: http://www.poetry.com/poems/top?filter=Today
Design things. Open up Photoshop, and make some magic. This exercise is most effective for me. I’ll start drawing or designing anything that comes to mind. Think of an emotion, and try to depict that emotion through your design. The image below, that I designed this morning, took me 5 minutes. What emotion was I feeling?
Connect the dots. Throughout the day, pick two objects, and start thinking of all the ways they are similar and different. Then think of something that cobines all attributes of your objects. This is my favorite exercise, and tends to be the most effective. For example, at the airport yesterday, I thought about an airplane and a suitcase. Heres what I got:
- Transport things
- Have openings
- Compressed contents
- Can’t see what’s in it from the outside
- Adventure and travel
- Terrorism and screening
Now I apply these attributes to something else, say, a person:
Jason Stathem is a transporter. He can transport things anywhere around the world without being caught. How? He stores them inside his surgically modified body. All hell breaks lose when he agrees to transport a chemical weapon that detonates inside of him. The chemical is safely contained within his body, but now, the buyers are after him.
The best plot you’ve ever heard? No. But hey, that took me a solid five minutes to come up with. Repeat this exercise multiple times daily and you’ll eventually hit a winner.
Any good skill takes practice and patients. Implement these exercises into your daily routine and you’ll be thinking like a creative genius in no time. To read about how to come up with good short film ideas, click here. To learn about how to even make a short film, visit our filmmaking process post.