1. the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
As artists, we are expected to be a tank full of ideas. We are expected to breathe life into characters, transforming our mannerisms and behavior, requiring authentic creativity constantly. But what happens when our engines run out of gas, and our creativity dips into a blackhole where ideas are obsolete or lackluster at best?
What to do in these moments of blankness are often hard to figure out, but inspiration is constantly around you. Creativity is like any other muscle – it needs to be used and exercised to be improved.
People-Watch. Humans have the remarkable ability to notice the slightest adjustments in human behavior. From observing tone of voice to changes in body language, people-watching increases our capacity to perceive behavioral nuances in others. Curiosity of the outside world cultivates creativity by opening our lenses to view life through the eyes of another.
Animal Style. Not only can we learn from the primal and uninhibited nature of animals, we can mimic their behavior to influence our own actions and movements. Take an animal of your choosing, and allow it’s essence to stimulate a transformation of your own behaviors and mannerisms. How does this animal move? Attack? Eat? Socialize? Observe the shifts in your body and how you can use this influence to inform a character idea.
Create a World of Music. Music is a universal language. It is the one thing that every human being can feel and respond to rhythmically, across cultures. Aside from creating connections with others, listening to music you enjoy triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin, responsible for happiness and focus. Further, music can facilitate emotional recall to elicit specific feelings or moods.
Take A Time Out. By forcing ourselves to be innovative, we often exhaust our creative flow. Rather than pushing yourself into overdrive, take time to rest or meditate. Clearing the mind of pressure and overthinking can grant the space that’s needed for creation. A relaxed mood is a precursor to light bulb moments of creative insight, so separate yourself from the task at hand to gain mental clarity.
Disrupt Your Schedule. Routine tasks often hinder creativity by restricting us to our comfort zones, limiting the mind from building new neural pathways or coming up with alternative solutions. Keep your mind active by taking new routes, involving yourself in uncommon activities, or simply switching up some regimens.
Keep a Dream Journal. The most abstract and bizarre images and ideas are born from our subconscious. Apart from what can be done with psychoanalytical interpretation of dreams, simply keeping a dream journal can supply you with a log of visions and ideas. The beauty of dreams lies in their authenticity; no matter how nonsensical they may seem, they are rich sensory experiences that can be used for inspiration.
Practice Self Love. Self awareness and appreciation is key in allowing your creativity to run free. Humans are often socialized to be just like everyone else, creating a damper on authenticity by hindering safe spaces and the opportunity for ideas to blossom. By practicing self love, we can break free from restrictive in-group influences to increase confidence.
Break A Sweat. Among the health benefits of exercise, research shows that cardiovascular activity aids in the creative process by increasing cognitive function, and the ability to think abstractly. A research study conducted by Stanford University showed that simply walking rather than sitting bolstered divergent thinking, which is the ability to generate a multitude of solutions for a single problem.
Color Theory. Colors have great influence on an individual’s emotional state, which is why you can often set a mood with lighting changes, for instance. Harness the power of color to spark creativity by understanding which hues activate which feelings. For example, blues and greens have a calming effect, while fiery colors such as red stimulate brain activity and evoke passion. Surround yourself with what you need to feel more free, whether it’s the tranquility of blue or the fervor of red to incite inventiveness.
Get Lost in a Story. Creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised, and reading develops mental acuity by allowing you to fantasize and develop your imagination. Similar to daydreaming, the brain does not differentiate between what you feel while reading a story and living the story in reality. Therefore, allowing your mind to float into the author’s world grants you the opportunity to delve into abstract human experiences.