Thursday, December 3, 2009


A few years ago we visited Northern Thailand with some Wesco Fabrics customers. We watched in awe as an elephant actually painted! Whether he was the Picasso of the elephant species or simply willing to do anything for extra bananas, it was impressive. All of us can be more creative and solve problems in more innovative ways with training.

There are times when we feel our creative “right brains” are on vacation, leaving us to muck about with seemingly mediocre ideas and solutions to our projects or problems. Haven’t we all wished we could be more creative? Actually, we all have within us the capability to blossom creatively. We may not be the next Gainsborough or Bill Gates, but we can harness our “inner innovator” to enhance our everyday lives. Creative pursuits are not confined to the arts or the design world. Everything we do can be addressed in a creative manner, from training for a triathlon, raising kids, or solving a problem at work.

What color should I choose?

The first step in increasing your creativity quotient is believing you can. Unlock your creative juices by playful experimentation. Learn from your mistakes and try something new. Approach a problem from a different angle. People who live their lives creatively share the traits of open-mindedness and curiosity. They are positive, energetic, and motivated by their chosen activities.

Wear something new.

There are many exercises to jolt and energize your creativity.

- Wear something new and dress differently from your usual style. Step out of your comfort level. Take a risk. You may find you have developed a “new attitude.”

Slow down! Walk on a beach. Stare into space. Make yourself some tea and daydream. Meditate. It’s great to multitask, but all the racing about doesn’t help when you really want to innovate and creatively problem solve.

Read some new magazines. Turn the pages slowly and let the messages flow. Listen to some different music. If you only listen to pop music, try some Mahler or Miles Davis. Sample something new. Put up your antennae and scan for interesting ideas, solutions, colors, and designs. Window shop in a brand new way.

Start a collage wall of what inspires you. Make it your “vision board” to help with your creative destiny. Make it big and wild. Don’t set limits for your vision.

Reactivate your inner child. Look at life in a whole new way. Simplify. Be playful and have fun.

Change your focus. Look closer or step back and view the project from afar. Rewind and start fresh.

Sometimes it rains in paradise.

Projects can be the easiest thing or the most confounding. Sometimes it rains on your parade. Dry off and start anew. Don’t be frustrated. Just think of how many amazing paintings were probably thrown away by Renoir or Monet. There may be a masterpiece right in front of you.

I always have loved Gustav Klimt’s painting, “The Kiss.” Just think how revolutionary this must have been in 1907! Imagine. Spend time with great art. Be an idea revolutionary.

Explore great innovators in fashion, design, and the arts. Yves Saint Laurent was such an icon. His partner, Paul Berge’, auctioned off their fantastic personal furnishing last year for $477,000,000!

Salvatore Dali, most known for his surrealistic paintings, was inspired by Mae West for his 1937 “lips Sofa.” Ideas can come from anywhere.

Don’t be afraid of your creations. If it speaks to your heart and mind, you are there already. I love those bold achievers who explored totally new ideas. I toured Antoni Gaudi’s 1906 building, Casa Batllo, in Barcelona. It is an amazing creation!

Found any exciting stores lately? Creative budgets may have been reduced by the economy, but there are still wonderfully inspiring stores to visit for ideas. I love Anthropologie!

There is innovation everywhere! I spied this Wallypower 118 during the Cannes boat show. Totally new and futuristic. Huge wow factor!

You are on a journey of discovery. All routes will lead to new inspirations, ideas, and innovative solutions. Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

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