Somewhere between opening my eyes and my morning coffee, the big craving to create something has just hit me… then it paused mightily at What To Make? When that happens, I need some kind of creativity block buster tout de suite! I know I’m not the only one who needs an idea helper now and then, so here’s two from my ongoing list:
1. Geomag, Legos or other similar toys
Kind of like the saying, “You need to spend money to make money”, to banish a creative block, pretty much all you need is some kind of building blocks (see what I did there?). I have a box full of Geomags, which consists of magnetic rods, steel spheres and some plastic “spacers” (which make the structure stronger). For this exercise, a set of Legos or other similar construction toy would also do the trick.
Here’s what you do:
- Geomag is considered a mathematical toy so forget the rules and with no plan, just start putting pieces together, and let the structure/object sort of grow organically. (This could take minutes or hours, depending on factors like, is the cat “helping” or the intensity of this episode of Breaking Bad.)
- At some point, the pieces run out, which is the right time to stop and examine the thing you made from all angles.
- Voila! Something to draw…
- Try sketching the object, and in doing so, you might notice interesting shadows or that it resembles an alien, a lady’s hat… or a cool jazz dog with a mohawk.
2. Eat your way thru Borough Market
On the verge of a creative burst, you’re probably hungry by now. The second way to unblock stuck imagination is to go on a treasure hunt in a food haven, such as Borough Market in London. Getting out of the house is a great way to free your creative spirit by letting your subconscious wrangle the sticky problem while you are focussed on something delicious. Many of the vendors will give you free samples to try so your challenge at the Market is to explore scents, sounds and of course, tasty new eats and drinks.
As always, take your sketchbook because you never know when inspiration will strike.
More links and information
- Artist’s block? Try idea generator no: 1, automatic drawing – kelise72.com
- Geomag – Sweden’s mathematical building toys – Reassuringly, they come in pink for girls, too.
- Legos from Denmark – (“Lego” is Danish for “play well”). Not just plastic bricks, it’s a whole empire of toys, games, amusement parks and movies.
- Borough Market – London’s daily foodie festival
I like the idea of something physical, tangible but does it always have to be building or construction? For example… I get my best ideas in the shower… no idea why. I’m just wondering if it’s something to do with relaxing or getting your brain to think differently for a short period of time to “reset” your creative clock?
I too get good ideas when I’m not focused on the problem… which means I also have “breakthroughs” sometimes when I’m running, doing dishes, doing laundry or riding my bike. I think that’s why in this post, I suggest building something which is just one of many ways a person can focus ELSEWHERE besides the problem at hand, and by doing so, you are getting your brain to think about it from a different angle… absolutely to “reset” the creative clock!