Being creative is hard. One way I deal with this is to go crazy. Sometimes that means beating my head against a wall in frustration and other times it’s a more productive alternative. This alternative is thinking as far outside the box as I can about my current project in order to break through any creative blocks or ineffective ideas I’m producing. I find this effective because it allows me to move beyond my normal thought patterns and easy go-to solutions.
Let me give an example of a crazy idea. If I’m working on a poster for a widget making company and they want a poster that sells their product, I might get stuck trying to come up with an interesting way to present their product. Opening my mind to ‘crazy ideas’ I might say, “what if we just have no words at all and just the product on a white background”. Right now I can hear some of you out there saying “that’s crazy, no one will know anything about the product with no words, don’t do that!” etc.
In many cases thoughts and comments like these made to yourself or by others will turn you off to using crazy ideas but here are 4 reasons to continue pursuing them:
￼1. One idea may lead to another
Your idea might really be out there and not end up being helpful to you with your project at hand, but that’s not always the end of the value your ideas may have. If you work in a team or just share your ideas with other, it is likely they will be able to build off of your idea no matter how crazy it may be. The perfect idea may come because of inspiration from those around you would not have had if you kept your ideas in your head. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to share your ideas in fear of looking foolish or weird and embrace the fact that by sharing you are increasing the likelihood you’ll get a new idea worth pursuing.
2. A “CRAZY” idea may be the perfect idea when toned down
One of my favorite ways to brain storm is to use crazy outside-the-box ideas and then tone them down to something more “reasonable” and perhaps more usable. To use our widget company poster idea, the process would start with the idea of just using an image of the product and no text and then toning down to perhaps using just a short bold title at the top, a link to the website at the bottom and the image in the middle. This I could see being a better result than if you were to lay things out in a more generic format that may seem closer to a template or just feel less interesting.
3. What is crazy to someone else may be normal or boring to others
It’s always helpful to remember that there are lot of people out there and at least a few if not many are going to not like or believe in your ideas regardless of how crazy or practical they are. In order to move forward with project ideas you need to know your trade an be able to trust your gut to a degree. Beyond that it is helpful to have others in your field you can rely on to give you honest feedback while continuing to support and believe in you.
4. Avoiding ideas deemed crazy limits you
Not allowing yourself to think way outside the box at the end of the day simply limits you and your opportunities to have unique and new ideas that will wow your audiences and clients. Understanding and believing that “crazy” ideas are worth pursing and sharing is going to help you to break creative blocks and produce better more original works that can grow you as an artist.
However you deal with creative blocks remember that ideas can be as numerous as you let them, so keep an open mind and keep pushing until you break out of that box.