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Written By Luis Munoz

7 Ways to Boost Creativity

July 15, 2014 | creativity / design

A light sparks and a glimmer of an idea flashes before your eyes. It’s that burst of inspiration that you wanted. Creativity is its own unique creature—ephemeral, often appearing at its own time and, frustratingly, sometimes disappearing just when you need it most. But if creativity doesn’t come to you naturally or easily, you don’t have to idly wait for the moment to arrive. There’s more you can do to coax an inspired thought.

Whether you are a graphic designer, copywriter, technician, developer, student, or business professional, you can make use of creative thought. This Tech Tuesday, I reached out to my fellow Hitcents co-workers to see what strategies they use to get into a creative or imaginative mindset. The responses widely vary, but they underscore the importance of understanding what works best for you.

I hope these responses will inspire you to develop and pursue your creative impulses and take advantage of those moments when they do occur.

1. Find the ideal place to relax and remove distractions

“Believe it or not, my best ideas seem to come to me when I’m the shower. I think that I read somewhere that the warm water supposedly stimulates more blood flow, which means your brain is hit with more oxygen. However, I think it has more to do with having absolutely no distractions and the fact that I find the constant sound of running shower water very relaxing. I often find myself taking a hot shower whenever I need to rack my brain and I'm typically hit with a burst of creative motivation.”

Corey Fryia, Media Production Manager

2. Look for inspiration in the things you enjoy and practice your craft

“Personally, I watch a ton of cartoons like Adventure Time, Regular Show, Steven Universe, and Gravity Falls. After that, I read some of my favorite comics like Go Get a Roomie, Girls with Slingshots, Lumberjanes, and Chaos Life. Then draw, draw, draw!”

Annie Erskine, Lead Game Artist

3. When in a stump, observe and explore something new

“Inspiration is a flower that opens to some who cultivate it, and even to some who don't, but even the master gardener can have times where he or she just grows weeds. In this instance, go and just observe something that you don't normally observe outside of your static environment. Touch it, if you can, and take in what it is doing there--what its goals might be, and if it could move, how would it? Would it be carefree or obnoxious? You have opened up the flower of your imagination.”

Andrew Rush, Network & Home Automation Technician

4. Surround yourself with people who inspire you

“I am fortunate to have a lot of really fun and talented friends who inspire me, daily.  Musicians, photographers, painters, designers, eccentrics of all types… I like to throw myself in the middle of it all.  If you surround yourself with people who inspire you, something creative is bound to happen. Also, drinking a Bloody Mary and listening to old soul records on a Sunday morning!”

Jamie Resch, Communications Coordinator

5. Set aside time for creative thought

“For me, the number one way to boost creativity is to simply make time for it. It takes time to feed your mind inspiring input, let the subconscious work on it and make meaningful connections, sort through the ideas, and then flesh out the concepts that show the most promise. I love to break things, rearrange them, invert them, combine them, flip concepts on their head, and derail trends, etc... Destroy and then recreate. All of that takes time.”

Stuart Westphal, VP of Games and Interactive

6. Daydream and enjoy the ride

“As strange as it sounds, usually I have to do nothing to jumpstart my creativity. My best ideas and solutions come to me when I'm relaxing or not trying to think about anything. Something I see will inspire me or aggravate me and I start daydreaming… It's my most effective tool for collecting my ideas. Daydreaming is like building railroad tracks beneath a train in motion. You never know where the next railroad tie will come from or where it will lead you. You just have to enjoy the ride.”

Joe Tudor, Art Director

7. Exhaust all resources as a last resort

“When I need to get creative, I’ll rub my face for several minutes while making dad noises and slouching in a tub of lukewarm water. When I need to get creative, I just draw random lines on a sheet of paper and then try to turn them into stuff… with my brain! When I need to get creative, I can’t so I panic and then fail. When I need to get creative, I black out and wake up in unfamiliar places. When I need to get creative, I copy other things I’ve seen before.When I need to get creative, I just wait for it to happen and it always does because I am special.”

Matt Bitner, Game Developer 

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