Shafeek Hamza

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How to train my self to be creative?

What is the good practice for be creative, for creating digital content, being creative for find solutions for Green world etc.

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    Apr 18 2011: Look arround...whats the first attractive thing that u see. Relate it with the area in which u want to be creative...

    For example, if u want to celebrate someone's birthday or something like that and you want to be creative...look arround for an idea, as i could see its a pepsi bottle that strikes my eyes first now...get an idea out of it. Like, when we open a pepsi bottle first thing is surprise..foam coming out like sabraged. So start with a surprise, some kinda funny pranks...then next, the bottle have an advertisment slip wrap arround think of a small flex or poster with birthday wishes or whatever it relate it with the subject. You can get many ideas from a single think of ideas you get from a few things arround you..everything can be u goes relating ur creativity skills gets better and better :)
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    Apr 18 2011: 1) Learn a lot of things from a whole wide range!
    2) Learn some more things (practice practice practice)
    3) try and see patterns (actually, if you haven't learned a lot of pattern techniques, metaphors, or math by now, go back to phase 1)
    4) connect things that were previously unconnected, first in your imagination, then in reality
    5) repeat 4) all the time, and you'll be a creative genius
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      Apr 21 2011: Nice structure I have to say

      specially the loop for obtaining patterns ..
      .. since my point of view on this topic is, that patterns are what we actually see , whatever we think it is, as most significant as we process all the data gathered/sensed
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      Apr 21 2011: maybe one tier is missing to me here

      reset/restart and clear-mind states
      i.e. somethig as:
      "look at it as u never seen it before, or as the only thing/truth u know/believe and start thinking freely as always

      but maybe u inherited it in the repeat phase
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    Apr 18 2011: Eliminate restrictive words from your speech and from your thoughts. When you use limiting words you automatically limit the idea. Word choices like better, newer, bigger, faster, smaller, etc. all tie your future dreams, ideas, and plans to something from your past. If you can train yourself to see the future as a pure, exciting, unrestricted blank slate you allow your imagination and thought processes to fully open up. Don't think about a better solution, think about an awesome solution. This may sound simple, but it is amazing at how open our brains become when we remove the restrictive boxes, walls, barriers, etc. we've placed into our subconscious because of past experiences.
  • Apr 20 2011: The book "How to think like Leonardo da Vinci" is very good on this topic. Also, search the Internet for the NLP Disney process that reverse engineered Walt Disney's methods for creativity. Anything to do with brain storming is also helpful. Good luck with it. Practice makes it easier.
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    Apr 18 2011: Hi Shafeek:

    This is my method (I think is practical and easy):
    Fill your brain with tons of information, concepts and ideas (make sure you do a good work with the filtering), don’t focus on any subject, make it broad (and enjoy it!).
    Don’t give it structure, just let it in and let your brain do the cataloging and analysis.
    Waist as much time as you can afford.
    Ideas will come when you need them, just trust your brain and he will deliver.

    Hope it makes sense for you.



    PS filtering tips: TED is a great place to start, be childish (if you like cartoons, games, etc, go for that as a part of the menu) and you must find it interesting.
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    Apr 16 2011: just one word to be said ..
    " Don't think that you're creative .. know YOU are "
  • Apr 21 2011: Keep asking myself:" Is there any other way to solve this problem?", here I share three sentences from on book in order:
    1)Stop it;
    2) Think and find it;
    3) pass it on.
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    Apr 21 2011: I feel having Curiosity is one of the most important factor to be creative. We are born curious and lose that over time due various social and biological reason. In one of my discussion TedSter Anthony Bruni told meditation can help as meditation creates higher level of Theta wave in brain which is instrumental for curiosity. May be that might be of help.

    Last not least I know many real creative person always thinks they are not creative at all (humbleness). Many of them worked and reworked again again on their same creative work thinking those are not creative enough (may be thats part of the nature of creative people , they are not satisfied easily so that pushes them to next level). You might be one of them .
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    Apr 20 2011: Rightly quoted by Albert Einstein “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    Just in case if we replace “the same” with “different” and vice versa. The quotation will formulate like “doing different thing over and over again and the same results”. Can we classify as Creativity. In one sense yes but in next moment we are back to Insanity. It’s more about perception. Your creativity may seem Insanity to someone but it can be perceived as a piece of creative work by others.
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    Sam Luk

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    Apr 19 2011: I suppose creativity is fun, as others have mentioned I'm sure. I see it was playfulness because the whole idea of creation can be varied from making gifts for your partner or brainstorming on an international brand. I have been fortunate to have studied in a Graphic Design course with a high priority for good ideas. In my youth I believed that somehow thinking hard equated to better ideas, when something wasn't good enough, I'd think harder to solve the problem (then I'd get headaches!).

