Thursday, August 06, 2009

Are you looking for inspiration in the right places?

Collage by Lani using ideas from Leo and Richard (see below)

Here's Leo Babauta's "little but really useful guide to creativity" from Zen Habits. The thing he really gets is that no matter what our medium is, we are always looking for inspiration, things that will help us create more easily. Here are a few of the items on his list. For complete list, do visit his blog:
▪ Shut out the outside world.
▪ Reflect on your life and work daily.
▪ Look for inspiration all around you, in the smallest places.
▪ Don’t try for perfect. Just get it out there, asap, and get feedback.
▪ Teach and you’ll learn.
▪ Shake things up, see things in new ways.
▪ Apply things in other fields to your field, in ways not done before.
▪ Write all ideas down immediately.
▪ Turn your work into play.
▪ Play with kids.
▪ Read wildly different things. Especially stuff you disagree with.
▪ Don’t force it. Relax, play, it will start to flow.
▪ Do it when you’re excited.
▪ Don’t be afraid to be stupid and silly.
Want another idea for inspiration? Richard Wiseman has a new book, 59 Seconds filled with self help ideas that have had their validity tested. And here's one:

Japanese psychologists Seiji Shibata and Naoto Suzuki asked people to carry out various creativity exercises in carefully controlled office environments. Some of the offices contained a potted plant whilst others were devoid of any greenery. Time and again, the researchers discovered that the addition of the potted plant enhanced people’s creativity.

Other work has produced similar conclusions with, for example, an eight-month study of creativity in the workplace conducted by Robert Ulrich from Texas A&M University showing that adding flowers and plants to an office resulted in a 15% increase in ideas... and more flexible solutions to problems...

Why should a little nature have these effects? According to some evolutionary psychologists, seeing greenery might initiate an ancient feeling of calm... Such pleasant feelings then make people more helpful, happy and creative.

59 Seconds tip: Boost your creativity by adding some potted plants to your surroundings.

Now here's an idea, combine Leo's ideas with Richard Wiseman's idea about about boosting creativity and you'll be a very happy artist indeed! I'll be playing more and adding more plants in all my creative spaces!!

If you'd like to try this combination of ideas and blog about it, come on over to 14 Secrets, list your blog there, and we'll come visit you.


Sarah Lulu said...

What a lovely inspiring post!

Bea said...

Absolutely SPOT ON. Thoroughly enjoying seeing these thoughts again. Thanks for sharing them with us. :)Bea

Erika C. said...

Thanks, Lani for these great ideas and links. I miss the resilience group already!