Inspiration Hunting

Being creative is like breathing to some folks. They are just naturally able to see things differently and to create something amazing. But in advertising, you're surrounded by people with breathe and sweat creativity, so you really need to try a little harder to keep up and stay in the cool crowd. 

Think of it as creative work out sessions. Go to the gym to keep your body in shape and hunt inspiration to keep your mind in shape.

Before coming across 29 Ways To Stay Creative, I had made a list of ways to constantly stay inspired that I shared with the MAIP 2011 interns. (Wish I'd found that first, could've just jacked it.)

My basic point was that you have to hunt inspiration. You can't sit and wait for it to come to you, you have to go out there and find it. Collect all the tangible and intangible things you come across and examine them, flip them, educate yourself about them, indulge in them, morph them, take them apart, interact with them. See what it holds. And what it doesn't hold. There is so much out there to stimulate your creativity, but you have to fully immerse yourself in it - being inspired is active, not passive.

One of my fav quotes I still remember from my days at Ogilvy is "We pursue knowledge the way a pig pursues truffles."


The rules: Seek things that are new, different, opposite, foreign, weird and unknown to you. When it becomes familiar, move on to the next.

Read books, blogs, reviews.
Go to the museum.
Flip through magazines.
Talk to strangers.
Get lost.
Listen to someone else's music.
Read quotes.
Spend time with children or pets. Or pets people treat like children.
Take photos.
Take photos upside down.
Bake, cook, build, create: Make something
Write something. Anything. Letters. Reviews. Notes. Dreams.
Check out a classic. (Movie, book or album)
Go to a concert.
Go to a play. 
Listen to your music on random.
Watch movies, videos, documentaries. 
Learn another language. 
Eat something ethnic. 
Ask why?
Ask why not?
See how something is made.
Visit the market
Discover something new. 
Discover something old. (aka "Play Columbus")
Move around the furniture.
Take a walk.
People watch. (my fav)