    As I grew older I realised that was wrong, it was much easier to let an idea arrive - rather than forced. For example, when I'm stuck with a brief, I would do something else, something simple like washing the dishes or take a walk, doing something mundane certainly helps because the question is simmering in the back of the head, I have often reached my solution whilst doing something else. A pen and small pad is always handy to have for every little thought you wish to jot down.

    I guess it boils down to... give your mind something to think about, you do something else... and leave your subconscious alone to do the work :D
  • Apr 19 2011: The most important aspect of creativity is completely uninhibited thought. Presuppositions and inhibitions restrict creative potential. Constantly expose yourself to new environments. Always challenge the norm. Make it a point to think above and beyond of what you normally would.
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    Apr 19 2011: I think the best way to achieve creative habits is to watch, learn, listen and talk. The more information you get and find useful to keep is gonna be worthy, but first you should know what you mean to find, so you don't get lost along the way. Creating habits and traditions on creative work (like brainstorming, from a simple list of words to find unconventional uses for conventional things) is gonna be a great homework for your brain.

    And of course, surround yourself of creative beings!
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    Apr 17 2011: Figure out the way you think - in conceptual structures, in lists, in visuals, in language? Start actively developing crossed wires in your brain: if you think in abstract ideas, work on translating them into pictures and words; if you think in lists or audio, draw it out with color. By making yourself think about ideas in ways that you don't naturally intuit them, you will clarify them and discover new corners and perspectives that previously were obscured.
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    Apr 10 2011: - SPEND MORE TIME IN THE SHOWER; Think about your ideas while you are taking a shower (it's the best thing, for me, to develop my creative ideas.)
    - Adopt diferent perspectives on a problem or idea. See what others can't see. Get out of the common sense. Think diferent.
    - Don't be affraid of making mistakes (watch
    - Watch TED talks
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    Apr 10 2011: Knowledge. I know it sounds like a conflict sometimes with being creative but knowledge and education will give you the basis in order to become creative. It's the same with common sense, sometimes when people roll their eyes and say "Well it was common sense to me" really translates to "I had enough information on the subject in order to make a spontaneous decision which really looked like I was using my common sense." If you have knowledge then chances are you can use pieces of the information in a creative way.
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    Apr 21 2011: Being a web designer means you need to be creative NOT ONLY in the final product vision but also how you go about solving what is more often than not user experience issues. That being said, I normally try to do the following.

    1. Associate yourself with "creative thinkers", who can be the most unlikely folks in your life. Being creative does NOT mean you have to do be a creative professional. My 7 yr old daughter follows my 9 yr old daughter around asking questions because "Sissie knows how to do stuff". Think like a 7yo.

    2. The Exaggeration Exercise - When I am debugging a website, sometimes a nudge of one or two pixels or shades getting just a TINY bit lighter or darker can be hard to pick up on. So forget subtlety. Make LOUD, OBNOXIOUS changes. When I am having an issue with picking up on and processing those changes, I will make my widths, colors, text sizes, etc DRASTICALLY different. The next time you need to be creative and you're stuck, try jumping WAY OUTSIDE your box. Web designers call this diagnostic CSS for correcting errors in website formatting. But I use it for more than just fixin' stuff.

    3. Never limit what you can do by stating I am a _____ (insert job title). Do NOT think that being effective in your job means you do that job as some other successful person before you would. Do it like you are a person with a mind and not a drone, your way. If you sweep floors for a living, start on the opposite side of the room you would normally start on. Enjoy the view you see from over there. But most importantly, take notice of the fact there is a another "view" from outside your lovely little comfort zone.

    4. Have some kids, buy your kids legos, crayons, playdoh, paints, etc. Play with kids AND those items and the kids will astound you with their creativity.

    5. Ask why not instead of why when being creative. Don't stick to what has made you comfortable in your box. Stick to what makes you UNCOMFORTABLE.

