How to Brainstorm as a Creative

By Amanda Hill
Blog Content Contributor

How many times have you stared at a blank computer screen not knowing where to begin?
Originality is hard to achieve, and we could all use all the help we can get.  Welcoming various perspectives and opinions will open the door to a world of possibilities.  Brainstorming is a technique to derive ideas once you come across a roadblock.  Brainstorming allows you to open your mind, and be flexible in your thinking to get the creative juices flowing.

brain
Photo by Amanda Hill

So to start… what is it you are trying to generate ideas about? Sometimes we are incapable of coming up with a completely original idea and we are in need of inspiration.  Before every project I start, I set up a private board on Pinterest called a Mood Board that I can turn to when I feel stuck of what to accomplish next.  I fill this board with elements I find are relevant to what I am hoping to achieve.

You can research what others have done for a similar project and take note of things such as layout, texture, color scheme and font.  For example, if you are trying to build a website, create a folder filled with a few websites that are known for what you are trying to achieve, whether it’s an edgy design, or creative content.  This can serve as a template when trying to originate your own ideas.

During your brainstorming session, try to stay specific with what you wish to accomplish.
Setting objectives assure beneficial results by keeping you focused on the end goal. Try
quantifying your objectives to narrow them down even further for your desired results.  Some suggest writing words on a piece of paper that will capture the essence of what you are trying to create. Words such as motivational, insightful and sheik can help you stay focused on the direction of your project. You can also try grouping a list of random words based on similarity of some sort to create new ideas.

With a great number of various resources available to us, it can be easy to get distracted and leave the user unable to identify the true purpose of a project.  Really think about the purpose of your project, and whether it serves a valuable asset to your user.  How is your creation going to make their life easier?  Really establish a beneficial selling point and keep that point as the main focus point throughout your project.

When collaborating with others, it is essential to feed off ideas being discussed.  To avoid the common mishap of group think, have everyone write an idea on a piece of paper and trade that piece of paper with someone else anonymously to have them elaborate on that idea. Break down your (what seems random) thoughts into something more refined.  The process of further defining your thoughts into something relevant will allow you to make something out of nothing.

The point is not to leave any idea unnoticed.  They all have the potential to become something great with the proper amount of collaboration and inspiration.  Not leaving the environment open for collaboration and safe from judgment will damage your productivity.  Don’t hold you or team back, and just go for it!

James Jordan II

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