3 Ways You Can Unlock Your Inventive Mind

Sep 5
Interviews

Imagine this: You have to develop 5 unique concepts for your next marketing campaign. The deadline is in 5 hours. Should you sit at your desk with a stern look on your face, trying to power through this mammoth task? 

Hell no. 

Creative tasks require creative thinking patterns. You could come up with 5 concepts in 5 hours while sitting at your desk. But will they be any good? I doubt it.

Today I wanted to share 3 strategies I gathered over the years working and learning in the creative industries. These tips helped me invigorate ideas that seemed bleak on numerous occasions. 

1. Advanced mind mapping 

We are never alone in the creative process, and we always need someone to help us get out of a creative bind. I’ve met some crazy people and learned a lot of tricks from them for unlocking the creative part of the brain.

I collected the first strategy – advanced mind mapping – from my colleague Monika with whom I worked in an advertising agency.

It can help you get to the bottom of any concept, no matter how stuck you are.

At first, you’ll need to identify the key selling point you want to highlight in your marketing campaign, such as “50% OFF all chairs.”

Instead of choosing the most “logical” concept for it, ask yourself, “What does that mean to me?” as many times as it takes to create several coherent concepts. For instance, you can think that you get 2 chairs for the price of one. Someone can sit on those two chairs – who would these people be? 

Do it as many times as possible – and then twice more.

Then, review the list to see which concepts make the most sense for achieving your original goal. The best idea may be at the very top of the list.

Once you are happy with the image meanings created, define how you can refine the first concept to make sure it’s eye-catching but also keeps the essence of the original message.

Care to try it? Here’s an example you can use:

Tauras Celedinas Mind Mapping Exercise Kilo Health and Kilo Grupe. 3 Ways You Can Unlock Your Inventive Mind
Tauras Celedinas explains how to put Mind Mapping Exercise into practice. Kilo Health and Kilo Grupe employee. 3 Ways You Can Unlock Your Inventive Mind

2. The power of water

You surely have noticed that the best ideas emerge once you immerse your head under water. It might be a swim in the lake at night or a hot shower in the morning – no matter the source, there is something truly magical about how water gets those cogs turning. 

Unfortunately, you cannot always take a shower to refresh your creative mind. But don’t worry! Any type of water will do.

Once, we had a tight deadline at the creative agency I was working in. I also had literally zero decent thoughts in my mind. My colleague Laurynas said: “Screw this, let’s go to the river.” And so we did.

There was a park nearby with a river running through it. We sat there for an hour, just watching the water and letting it wash away all our bad ideas, leaving us with empty heads. Suffice it to say, we managed to work out several solid concepts before the deadline.

Why does it work?

I believe the white noise that accompanies a flowing river helps you calm down. On this clean slate, new ideas also start to emerge.

On a larger scale, this strategy works if you change the location. It’s impossible to get a creative idea if you always sit at the same desk with the same people. Your environment has to change. Even the lights, smells, and colors that surround you can encourage you to make new creative connections.

Architects have a saying: It’s all about location, location, and location

The same flat in New York will be worth way more than the perfect replica in Vilnius. 

Change the environment, and you will change your mind. 

Tauras Celedinas an employee of Kilo Health and Kilo Grupe gives 10 examples how to help yourself to create new ideas. 3 Ways You Can Unlock Your Inventive Mind

3. Make a mashup

It may appear that all creative people do is go to art galleries, watch movies, and generally laze around.

Well, I am not going to tell you what’s wrong.

Creativity requires both space and references. Once again, you cannot get those if you sit at your desk or stare at the wall. You need to experience all the world has to offer.

If I see anything – and I mean literally anything – that looks interesting to me, I save it. It can be an artwork, a song, or a quote. If I get any random exciting idea, I write it down in my black notebook. Once I have an issue to solve – I open up my archives of visual references and try to see if anything would be a good solution. 

Another way is once you have an issue to solve, create a mood board. At first, don’t try to limit yourself – simply add images that feel connected to your task, songs that feel like a match, and quotes that fit. 

Once you have plenty of materials, try to see what all of these materials have in common. Are there a lot of black and white portraits? Dudes with mustaches? Women with power suits? Is the mood melancholic, or is it all about energy and fun?

Find the unifying factor, and you are golden. Out of all the images you collected, pick 10, and look for even more correlations. 

I genuinely believe in hybrids. I don’t think we are unique – we might look original on the outside, but our thoughts are all a mashup.

Our goal is to make unexpected connections out of the things already out there.

What is your favorite creativity technique?

Would you like to put these tips into practice? Join Kilo Health creatives, and don’t spend another day trying to overcome a creative block.

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