02 March 2016
Shaun Westgate, Managing Director

How to think creatively

Creative stepping stones

Using creative stepping stones through the mind

How do you think creatively? I’m not sure there is a fixed template you can adopt, but there are clearly ways to do it effectively.

When my design team and I think creatively we are usually responding to a design or marketing brief from a client who has clear business objective. Our ideas are then developed to meet these goals as we work within the parameters of their brief, to ensure that our solutions are as creative and original as possible.

There is a real art, however, behind our approach to working creatively. For me, creative thinking is about discovery and the first step is to create a series of 'stepping stones' to help embark on a creative thought journey. These 'stepping stones' are really just thoughts that lead onto new ideas. The best creative thinkers know that when a thought is too abstract or irrelevant it can still can create a new stepping stone to continue their journey of discovery. This process requires an open mind and the ability to connect lots of different conceptual thoughts even if they sometimes seem irrelevant.

Another skill in developing creative concepts is the ability to take an idea and put it into another, totally different context, but one that will make it meaningful and relevant – this can be a very effective way of developing original ideas. When developing your thinking, you will find you meet 'dead ends' and keep going round in circles, thinking of the same idea. This is when you need to create a new 'stepping stone', ignoring it’s relevance, to continue your thought journey in a different direction.

Remember these 'stepping stones' are sources of inspiration that come from you, so it is really important to feed your brain with new experiences, ideas and concepts. These references are all around us in art, architecture, the countryside, product design, your home, fashion, writing, DIY shops, cinema, music, and so on. You can find inspiration in the most unlikely places.

The creative thought journey ends when you have that ‘eureka moment’, the moment when you arrive at the creative idea you are excited about sharing with your client and that you know will add value to their business.

If you would like to talk to one of the expert team here at Westgate about helping you to develop a creative approach for your design and marketing, to deliver great commercial impact for your business, please email shaun@westgatecomms.com. We would love to hear from you!


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