Art is all around us but that’s not to say it’s not difficult. Creativity is volatile and unpredictable at times. Often, right at the peak of inspiration, the mind wanders and is bogged down by distractions. Innovation and creation aren’t natural occurrences but the products of thorough cognitive processes that create, update, and transform ideas. Although unpredictable, creativity is not uncontrollable. There are methods to maximize creative output and time management and they begin with greater insight into the spark that leads to inspiration and innovation.
Step 1: Foundation
“You are breaking down the problem to its elemental level so that no factor is outside your grasp.”
At this point, your goal is to research as much as possible so that you are as informed as possible. This might include brainstorming, working with others, building on your own experiences and anything else. Don’t rush the process as this stage varies in length and takes as much time as it needs to. So read, take a class, set goals, brainstorm, and let the ideas flow.
Step 2: Gestation
“Take a break from your work and do something pleasurable while your brain incubates.”
“Step away from the problem and let loose.”
This step may seem counter intuitive but you know what the saying says about all work. This stage requires you to take a break and relax a bit. Give your brain time to cool down and reboot. Have some fun and you’re mind will thank you for it. Get some fresh air, have a nice meal, meet up with a friend, whatever it is that you need to do, do it. Your mind needs time to absorb all the material that you’ve been taking in and you definitely don’t want to burn out so quickly. This technique is used to solve writer’s block and allow the subconscious mind to do the work for a bit. There’s no designated timeframe for this but you’ll know when you’re done with this step; however the more time you give it within a environment suitable for creative growth and personal reflection, the higher the likelihood of success.
Stage 3: Inspiration
An epiphany is a powerful moment of clarity and inspiration. It’s when things finally click and everything becomes all the more clear.
“It’s the sweet moment of relief that comes after struggling to find the missing piece of the puzzle.”
This moment could come at the most unlikely at times, you could be going to sleep, waking up in the middle of the night, or in the middle of an unrelated conversation. Whatever the cause, it’s sudden, it’s overwhelming, and always much appreciated. You’ll be filled with joy, and certainty that you’re on the right path. This is the product of your subconscious being hard at work and attempting to solve your problem. Slowly as things became clearer these ideas and solutions make their way to the surface until finally the light bulb comes on. This marks the perfect synergy between the left and right hemispheres of the brain which we tasked with emotional and rational thinking respectively.
Step 4: Certification
“You review the situation and decide if everything fits. You make sure you didn’t miss anything and that all the ideas are coherent and add up to the correct solution.”
Did I do everything right? Was this the right decision? And although hindsight maybe be 20/20, it’s always a good idea to get a second and third opinion. Get some fresh eyes to look at your ideas, constructive criticism from respected and trusted friends can go a very long way. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends and get their feedback. It’s important to open yourself up to criticism as it is an essential aspect of personal, creative, and emotional growth.