How To Be Creative

How To Be Creative

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Creative Juices

Do you ever get asked ‘Where did you get that idea from?’ in any of your projects or pieces of work and you couldn’t answer the question? Well, I have actually come across that a few times and it made me think to myself, where do I get my creativity? How do I get my creative juices flowing? How do I boost my creativity?

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I made a short list of where I usually got my ideas from and came down to two things I always did to get my creative juices flowing, that being mindmapping and finding inspiration. I then compared my ways to other creative individuals on the net but we will get to that in a bit.


So what? Everyone has heard of mindmapping but are you doing it in the best possible way – the way that suits you best? The key to perfecting mind-mapping is creating your own personal style.

  • Do you use keywords? Images? Both?
  • Do you use a variety of colours?
  • Do you use a hierarchy system? A number system? Outlines? Circles?
  • Do you use random words for inspiration or do you relate words? Both?
  • Are all lines & thoughts connected? Or do you loiter off into new mind maps?

You must find the best method that suits you, as the key to getting great ideas and getting your creative juices flowing is by perfecting your own personal style, as not everyone has the same way of doing things.

Finding Inspiration

If you are really stuck for ideas (even after mindmapping), I have always found that by getting an idea of what other people have done and what has succeeded (or failed) is a great way to get your feet off the ground again.

Try looking in books, magazines, newspapers, on then internet, journals, and any where else you can think of! Check this post on where to find design inspiration.

Although mindmapping and inspiration are two great ways of getting creative, there are many other ways to help you out. For example, a creative blog by the name of Think Simple Now outlines in an article how to get to your inner creativity. See below.

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Other Creative Methods

Have you ever tried practicing any of the methods below? Give it a try, you’ll be surprised.

  • Get Relaxed – Take a moment to do something that makes you happy; that brings you joy; that you love; that centers you. Meditate, take a walk, go for a swim, read something that puts you in a good mood, write a diary – writing down your thoughts.
  • Give Gratitude – Thinking about all things you are grateful for produces a positive energy flow and vibration. As you feel the love in your heart for all the wonderful blessings and gifts in your life, you will instantly relax and feel all warm-and-fuzzy inside. In that moment of warmth and love, you are open to creative energy.
  • Tickle Your Imagination – Imagination is highly visual. Try closing your eyes, and imagine that you are in a scene, any scene. Okay – pick your ideal scene, practice seeing the details of your environment in this scene. See the colours, the textures, touch something. What does it feel like? What do you hear? What do you smell? What is the temperature like? Etc. This makes you more relaxed and gives you gratitude also.
  • Be In the Moment – Every outstanding musician or artist will tell you that when they are creating great music or art, there are no thoughts, they are completely in the moment, and experiencing flow. Athletes call this ‘being in the zone‘. You can practice present moment awareness by giving full attention to whatever you are doing: eating, washing dishes, making your bed, etc. Meditation helps tremendously. The book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle is also highly recommended.
  • Be Inspired – Practice seeing beautiful things that moves you emotionally. Flip through a book containing thought provoking images, go to an art gallery, read something inspirational, talk to someone who calms you.
  • Draw – This may sounds funny, but one of the effective ways to practice getting in touch with your creative side is to start drawing. Drawing forces you to see things differently.
  • See Alternatives – Be curious. Practice asking yourself how to do something differently. When seeing the solution to a problem, ask yourself, “What are some alternative ways to doing this?“. Develop the mental attitude that “there is always another way” even when alternatives seem ‘impossible’.
  • Be Open – Never shut down any idea that comes your way, do not make judgments about it. Appreciate any idea that comes to you, even ones that seem “stupid” or “obvious”. This way, you encourage more creative ideas to surface from your being.
  • Think on Paper – With a bunch of loose paper, start jotting ideas down. Write everything down that comes to your head: random words, phrases, ideas, thoughts: sometimes you might want to circle things and draw lines to connect ideas. When an inspiration hits, follow it. If you suddenly have a different idea, jot it down somewhere on the page or in a new page.

What other methods do you use to be creative?

