In an age when clients finding inspiration usually means that they fall down the Pinterest rabbit hole and pull out images of events that have already happened, it can be challenging to generate new thoughts for original work.
Creativity is a dynamic pursuit, but I’ve found over time that exercising that part of my brain through everyday activities breeds even more creativity. What kind of exercises will make you a creative genius, you might ask? Here are some that I use when I need to spark new thoughts and ideas:
1. Take a long walk.
A change of environment is a powerful way to energize your mind and feed it new sensations. Don’t just power walk through your journey. Stop and notice your surroundings along the way. Revel in the details. See a leaf in a shade that you love? Examine its pattern and texture, and even its smell. Note how a certain kind of paint on a park bench sets off anything that might be near it. If you let your mind soak in what is around you, the design for your next event may just jump out and find you.
2. Carry a notebook.
Since you’ll be engaging in sensory experiences that you’ll want to remember, carry a notebook or sketchpad with you to write things down, draw pictures, or even attach cuttings or scraps. If it is second nature for you to capture ideas in your phone, you could record notes, images and sounds digitally.
3. Play with word association.
In your notebook, begin with a word like “spring” and then write every word that comes to mind under it. Your list might include things like “fresh”, “silent”, “crisp”, “flowers”, “rebirth”, “grass”, “meadows”, “butterflies”, “wings”, “translucence”, and so on. Don’t stop yourself from writing something down because you don’t think it fits. Word association is a form of brainstorming; there are no bad ideas!
4. Use your peripheral vision.
It’s normal to go through life not noticing what is on the edge of your visual field, but as a creative exercise, pay attention to what you see out of the corner of your eyes. Those things that are compelling enough to call to you will do the same for guests at your events.
5. Capture images.
Take photos of what you see during your creative journeys. Your phone is the perfect tool, so easily accessible and with the added benefit of access to apps that let you store and share what you find. Photos will help you remember what you saw during your walk, and perhaps allow you to see something new when you go back and review that you didn’t notice before.
6. Force your mind open.
You can’t look at the world the same way you always do and expect brilliant inspiration to simply manifest and capture your imagination.
Look at everything from as different a perspective as you can and notice things you normally ignore. Look for textures in architecture and art in places you’d never consider artistic. You’ll be amazed when you do this regularly how you become a magnet to inspiration, enriching your design capabilities tremendously.
I think it’s time for a walk, don’t you?
Kylie Carlson is the CEO of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.