One thing I’ve been trying to figure out passively ever since I got really into making audio/visual content is how can I have more good ideas?
How can I accelerate the rate at which I think of novel ideas to put into the creation of an artistic product?
I’m not giving advice in this post on how to develop any technical skill regarding creating your chosen product. This is obviously a factor but is not relevant to the discussion.
Instead, let’s say you have the technical know how to create professional grade content, now what?
Well, you need ideas so you need to accelerate the rate in which you obtain new ideas.
I think that I can break down my strategy on accomplishing this into three main points
- Functionality of the brain – Your brain is what is looking at the world around you and trying to come up with new ideas so if you can take steps to make your brain work faster you’ll be able to use your established technical skills faster and think through more possibilities while doing your chosen craft.
How to improve this – I think the main way to improve this is to do cardio workouts.
Unlike weight training cardio accelerates the blood flow throughout your entire body instead of just one targeted muscle.
Lifting increases blood flow as well but from personal experience lifting doesn’t get your blood flowing on the same level as cardio does.
I think two secondary ways to do this are the previously mentioned weight training and drinking black coffee. (not energy drinks or frappachinos because they’ll kill you)
However, coffee is essentially a drug so you’re artificially medicating the same effect that you can get from physical activity and the results will be less lasting and beneficial.
2. Gaining Novel Experiences – When you are making content you’re often drawing from your own life.
A good example of this is the strange way that fans, (fanatics) will hope a given music artist goes through a breakup so they make more breakup songs.
I think that by going out of your way to gain more experiences in your life and not sticking to the same routine month after month you will see things and talk to people that will allow you to be inspired in new and unique ways. three ways to do this
- Go outside – The world has a ton of beauty in it and just observing it will allow you to clear your head. There’s a multitude of songs where there are beautiful lyrical references to reflecting water on the pavement or the smell of the morning air. Experiencing these things is easy to do. A great way to do this would be to walk your dog and maybe walk the dog at different times of day in different weather including days with bad weather. YOU DON’T NEED TO TRAVEL FAR AND WIDE TO DO THIS
- Hobbies – Picking up an activity of some sort will put you in a different environment and community than you typically are a part of. The part of doing a different activity that really adds a benefit that going outside doesn’t is you’ll be communicating face to face with a different subculture of people whereas in the modern world when you go outside everyone acts scared of each other. Picking up an activity that you are somewhat uncomfortable to do, (in a healthy way) may provide additional benefits compared to something in your comfort zone.
- Working a job – I mentioned in a previous post on this site that working a job lets you be a fly on the wall to whatever environment you are working in. Doing this will allow you to soak up fresh knowledge about the world and….. you get paid!
An example of how working a job could turn into a cool idea- As a musician, drive Uber for a few hours a week. You could make a cinematic song where you string together a series of novel moments into a storytelling track. I’ve never driven Uber, just a rough idea you’re free to use.
One personal thing before I get to the third and most important way to gain creative fuel as an artist.
Especially with music I think of good stories and moments I’ve experienced over the years as single use items.
What I mean by this is you generally don’t want to release multiple tracks going over the same story.
When you are writing, if you have some really good moment that you want to put into your art always think through if this is the best way you can package that moment or if it may be better to save it for a later date.
3. Religion – To be clear, I worship and believe in the Holy Trinity but I want to write this in a way where it could be applied to other religions as well.
Whatever your God is, assuming you are religious, you believe that God created you. Therefor, a well of creativity you can draw from is to worship your creator.
I began praying before bed each night some time ago and I think that’s a good place to start. Since I really started taking religion seriously I’d say 95% of days I’ve said at least 1 prayer before bed.
In conclusion, I think the commonality between these three main points is improving yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually in a real and lasting way are all ways you can obtain better ideas to implement into your art and gain artistic fuel.
That’s all I have for this one!