Maybe it's different now but when I set out into the world of creative things I was singularly ill-equipped. Ignorant of techniques, I thought it was all about in-built, natural talent. No one talked about techniques for creative thinking. I'd like to think it's different now. Over time, I stumbled across strategies and I learned, by trial and error, how to approach a problem. Bit by bit, I collected techniques – "I wish I'd known that years ago" techniques. I have them all written down in a little black book that I carry everywhere I go.
Ideas are the single most valuable commodity in the design world so why rely on what you were born with. Why think that's all there is – especially when there's so much more. And if you don't think you're that creative, what then? Maybe, just maybe, you simply haven't worked out how to be really creative yet.
What you need is some technique. You need to get meta. You need to think about thinking.
John Ingledew's new book, How to have great ideas, brings together many strategies to unblock your creative pipework; to release your shackled genius…
Commit time to your creativity. Invest in it. The least you can do is read a book or two. Ingledew suggests much more: question, act, hoard, leap, fix, get outside and explore…my personal favourite: Go to the factory. Always, go to the factory. Then sleep, daydream, take a chance; swap, combine. Fail.
Crucially, on page 176, he says, "Understand your process", that's what it's all about really – find what works for you; equip yourself, "To have ideas quickly and repeatedly it's vital to understand which conditions make you personally most creatively productive". Ingledew quotes Tchaikovsky, "If we wait for the mood, without endeavouring to meet it halfway, we easily become indolent and apathetic".
How to have great ideas: A guide to creative thinking
was published this month by Laurence King.