    I hope this helps!
  • Apr 21 2011: Tap your Intuitive capacities. I suggest you try meditation, if this is not something you'd like to do, then go to art schools. You just need to tap your creative potentials that lies in the deep recessions of your mind. Once you get into it, your creativity will flow like a mighty river.
  • Apr 21 2011: Continually question why everything is the way it is and how it could also be different with the intention that being different will make it better. For example, is there a way to raise apple or cherry tress so that they grow sideways thus allowing all the fruit to be easily reached and picked without waste? Also, I find it creatively inspiring to look at the complex and delicate design of everything in nature, and how those principles, colors, designs and functions can be used to create new products and services for humans to make this a better planet for all.
  • Apr 21 2011: Creativity comes from "saying 'Yes!' to the creative instinct. Give yourself permission to respond without allowing your intellect to judge, censor, or interfere with that creative process. Begin by brainstorming; don't censor, chart your thoughts. Then... breathe life into create thoughts with creative action.
  • Apr 21 2011: Read Paul Feyerabend's Three Dialogues on Knowledge. On how to defend the craziest ideas, the most outrageous ideas. This will help you defend your creative instincts from insults and disheartening comments. So once you have this outer garb of protection, creativity can prosper within, and can be brought out without fear of ridicule.
  • Apr 21 2011: Edward de bono, the inventor of the concept of lateral thinking has a few books on lateral thinking and creativity, so I think those could be worth a look.
  • Apr 21 2011: Is there not instances in our life's when we are being creative and maybe don't realize it,I can think of many things we all do that are creative,
  • Apr 19 2011: one question:what the word creativity really means to you??
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    Apr 19 2011: IMO, Gregg Fraley's talk at TEDxNASA in 2009 summed this question up very well.
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    Apr 19 2011: I like imagined vandalism to train crativety, therefore you just have to look around and try to see the things, as they are not. How would your desk look, if it was covered with roses, would it hurt, to find your computer? Why not place your neighbours car on the roof of his house, or your house on your car.
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    Apr 19 2011: i'm surely not an artist - i can draw stick figures and my interior decor is modern mess - but the one thing i know about creativity is that any true artistic genius knew the secret of the power of 'now.' You can't be creative in the past, and you can't be creative in the future (although you can plan a bit and visualize for creativity in the future) the only time you can ever create anything is in the moment you are in right now ... and i think that is key ... dig your moment li'l bro. peace and love :)
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    Apr 19 2011: You are already creative, but you may be trying to create somewhere other than where your strengths and passions lie.
    Simple meditative approaches and breathing in nature will clarify to you the blockages that are bringing you to this very question.
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    Apr 19 2011: I have not read all of the responses so I apologize if this was already mentioned. I found that the best way for me to be more creative was to be less self censuring. I took a pottery class years ago and did not enjoy it because I was so critical of everything I tried to produce. Years later I took an art class and decided to just have fun. By putting the self critical part of myself aside and by just learning to play with the paint - I ended up creating some works that surprised and delighted me.
  • Apr 19 2011: only one topic i couldn't think how to answer, how to creative a new idea about
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    Apr 19 2011: I suspect that there are as many answers to this as there are people answering it! For myself the key to creativity was and is immersing myself in life. For many years I looked at life as if through a window and once I took the plunge and immersed myself in it, everything became more vivid and stimulating. Creativity for me is about stimulation, ideas and (as another respondent said) connections. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and allow yourself to lose control a little bit (or a lot - whatever works for you).

    Ideas to start you off: Art galleries, conversations, music, film, looking around - really looking! .... and of course TED!

    I hope that this helps.
  • Apr 19 2011: You have a problem, get out a piece of paper and write down all solutions that come to mind as you get them. Don't filter anything. You will come up with some pretty creative ideas. Some will even look dumb to you but if you stick to your guns and don't filter out stuff, you will see the method in your "madness" at some point. It is better to write it down too. That way your brain does not have to work hard on recalling past solutions so you have more brain power to work on the problem.
    Also, having it on paper makes it easier to mix and match. There might be solutions that don't work alone but that when combined with others, do wonders.
    Knowledge is also very important for this process. Learn as much as you can about different subjects. That way your mind doesn't get bogged down in a limited world
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    Apr 19 2011: I recently read an article on the Implications of LSD and experimental mysticism. They described in great detail the surge in creativity subjects reported when they induced hallucinogenic drugs.

    Obviously I'm not saying that you should take drugs to be creative I just thought it was interesting to note. In terms of inspiring creative thought you may find you have great results from yoga, meditation, being around nature or actually doing something else creative like painting or writing.

    ***If you want to read the LSD article (good article!) you can find it here:***
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    Apr 19 2011: There are two schools of thought in approaching creativity. Structured and unstructured. I prefer the former. Here's a small checklist that I have seen work in various situations, that might help:

    1. Creative Process - Adopt and adapt a method to creative process. Adopt it from industry best practices, adapt it to your style and circumstances.

    2. Constraints based Creativity - Identify constraints within your problem space. Time, Cost, Quality are basic constraints. Technology, Environment, Political, Social, Legal and Regulatory, Behavior are "macro" constraints. Knowing your problem space well through constraints ensures focused creative solution.

    3. Release Early Feedback Often - Prototype, Wireframe, Mocks, Mind-map, to enable feedback early in the creative process.

