There is a tendency to place creativity on a pedestal as a characteristic of thinking that is unique and found in a small portion of the population. This is not how I see creativity at all. There are so many strategies that prod us into creative thinking. These techniques/ strategies can be learned and applied to all kinds of situations to encourage original thoughts and divergent thinking. In art, techniques for creating new ideas are important. In Evolving ideas I've combined several techniques to illustrate how easy it is to move beyond your "everyday thinking".
Several other simple techniques include:
Randomness (making creative leaps)
Randomness or aleatory, a lateral thinking tool, is the introduction of chance elements into your thought processes. It is very useful when you need fresh ideas or new perspectives. The controlling aspects of your mind are removed and you are left to respond to an idea that is randomly generated. In a previous post I wrote about a compositional technique used by Robert Kushner who stood on a chair and dropped pieces of paper to mark where the flowers would be in his large screen paintings. This is an excellent example of using randomness. When generating themes or ideas for paintings, you can choose a folder in your phot0 collection and decide to do something with the -- th photo or you could open a dictionary and put your finger on a word. I have a friend who when she feels stuck in her art she closes her eyes and chooses 3 colours and creates a painting using them.
The pause, either short or long, is a great solution when ideas are fading or you need to change direction. Sometimes we are afraid to take a break because we fear being stuck permanently. Nature abhors a vacuum and when faced with silence , your mind will desperately think of things to fill it.
SCAMPER (a combination of actions)
This is one of my all time favourites for discovering new ideas that will get you out of a rut. SCAMPER is an acronym for a list of words that can be applied to make you think differently about an issue, problem or concept.
Substitute - What can you substitute? What can be used instead? What other ingredients, materials or processes? e.g., Instead of .... I can .....
Combine - What can be put together in a different way than usual? Can you combine two disparate ideas? Different materials, actions, or purposes?
Adapt- Do you have something you can adapt for use as a solution? What can you use insted of something you don't have? What else is like what you need? What can you copy from the past? Is there someone you could emulate?
Modify - Can you change a work in some way? Think magnify - Can something be added, used more frequently, made stronger, thicker, etc. Can you exaggerate? Think" minify"- what can be removed, made smaller, condensed, omitted, split up, understated etc.
Put to other uses- Are their materials you can use in a work that are not fine art materials? Do you have other works that can be combined with present work? Can an old painting be modified and reused?
Eliminate - Are there aspects of a work you can eliminate? Are you trying to say too much with details? What can you eliminate?
Rearrange- Can you rearrange elements or colours? Can you interchange materials or patterns? Would a difference sequence of working change things? Think about other layouts/compositions you never use. Try working faster or slower than usual.
An attempt from early in my career to combine my poetry and art - not something I usually did or have done since.