27 Ways to Stay Creative

There are certainly times during our university lives and our professional careers when creativity just seems to elude you. And it is usually when you need it the most. Stress of deadlines often doesn’t help, and the harder you find it to get ideas, the more difficult it is to remain calm and creative.

Don’t forget, the creative process is just that. A process. It takes time to develop and build on ideas and see them grow into a finished piece you are proud of. Sparks of creativity can come to you at strange times, it is rare that you are struck with the perfect solution the moment you sit down to start a project.

We all have different triggers that inspire us into creativity, so I have put together a list of some ways to spark yourself back into your creative process. Give them a try when you are struggling for ideas and finding it hard to get your design motivated.

1. Exercise

Sometimes stepping away from the studio/your desk is just what you need to see things from a different perspective. I can’t tell you how many times I have had great ideas while running on the treadmill, for some reason it allows me to focus, and gives me the clarity to come up with a different sense of creativity.

2. Keep a notebook with you at all times

Although the days of carrying a pen and paper with you are all but over, thanks to the smart phone, sometime a scribble and a doodle with a pen and paper is just what you need. Try reaching for your pad and pen next time you go to waste a bit of time or play a game on your smart phone.

3. Listen to new music

Try discovering a new genre of music – new music is know to have the power to touch areas in our brain that produces chemical changes resulting in increased creative abilities.

4. Go to a gallery

Whether its a gallery or your favourite building, giving your brain the chance to soak up other peoples creative works, will give you new ideas and perspectives.

5. Explore

Just explore the world around you, don’t limit yourself to the places and people you know.

6. Go to the library

Go to the library with no agenda but to browse the architectural section, grab random books and flip through the pages. Venture into other creative fields – art, fashion, graphics, sometimes inspiration and creativity will come from areas disconnected from your own world. This is a good thing.

7. Do something completely different

Sometimes we get so caught up with the project in hand, it is difficult for us to stand back and take a view. Therefore, pull yourself away from the desk, and do something completely different. Get into the countryside, play an instrument, go to a gig, try a new restaurant – give your brain something new to discover.

8. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes

You’ve heard it all before, but mistakes lead to new discoveries. So don’t be afraid to experiment and try things, even if the people around you are sceptical. You never know where it may lead you.

9. Be someone else

This is something that you should do for every project as an aspiring architect. Be someone else. Be the person that is going to use your building/design. Ask yourself what that person would want to see, do – what would excite them, how would the design work for them. View your design questions as the end user, and you may come up with some interesting and effective ideas.

10. Watch inspirational movies

That’s right, I’m talking Ted talks. If you are ever stuck for inspiration head over to TED talks and you will surely find a movie that will inspire you and make you see things from a new perspective. This will help to get your creativity flowing.

And a few other things:

11. Sketch more

12. Create inspiration boards… Pinterest!!!

13. Break your routine

14. Start a new hobby (if you have time!)

15. Visit exhibitions

16. Socialise with your friends

17. Take a risk

18. Question things

19. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else

20. Make lists

21. Get away from your computer

22. Rest

23. Rearrange your workspace

24. Be open to suggestions

25. Drink coffee

26. Travel

27. Get out and about more

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