Creative Thinking is a way of challenging everyday problems and situations in an unconventional manner that leads to out of the box solutions – solutions that ‘break’ or alter the box and its boundaries.
Simple is creative
Simple and effective solutions have the power to amaze everybody – “Why didn’t I think of that?”, always comes to our minds when we see a simple solution to a problem. This is the reason why simple in many cases can be the ultimate creative answer. Start by defining and dissecting your problem, challenge the question itself by simplifying it to its core. Clarity of the problem’s essence will then allow you to effectively and efficiently start working on it. Ultimately, a simplified version of a complex problem will then make it easier to find a clear-cut solution.
“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus.
Curiosity is Key
Being curious can lead to the discovery of the amazing hidden in the ordinary, get in the habit of noticing and paying attention to detail. Experience your every day life and environment as if it is new – uncharted waters. Why not embrace your inner flâneur?
flâneur [French; noun] one who strolls around aimlessly but enjoyably, observing life and his surroundings.
Make links and correlations between what you see around you and what you have to find a solution to. To view things differently, alter the way you travel from point A to point B. Not only by changing the route you take, but by also changing other variables of your travel; tempo: slowing down or going faster, cycling or walking instead of using your car, or even by literally changing the way you see things – your camera’s viewfinder! Inspiration and creative solutions may have been there all along but you need to make an effort to notice them.
“My job is to notice things that other people don’t notice.” – Grayson Perry, artist.
The use of analogies can be used to come up with innovative ideas. For example, when you are confronted with a problem you can go back to previous ideas and experiences of problem solving, find similarities and common traits to the problem, use aspects of that previous experience with your current situation.
It is famed that Albert Einstein, in an attempt to explain the difference between the wire telegraph and radio communications, used a bizarre analogy:
“You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.”
Break Free, Be Outrageous
Place something completely out of context, creativity can be found in the act of repositioning. Displacing an object or idea from its ‘normal’ environment (both physical and abstract environment) can lead to the discovery of something new. For example, artist Marcel Duchamp’s work Fountain questions what belongs to the art gallery space, he submitted a porcelain urinal laying flat to an exhibition in New York, this scandalous act sparked a creative debate that goes on until this day.
“The chief enemy of creativity is ‘good’ sense.” – Pablo Picasso
Do not be afraid to break the rules and escape the norm, absurd ideas become relevant through their disconnectedness, this unconventionality is what makes them so dynamic and stimulating. Even if an idea seems outrageous and nonsensical it still has creative possibilities!