ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Creativity Stuck? Try These Tools

Posted by Plish on December 29, 2009

Click to see full size

Click to See Full Size

 

Just like your physical muscles, if you flex and use your creative muscles you get more effective and efficient at coming up with ideas.  One way to do this is by doodling and sketching.  

How do you start?

You can always grab a blank sheet of paper, but the blankness often stares back at you mockingly and the result is more frustration which in turn inhibits creative thought.

The trick?

Use something as a catalyst to get the creative juices flowing.    

To that end I’ve put together a couple of templates for you so you can practice being creative. 

Click to Download PDF Template

 

Print the template and make a point of sketching using these patterns at least once a day. If the above template isn’t your cup of tea then I’ve also create a spreadsheet that allows you to build your own sketching template based upon letters or shapes in the various fonts.  The Excel version is here and the Open Office version is here.  I used an obscure font in the sketch-sheet below.  If you find yourself still struggling in your doodling,  here’s a sheet with the letter “o” reproduced multiple times.   Sometimes a common shape is easier to use for this purpose. 

Click for Full Size

Click For Full Size

 

The drawings don’t have to be perfect, artistically or otherwise.  The goal here is to simply start sketching.   Whether it’s writer’s block, problem solving or composing music, drawing has an amazing capability to stimulate additional ideas and insights, breaking down those insidious barriers to creativity.   

Give these to your team before meetings requiring critical thinking/brainstorming and more importantly, encourage each other to use these tools once a day.

I think you’ll be surprised by the results.

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7 Responses to “Creativity Stuck? Try These Tools”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Plishka, Michael Plishka and Michael Plishka, stephenshapiro. stephenshapiro said: RT @plish: Creativity stuck? Try these free, simple tools: http://wp.me/pkQcg-rE […]

  2. […] This post was Twitted by stephenshapiro […]

  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter : Creativity Stuck? Try These Tools: http://wp.me/pkQcg-rE

  4. […] Creativity Stuck? Try This.  Just like your physical muscles, if you flex and use your creative muscles you get more effective and efficient at coming up with ideas.  One way to do this is by doodling and sketching. […]

  5. Nils Davis said

    My first try at this is here. Very fun, and easier than I expected, as a non-drawer. (I just tweeted the link, too.)

  6. Plish said

    Nils, Very cool!! I’m glad you liked it – I enjoy doing those as well jsut to keep ‘sharp’. Appreciate the tweet.
    I LOVE some of your sketches. The diving board and bicycle guys made me chuckle – they’re classic!!

  7. […] 17, 2010 I’ve been hitting a block with regards to creating music lately. Rather than use a sketching exercise to get the ideas flowing, I decided to do something […]

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