February 04, 2008


Music | Afro Blue by John Coltrane

Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua suggests 10 things to do to get your creative motion moving.

* Go to an art museum. Exposing yourself to other art made by other people can inspire your little grey cells.

* Watch a movie. No, a slasher film won’t cut it but it doesn’t have to be some obtuse art film either. For example, the new boxed-set for Blade Runner has long sections talking about lighting and even if you only watch the movie, you’ll get visually inspired. Or how about anything by David Lean…

* Draw. Even if you draw like a 5-year old on a Tilt-a-Whirl it’s great for the creative synapses. You could play a game like “Add aline” where one person doodles something then the next person adds onto that then another person adds on to that (or the first personagain), etc.

* Write. Journaling is great for the creative brain. Anyone read The Artist’s Way? Even if you don’t go for her techniques, the idea of writing–hand writing–makes your brain fire differently and that caneasily contribute to fresh creative thinking.

* Shoot something new every day for a month. This can be done with acell phone camera or whatever you want. Just shoot. Don’t think.Don’t put up all sorts of rules about how or where to shoot, just shoot. You may just capture something that you’ll want to explore further in your “real” work.

* Read a novel. This is surprisingly helpful. I can almost always tell who reads a lot and who doesn’t just by looking at a body ofwork. If you have a reading disorder (and many creatives are dyslexic) then listen to audio books. Non-fiction is good too but usually people sacrifice reading for pleasure (novels) and need to re-find that creative medium.

* Learn a new instrument. Many photographers are also musicians of some sort and while playing your chosen instrument is also good, learning a new one challenges your brain a bit more and that helps create new connections.

* Take a class. Not a photo class (though, again, that is also good) but something different like cooking or poetry or dancing. Like the last suggestion, this creates new neural connections and that keep your brain “fresher” (thus making zombies everywhere rejoice).

* Get exercise. This one is especially true if you have ADD/ADHD.Exercise helps improve blood flow to your brain and rhythmic exercise (jogging, swimming laps, even cycling) works much like meditation to help focus your thoughts.

* Get some nookie. I know, it sounds cheesy to mention sex but having sex can inspire your creative brain. Think about Picasso–that man was notorious for it and he made great work. There really is a connection there, and it works for women artists too.

I'm on it!

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