We all think that creativity is only bestowed upon a certain group of people that we fail to see that each one of us has the capacity to be creative. We need to turn to the right sources for inspiration and motivation.
Have a Healthy Media Diet for Creative Inspiration
1. Take it easy with your consumption.
Just like food, overconsumption of media is not healthy in the sense that instead of sparking creativity, you might end up even more confused with which inspiration to go with.
Media consumption should be viewed as one of the many ways to do research and get inspiration from. It doesn’t mean that your consumption should be exhaustive. Going overboard will overwhelm you and hamper the creative process.
Consume just enough media to learn as you go without losing your own creative identity to other people’s work.
2. Be picky with what you consume.
Another similarity that media consumption has with the way you consume food is you need to carefully and thoughtfully pick what you eat.
We’re all familiar with the saying, “You are what you eat.” If you are not careful with your selection of materials, you might end up creating an awful amalgam of different contrasting styles rather than tying your inspirations up beautifully in your work.
Always go for materials with the best content that will serve your craft and work. If you’re a writer of a certain genre, follow the works of the best in the industry. If you’re looking at producing music, listen to the work of those who know what they’re doing and those who’ve got things going right for them.
The content you consume should help you achieve your goals and get you where you want to be, not hinder you from getting there.
3. Choose active over passive media consumption.
What’s the difference between active and passive media consumption? One is intentional; the other is not.
For the sake of discussion, allow me to define passive media consumption first. Let’s say, for instance, you turn the TV on or browse the internet out of boredom, the content that you will most probably get will not be as filtered as you hope. You will probably be bombarded by images that you’re not really interested in. But your mind still absorbs them.
Imagine if those were the last images imprinted on your mind before taking on a creative task? You will most probably produce subpar work.
As opposed to actively consuming media by thoughtfully choosing media to expand your creative horizons. Instead of going the route of mass consumption in a short span of time, you carefully go through meaningful, moving, and compelling content, which could lead you to create something equally compelling and engaging.
4. Have boundaries.
Having said the things above, we guess it’s safe to say that you should also install boundaries in consuming media. How?
Again, it will fall back to you giving careful thought about the materials you watch, read, and listen to. There are plenty of creative materials produced every day, but the question now is, are all of them really relevant, meaningful, inspiring, and true?
You need to understand that while creative expression is a right, certain responsibilities go with these rights. Engaging in creative material that can prove to be harmful to society will affect your output negatively.
There is a very thin line between art and smut, and you need to know the difference. Not all creative expression is considered artistic and meaningful. If you want your work to be inspiring, seek out materials that have social and moral relevance.
5. Celebrate others’ successes but don’t lose yourself in the process.
As individuals, we all look to certain people as examples in our chosen fields. Whether it has to do with artistic endeavors, such as filmmaking and dance, or in the corporate world, such as a SaaS marketing consultant firm or a pharmaceutical company, we all have someone as a standard for the work we do.
While it’s okay to enjoy their work, celebrate their successes, and even try to pattern our work after theirs, be careful not to end up being just a trying-hard copycat. Sometimes as you immerse yourself in their work or consume too much content about their work, it’s very easy to lose your identity in it.
Keep in mind that regardless of the work they do, your work is not insignificant. Never lose confidence in your own creativity just because you’re not as big as them. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself with them. Focus on your work and doing all you can to improve your craft.
If you think you’re one of those who have not one creative bone in your body, the above ways can help you spark some creativity and inspiration, whether for work or play. Try them out. You might surprise yourself.