Friday, August 7, 2009

Playing with Inspiration

I did promise to post prompts here that we could all work on in our own blogs and link our blogs right here. This will be my first attempt.

Collage by Lani

This prompt comes partly from Leo Babauta's Zen Habits and partly from Richard Wiseman . The thing Leo really gets is that no matter what our medium is, we are always looking for inspiration, things that will help us unlock those doors of resistance and create more easily. Here are a few of the items on his "little but really useful guide to creativity" list. For his complete list , do visit his blog(but I'm sure in actuality an unabridged list would be infinite):
▪ Shut out the outside world.
▪ Reflect on your life and work daily.
▪ Look for inspiration all around you, in the smallest places.
▪ Don’t try for perfect. Just get it out there, asap, and get feedback.
▪ Teach and you’ll learn.
▪ Shake things up, see things in new ways.
▪ Apply things in other fields to your field, in ways not done before.
▪ Write all ideas down immediately.
▪ Turn your work into play.
▪ Play with kids.
▪ Read wildly different things. Especially stuff you disagree with.
▪ Don’t force it. Relax, play, it will start to flow.
▪ Do it when you’re excited.
▪ Don’t be afraid to be stupid and silly.
Richard Wiseman has a new book, 59 Seconds, and website filled with self help ideas that have actually been tested for validity. Here's one that I particularly liked:

Japanese psychologists Seiji Shibata and Naoto Suzuki asked people to carry out various creativity exercises in carefully controlled office environments. Some of the offices contained a potted plant whilst others were devoid of any greenery. Time and again, the researchers discovered that the addition of the potted plant enhanced people’s creativity.

Other work has produced similar conclusions with, for example, an eight-month study of creativity in the workplace conducted by Robert Ulrich from Texas A&M University showing that adding flowers and plants to an office resulted in a 15% increase in ideas... and more flexible solutions to problems...

Why should a little nature have these effects? According to some evolutionary psychologists, seeing greenery might initiate an ancient feeling of calm... Such pleasant feelings then make people more helpful, happy and creative.

59 Seconds tip: Boost your creativity by adding some potted plants to your surroundings.

Now here's the idea, combine one or more of Leo's ideas with Richard Wiseman's idea about plant life boosting creativity, blog about it, and share it here with all of us by adding your name to the list here! The result will be some very happy artists indeed! I'm sure of it!
Playing with Inspiration Participants

1. Lani Puppetmaker

2. Barbara

Learn more about Playing with Inspiration here.
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