How to Brainstorm Creatively
First of all, I just want to remind y'all how amazing and wonderful and valued you are, and how thankful I am for you! I've gotten over a thousand hits on this blog in the past WEEK, and that's without even posting anything! Y'all are quiet but mighty and I appreciate your patience and endless support of this tiny, humble blog!
This past week has been one of restful vacation at the gorgeous, newly-renovated La Cantera in San Antonio! (This isn't sponsored or anything, I just love the resort. Check it out if you're looking to plan a trip soon.) However, it also turned into an unexpectedly productive one as I've gotten a few new clients to work with! I think I've mentioned this before, but I do event planning (weddings mostly) and a new client means a new set of creative needs to address over the coming months! While there is a general formula to planning an event, each one should be unique and special, and that means some serious brainstorming to come up with new, exciting ideas!
I think the blogging community in general (including readers) is made up of extremely creative people, so today I wanted to share some of my personal brainstorming tips and tricks for all of y'all whose creativity extends into your careers.
First, I like to make a list of all the basic, non-creative details that affect the project. If you're planning an event, for instance, you need to figure out the guest count, date and time, and goals for the event. If you're starting an artwork like a painting or a book, you need to decide on your target audience and the scope of the work. Once the boring stuff is done, you can start having fun!
Second, look at the things that are inspiring you. Is it a song? Listen to it again. Is it a Pin on Pinterest? Save it into a file. Creating a mood board - on Pinterest, in a scrapbook, whatever - can help you get all the things that are inspiring you into one place where you can reference it when you're working or if you feel stuck. Fashion designers often collect sketches, fabric swatches, and stripes of colors that they want to use in their new collections. I did a social event recently for a client who wanted "sleek and chic," so I spent hours collecting photos of modern architecture to inspire the lounge decor.
It's important to remember that not every inspiration has to relate directly to what your project is! If you're writing a book, you don't have to just use written words to inspire you. If you're painting a flower but a photo of a bird gets your creative mind moving, save the photo! Figure out what it is about it that inspires you. Is it the color? The composition? The feeling it gives you? Even if it's seemingly totally unrelated, keep it if it helps your creativity.
Another thing I like to do is create a list of words that capture the essence of the project. Try to avoid words like "good" or "happy" or "dark"; instead, really think about the meaning of your project, both for you and for the audience you're seeking. Creating this list and referring back to it can really help you stay focused and moving toward your goal. It can be easy to get off track so every little bit helps!
Get advice from others! Try to explain your vision to them and make sure that it makes sense to those around you. Sometimes I get lost in my own head when I'm planning and have a hard time explaining my vision to others, so it's really helpful to let others in on your thought process and ideas. They might even be able to help you develop your ideas! I totally understand the perfectionist fear of not wanting to share your half-baked plans, but keeping it all in your head without sharing it can really damage a potentially great thing. Don't be shy about it. Other people want to help and support you, just like y'all support me! :)
Overall, my biggest tip is to never let an idea die. If you get a tiny fragment of inspiration and it feels good to you but you don;t know where to go with it, hold onto it. Still make a mood board, still list your inspirational words, and write down every detail you can about it. Now might not be the right time for it to flourish, but if you hold onto it, the right time will come. Just be patient and don't leave ideas behind just because you don't know where to go with them at that moment!
I hope that helps all my fellow creatives! There's nothing better than being able to use your gift of creativity in your professional life, so take full advantage of it. If y'all have any other helpful ideas to keep your creativity flowing, please share them below! You can never have too many tips and tricks! :)