As a creative thinker, I often get asked, “How do you come up with your best ideas?” Sometimes I wish I had a better answer, but the truth is it usually comes when I least expect it. It comes in a fleeting moment, when I am doing something completely unrelated to the act of trying to inspire myself. I call it a flashthought.
I often start out like you do…scouring the Internet, looking at design blogs, staring out of my window. Then I walk away and do something totally different. I find it’s the newness of an experience that can trigger a flashthought because you’re using your brain in a different way. It’s then that your mind is free to make a random mental connection between two different things and an idea is born.
I recently designed a logo for a new wood-crafting company called Zotter Woods. The answer to, “What should this logo look like?” came to me in a flashthought. I had struggled with what the logo should be for a few weeks and then like a flash of lightning, I knew. What was I doing at the time? Sourcing props for a photo shoot we were going to do for a catering website. I believe it occurred because both the catering website and the wood-crafting company needed to have a rustic, earthy feel. My brain made an unintentional, creative connection and I had the idea. It was there the whole time, waiting for me clear away the sawdust.
One word of advice - when a flashthought happens, you need to drop everything and get it down on paper. Don’t assume you will remember, because chances are you won’t.
So, stop overthinking and get out of the office. Go trim bushes, learn how to crochet, or simply move on to the next project if you are stuck – because in a flash, you will be inspired.