I have always been interested in the nearly magical creative mechanism of the brain.
Big ideas have been considered “big moments” and turning points in human history for a very long time now.
Who would dare disagreeing with the fact that the iPod (a magnific idea), generated a huge revolution; not only of how we listen to music but within the entire music industry?
But let’s be honest. Very often we think that these types of ideas are only available to a selected group of masterminds who have the perseverance to follow their ideas through to the end and who have the dedication to not stop until they see them crystalized.
I personally do not think that there are more creative minds than others, but that there are some who are not only more dedicated, but also more willing to jump over endless obstacles until they reach the end of the race. And where does this race start? In our minds.
We who work in the creative industry often find ourselves in front of the famous “blank page”. Once we have developed a very clear strategy, the next step is the creative process. And it is this process which is one of the most challenging aspects when facing a project and the one that is most difficult to quantify and measure.
The initial question that comes to one’s mind is: Where do we start?
When we face a problem and have to find a solution, the first thing our brain does, is start looking for potential pre-existent solutions. It has the tendency of reaching out to the obvious and the easy. Then we get very enthusiastic and more and more ideas start to spring and burst forth.
Yet there comes a moment where we need to start connecting more than one concept or decision factor and things start getting trickier.
Quickly we begin to get entangled in our own web of thoughts which often leads to frustration.
This happens because our head is not trained enough in the skill of bringing order into our brainstorm. What we need is to draw a map in order to avoid getting lost in our multiple thoughts.
To do so, there are endless creativity techniques, but the one I personally like most are the so called mindmapping. The most renowned advocate and creator of this creative thinking tool, which is also a great problem solving technique, is Tony Buzan, who first mentioned them in his book Use Your Head.
This creative design technique of connecting the dots and putting order into creative processes has worked for me in multiple occasions. I consider myself a very visual person and mind maps allow me to do exactly that: visualize concepts, thoughts and words, as well as sort and draw these around a central idea.
In Tony’s book one can read:
“The mind is perfectly capable of taking in information which is non-linear. In its day-to-day life it does this nearly all the time, observing all those things which surround it which include common non-linear forms of print: photographs, illustration, diagrams, etc. It is only our society’s enormous reliance on linear information which has obscured the issue” (1)
My recommendation is to not think in a lineal way, but to start with the end and end with the start. Or start in the middle and from there go wherever your mind takes you! Break out of your own schemes and apply lateral thinking! The solution always already lies in our minds and is simply waiting to be discovered.
How to create a mind map? Here a link to get you started.
*Example of a mind map
Creativity is not confronted with reason and logic, because the more structured an idea is, the more creative solutions will come out of it.
Now, let’s ask ourselves: Will we have sufficient dedication to get to the end of the race?
I am convinced that everyone is creative by nature and therefore all that is needed is to put that brain of ours to work.
- Tony Buzan / Use Your Head. 1974
Post by Gregorio Rojas Moysén
I am Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather and currently studying a Master in Branding in Barcelona. My passions are the brands and everything creative process related. Along with very multidisciplinary teams, I have assisted national and international companies in the development of creative strategies to support their positioning and an effective communication of their brand and product portfolio in an ever evolving and more and more complex market environment. Find more about Gregorio Rojas visiting his LinkedIn Profile.