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Do you still “got it”, baby? Creativity, that is.

By Amanda Ponzar

Have you settled for the same old way of doing the same old thing or are you blazing new trails?Creative Whack Pack

Here are a few tips for kick-starting your creativity:

  • Force yourself to work with nothing. Necessity truly is the mother of invention. When my budget got whacked a few years ago, I buckled down and found new ways to get the job done: targeted media pitching, social media promotion and special advertising sections –- earning better results than when I had a budget and PR firm because I had to be more creative and try harder.
  • Get alone with me, myself and I. Speaking of whacking, I won’t share ALL my secrets, but one way I tapped into the muse back in my ad agency days was locking myself in a room and using Roger von Oech’s Creative Whack Pack. It’s a deck of cards with outlandish ideas on each one –- if your problem were a vegetable, what would it be?
  • Take a break. Visit a museum, watch a movie, hit Starbucks with a friend (the caffeine jolt should help too), take a walk. Let your mind wander.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Tired, cranky people don't think well.
  • Find a creative outlet. Writing this Lip-sticking blog has been that for me. I used to write poetry and paint. Maybe you play an instrument, garden, cook or listen to loud music in your car.
  • Innovate like a kindergartner using crayons, play-dough and plenty of space.
  • Let your feelings run away with you. Apparently, feeling sad makes us more creative. This is true when it comes to poetic inspiration, but not sure about everything else.
  • Brainstorm as a group. Or not. According to Newsweek, people develop better ideas alone, especially when asked, “Do something only you would come up with -- that none of your friends or family would think of.”
  • Keep abreast of trends. Read newsletters, books, magazines, blogs. Take a class or get a new degree. Watch what's trending on Twitter or tops on LinkedIn.
  • Learn from other creative people, and copy the good stuff!

So today, start strutting your creative stuff -- you may be surprised at what you can do.


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Elliott Krejci

I employ all those techniques except for the whack cards. I will have to pick up a copy. For us spiritual folks prayer always helps especially when it's down to the wire. Having something to write on available at all times is helpful. Just recently I had a idea that hit me right before bed. I wrote it down and implemented it the next day in my concept and ended up being chosen by the client. I definitely like to look to other creatives for inspiration. I don't so much as "steal" the design, but mimic the "feeling" (i.e. sophisticated, rugged, light, airy, etc.) that I get and use similar techniques to achieve what I am going for.

Roger Schein

All great ideas, Amanda. Something that's always worked for me is getting out of my comfort zone. A few years ago I needed to get away and decided to hang out in L.A. for a week, which jolted me out of my East Coast mindset. Exposure to a different culture or lifestyle, here or abroad, always inspires me to look at things in new ways.

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