The start of term brings many opportunities for starting new projects and briefs. This is a really exciting time as your curiosity and creativity is sparked by endless possibilities and solutions. But what happens if you find yourself a little stuck for inspiration or the ideas just don’t flow? Creative block can strike at any time. It can be a really frustrating and difficult place to be, but knowing how to successfully manage it is key to developing great creative practice.
If you do find yourself creatively ‘blocked’ there are several activities that you can undertake to help you overcome it. These activities include; seeking advice and support from your course tutor as early as possible, undertaking lots of research, being open to every possibility and using methods such as creative problem solving techniques to prompt your imagination.
Creative problem solving tools are strategies that are designed to help you approach a problem in an innovative way in order to solve it. A good example of a creative problem solving tool is SCAMPER.
SCAMPER… The idea behind SCAMPER is simple; it is a tool that helps you to ask investigative questions about a problem or idea in order to develop, solve or innovate it. The SCAMPER mnemonic stands for:
- S: Substitute ( take out or try something different )
- C: Combine ( bring together different ideas, materials, approaches together)
- A: Adapt (what are current solutions to this problem and what can be enhanced, improved, developed)
- M:Modify (what can you alter or change (colour, shape, size, texture etc) in existing solutions)
- P:Put to another to use (what other things can it be used for?)
- E:Elimate (what can be removed, taken out, simplified )
- R:Reverse (what can be rearranged in some way)
To use Scamper successfully you will need; a problem that you want to solve or think differently about, time to investigate that problem using scamper tool as a prompt, a recording method to capture all the ideas generated by it and time to critically reflect and consider which of your ideas are realistic and viable. Find out more about Scamper and its originator Bob Eberle here: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCT_02.htm.
Scamper is just one method of creatively problem solving to find out more about different strategies follow the links provided below.
Looking for more tools to get your ideas following:
- Tools for Creating Ideas:http://creatingminds.org/tools/tools_ideation.htm
- 10 ways to get your creative juices following: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/michelle-beckett/creativity-10-ways-to-get-creative-juices-flowing_b_3365049.html
- Creative problem solving: http://www.creativeeducationfoundation.org/our-process/what-is-cps
Having some problem solving strategies to help overcome creative block is really useful as it will mean that you will always have methods to help you move forward within your creative process and is great practice for your future career. Tom Kelly General Manager of IDEO http://www.ideo.com/uk/ describes having 6 strategies to help him in his design practice.Read more from Tom about over coming his creative block here: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/6-Steps-to-Get-Unstuck-and-Get-Your-Creativity-Flowing#ixzz2pzJbLsOt
Finally, if you are having some problems getting started this term, your first point of contact for advice and support is your tutor. Always seek support early to ensure that you get the most from your studies. Good luck!