    Not a comprehensive list. However, hope this helps.
  • Apr 19 2011: For my very first comment with Ted,

    "Look and See" When you see you feel.

    Go out and observe your surroundings, brushes, camera's, notebooks, left at home.

    Walk, go slow or as fast as your feet can take you, but walk!

    Observe amazement, astonishment and wonder in the reactions of children.

    Put yourself in there shoes, this couldn't be hard, because we were there, or is it?

    Regards, Rinze
  • Apr 19 2011: Some of the ideas about becoming more creative probably work for those people that wrote them, but, I find that daydreaming and using my imagination about what I want to create works best for me. You might find that another idea, or combination of ideas works best for you. The best thing I could tell you is to try all of the suggestions and see what's right for you.
  • Apr 19 2011: From my experience creative ideas are not preplanned. It comes when you least expected.
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      Apr 19 2011: Exactly. And that's why it's always good to keep some pen&paper everywhere you go. At desk, school, work, even in kitchen, shower and near your bed.

      I really dislike it when I wake up and have a feeling that I had a Great Idea during the night, but don't know what idea it was.

      And that's how great ideas are being lost forever in some hidden places in our minds. :)
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    Apr 19 2011: Don't be lazy!
    • Apr 19 2011: G-day,

      Still, creatives tend to focus on there art, work, creative process, and to forget to concentrate on making there product a (small) business. So that they could actually live while making Art. (Art).

      Often I tell myself that I'm lazy, this is poison. Where is the antidote? Anyone.

      Chears, Rinze
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    Apr 16 2011: I've previously mentioned Tom Wujec's book "Five Star Minds" where the focus is on the creative process and the author divides this creativity process into 8 "phases", drawing a metaphor to cooking food: appetite/hunger for ideas, gather/collect ideas, cut/analyze ideas, mix/combine ideas, cook/concentrate on ideas, spice/season ideas, taste/evaluate ideas, digest/assimilate ideas.

    Now I want to add a film that I've watched recently where all of these is shown by example. Not as a metaphor but with actual cooking.
    The film is titled "El Bulli - Cooking in Progress". It shows the creative and production process of "the best restaurant in the world" presenting the daily work of the super-creative minds of Ferràn Adriá, Oriol Castro and Ell Bulli's team.
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    Apr 12 2011: Shafeek, I think I was wrong, I just watched Issac Asimove. To say I was inspired would be a word or tow short. What I got from him though is that we can encourage creativity by working more actively at what we do. I think it's a bit like playing a sport, the more one does it the better we become at it and the more adept we become at taking advantage on the creative moments. As someone else said, this also appears to be quite impressive.

    God luck.
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    Apr 12 2011: - Consider every idea
    - Break down every ideology
    - Make connections
    - Simplify
  • Apr 10 2011: I've found that the best thing to help keep creativity going is to cultivate as much new/novel and varied experience as you can. I think when a person gets stuck in a creative rut it's mainly because their mind doesn't have very much new experience to learn from and introduce new views and ideas and understandings and relations and contrasts into things. Gotta have time where you're not being creative so much or even productive. Time where you're just taking in everything coming in during an experience for new things to work with, gotta step back from being productive/creative to refuel it basically.
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    Apr 1 2011: There's a book titled Five Star Mind, by Tom Wujec, with mental exercises to stimulate creative thinking.
    In this book creativity is described as a process you can learn. There're methods for collecting thoughts and ideas, very useful for brainstorming sessions.
    Wujec identifies the following traits of the creative mindset: sense of challenge, fun spirit, asking mania, willingness to take risks, positive nonconformity, amazement, desire to see things differently, willingness to experiment, desire to learn, tolerance to ambiguity, desire to interact, questioning, joy of discovery, curiosity...

    Related links: (course designed to explore the variables that stimulate and inhibit creativity and innovation in individuals, teams, and organizations) (how ceiling height can influence people’s mindset)
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    Mar 30 2011: Hang around with creative people.
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      Apr 10 2011: I think I tend to agree. Permission is the answer. Give yourself permission to do the things which inspire you to create and then create more of them.
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      Apr 19 2011: Sometimes it's enough to learn how to keep your mind open. And to restrict restrictive words as Janet Christian writes.

      I believe that if you keep your mind open, something in your brain will happen and new ideas will emerge. And it's called creativity, isn't it?
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      Apr 19 2011: I was once told by my teacher in college - you will either have the talent or you don't, if you do, it will always be there.
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    Mar 23 2011: look up "Oblique Strategies" cards !
  • Mar 22 2011: I've found the works of Edward De Bono to be extremely valuable.