The other day, after reading an interview with a sound designer named Tomas Beverly, it occurred to me that creativity is never going to come from the same routine you've been keeping over and over for months. I'm sure that's not some huge revelation for some people, but it kind of hit me. I'll let you read the interview, but Mr. Beverly's work with recording hummingbirds struck me as different, and interesting. It certainly inspired me to think, "What opportunities am I missing to record unusual sounds, or write unusual music?"
According to a Stanford study, taking walks can be conducive to creativity. On an intuitive level, this makes sense. By interrupting the normal flow of your day and experiencing sights, sounds, and (hopefully nice) smells outside of your immediate vicinity, you flood your brain with new sensory input that it can make connections with. I guess that's how it works, anyway.
The point is this: if you write music, or create any other art for that matter, you've likely encountered that dreaded feeling of hitting a brick wall. But there are so many things to draw inspiration from; we just have to open our eyes to them. Stop for a moment to look at seemingly ordinary objects and experiences. There are amazing facets of life that can inform our creative side. The hum of a fluorescent light. The petals of magnolia tree blooms on that street you used to walk. The fresh smell of rain. I know, I'm getting all artsy and philosophical here, but I'm serious. The amount of information we are bombarded with is enormous, and we must capitalize on that if we want to feel productive as creators.
Of course, this doesn't mean that everything we touch will be gold simply because we decide to be inspired one day. Feeling creative is something altogether different from the transformation of that creativity into something artful. So how do you actually get better at creating? There was an excellent interview with Jeff Goins on the Love Your Work podcast, hosted by David Kadavy. During the discussion Jeff Goins explains that, by writing every day, within one year his skill as a writer skyrocketed compared to most of the previous decade. This process is iterative, so don't be discouraged if not every flash of inspiration becomes a masterpiece.
If you're so inclined, tell us - what inspires you?