How to Come Up With Creative Ideas
December 18, 2013
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When you enroll in design school, you'll need to become a creative machine. Coming up with fresh, new ideas regularly is a challenge, but if you follow these tips, you'll have a steady stream of creative ideas.
Make a list of the related topics or elements of your design project. To get the most of this strategy, make two lists. One list should be dedicated to the topic, and the other should have unrelated ideas. For example, if your theme is flowers, list one could contain all the types of flowers you can name. List two could contain unrelated topic such as shapes. Relate the two lists to each other to inspire new creative ideas. So, if you were to relate a rose from list one to an octagon from list two, your new design idea might be an octagon-shaped flower.
Create a Mind Map
Mind mapping is an efficient method for quickly jotting down ideas and free associate. Begin with a central idea and then quickly write down any other related ideas that come to mind. Keep similar ideas together by using the traditional mind map format — the tree — to help you see the relationships between the ideas.
Although it may seem juvenile, cutting out images that inspire you from magazines and pasting them onto a board is a quick method to jump-start your creativity. Inspiration boards not only help you define your target market, but they allow you to visually see common elements. Why is this strategy helpful? It quickly eliminates ideas that don't fit, since you can clearly see the concepts that work together and those that don't. Use sticky notes to bookmark the elements on your board that inspire you. Write down why you like them.
Get a Hobby
Find a non-design related hobby. When you have a creative block, stepping away from the problem for a while can help inspire creativity. Something relatively minor such as washing dishes or baking cupcakes can suddenly inspire an idea. If you don't have a hobby, just do other things that let your mind wander away from the problem: run an errand, wash the car, vacuum, take a shower. Step away from the problem for a little while, and you'll suddenly have an idea.
Let Your Mind Run Free
When you're using any of these strategies, don't edit. Leave that for later. Editing too soon will eliminate potential good ideas that just need further development. Let the your thoughts flow, even if they seem illogical or stupid, and you'll never be short on ideas.
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