There is no secret sauce to creating compelling ideas. But maybe this article will inspire you to get there!
Some people get their best ideas when they are least paying attention: in the shower, on the toilet, during their commute to work. If you aren’t one of those people (me), there are some steps you can take in order to put yourself in the right creative mindset and drum up some rockstar ideas. But where the heck do you start? See an easily distracted, multitasking millennial’s take below:
To get the creative juices flowing, I need to be in the proper headspace. Personally, I want to feel like I have no responsibilities other than scrolling on Pinterest and wearing cute outfits to a coffee shop. To do this, I open up Spotify and crank one of my most-listened-to playlists: Jazz Vibes (https://spoti.fi/3d2yVZ6 – you’re welcome.) To accompany my tunes, I normally sip on a coffee or tea–in the morning, mind you, before the stress of the day’s projects take over. Voila, proper headspace achieved. I am now prepared to start working.
Like the great French writer and Novel Prize Winner (Literature), Andre Gide, once said, “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” This gives us the opportunity to look back on what has already been created to inspire our brainstorming phase. I normally start with sites like Behance and Envato Elements to get my inspiration file (a folder full of various screenshots/a Google Chrome window full of 50 tabs) started. If you find these websites lacking, you can look to Pinterest or even plain ol’ Google for inspo.
Once surfing said websites, look for things that jump out at you and catch your attention immediately. Why do you like it? Is it the color palette? The messaging? Does it relate to your task at hand? Save that link. And repeat! Most of the junk you save will serve as eye candy but a few of those links can spark a strong idea once you give it some thought. How do you do this? You look through that inspiration file and think: How can I relate the sentiment of this piece of art to what I need to create? Can I take que from the layout? Can I transform the copy into a story that makes sense for my project? It’s imperative that you let your imagination run wild here! There are no limits, and no idea is too wacky to bring to the table.
After the inspiration file has served its purpose and your ideas are flowing, it’s time to jot down some details. Open a blank Word document and start creating an organized list of short titles plus a sentence or two that easily relay each concept. Bonus points if you provide visuals (i.e., pieces of that fantastic inspiration file you spent time creating)!
Once your doc is complete, a great way to generate even more fabulous ideas is to SHARE. Share with your coworkers, share with a friend, share with your mom. In pitching your ideas, you get others thinking of the possibilities. Your ideas spark their ideas, and their ideas spark your ideas. It’s a never-ending cycle of opportunity when you share your thoughts with other interested parties.
If all goes well, this group brainstorm session will help to create a solid set of refined ideas. And it only took 3 steps to get there! If not, take a walk to clear your mind and it’s back to step 1. I think the most important piece of advice would be to have fun doing this. To let your mind roam free is a gift, you never know where it’ll take you. Happy thinking!