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52 thoughts on “How To Be Creative”

  1. Thanks for mentioning our post. Much appreciated. 🙂

    Love & Gratitude,
    Think Simple Now. ~ Clarity & Happiness

  2. I don’t usually use Mindmapping, but I did to come up with the title for my blog. I created a spider diagram, associating words and concepts and trying to find more accurate words to describe things.

    On finding inspiration: I always had a professor in school tell us “Don’t reinvent the wheel.” In other words, exactly what you said — do research and see what’s worked for other people.

    One more to add: sometimes you just have to walk away. Truly give up on a project and somehow the ideas just start coming so fast you can’t even write them all down. Somehow, going to be early helps too (I never fall asleep right away and end up staying up even later than usual because I’ve started thinking so much! I guess that goes along with the relaxing part you mentioned). Writing down thoughts is very helpful, too.

    Good list!!

  3. @LaurenMarie

    Same with me, I originally was just going to name it jacobcass (my name) then i went on a tangent of using my initials J & C, ie. JaySeeDesign, but then after a while I stuck with justcreativedesign (and it still uses my initials J & C) not that any one else would notice but still 🙂 for me.

    I always write down ideas as well, helps alot. I also do that idea thing in bed, but not on purpose, its just im always working just before I go to bed and that happens.

  4. 😕 I used to call this kind of associative thinking “HTML thought”. As only in the web, you can wander off in any direction, by clicking on links.. 🙂 Now I have a good term to use (mindmaps)! Thanks!

  5. On my ways, it often happens when I’m in bed ready to sleep after working some images in Photoshop or Illustrator, ideas just pop out, that is when my eyes are already closed. And I get really inspired by the great works of artists in deviantArt, comments and appreciation on my works adds too.

    Thanks for this article Jacob it helps a lot.

  6. Chris, that is exactly what I was gonna write! The exact same thing has been happening to me lately. It is the moment of complete relaxation and as you go over things you did that day images and ideas just pop up…fully in color and shapes for me. Its quite amazing and I advise anyone to try this.

  7. The Stages of Creativity.

    1. Preparation (reading a book, looking at other work, anaylizing)
    2. Incubation (like a bird sits on the egg)
    3. Sudden Insight (The flash of creativity

  8. 1.I keep my mind relax.
    2.Then i’ll visualize the core concept and think it without any bound or rules no matter how crap the idea might be 😛 .
    3. Then i’ll slidly try to modify it.
    4. After that, i jump to related different concept.
    5.Then, i’ll merge those two ideas and bring ’em into new and unique one!


  9. Thanks jacob,

    I really appreciate sharing these valuable things in this field. Really thanks for sharing. Looking forward for some interesting stuff…

  10. This very helpful. I’m a journalism student and am considering going to a portfolio school after college. I love creating advertisements with eye-catching images and witty copy. I worry, however, that when surrounded by amazingly creative people, I will become very intimidated and won’t produce my best work. I need to find confidence and I think this will help me to relax, stop comparing myself to others, and just let the ideas flow more freely. Thank you!

  11. Mind-mapping, finding inspiration and other creative methods. A perfect blend of motivational creativity! 🙂

  12. Hi, Jacob. I was just browsing around different websites that have to do with Digital Media and I think it’s the best. You give alot of great advice and ideas and I love all of your articles. I like a website that is easy to navigate around and doesn’t take alot of time to find what you need. Great job with all of your accomplishments, and I hope there will be more to come for you. I am in my senior year of high school and I’m attending a technical school near me and I have chosen Digital Media. I think this class is a challenge and it takes alot of work, but I really enjoy it, especially when I make posters and get to edit the photots to make them more unique.

  13. Listening to music gives you quite a lot of options, I might sometimes think of a single letter in a word that I might design for example design your own A, I just came up with an idea to combine a big A and small a and it makes a great shape and design to look at.

    Looking at your old designs and deviations and using some techniques is not a bad idea either.
    Thank you for the great post, I loved it!
    Definitely, leaving your work and having a cup of tea to relax is a good idea to not get stuck on the same thing and look at things differently. When I am sketching I am trying to use a free flow of line to see if I naturally end up drawing something original that has not been done before.

  14. As a retired architect I’ve found that I lost my creative side to years of administrative activities in the profession. I’ve lost touch with the world of art. How can I participate and resurrect my creative side in artistic projects.

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