Practicing Creativity

Recap: 12/10/2014 

December’s meeting was framed around the idea of “practicing creativity” — creative processes, personal creative routines, “trigger moments,” and problem-solving for the inevitable moments of creative anxiety.

Gina Panjian shared a current wall covering design project she is working on, which kick-started conversation about the creative/design process. In the process, we discussed:

  • starting projects — utilizing parameters, need for clear approach — and flexibility — if given free reign by client
  • difference between artistic processes  design processes
  • process tools — mood boards, Pinterest
  • starting with ready-made materials vs. from scratch
  • different approaches to concept generation
    • beginning with a concept and interpreting it visually
    • beginning with intuitive visual/material experimentation and applying a concept after the fact
    • finding patterns and themes within intuitive products
  • the benefits of collaboration and collaborative environments
  • creativity games

As a group, we also generated a set of “oblique strategy cards” for generating ideas or getting through certain process stages. The original set of oblique strategies were developed by Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt and are generally geared towards musicians. Each card contained an aphorism intended to help artists break creative blocks by encouraging lateral thinking. When faced with a creative block, the user was to draw a card and apply the aphorism to the problem at hand.

Together we generated the following lists of strategies:

Purposefully misinterpret something

Diagram an abstraction

Make your problem worse


Google Image a word within your diagram and receive where it takes you

Take a walk

Try a new medium

Reverse the layering process

Walk on the ceiling

Turn it upside-down

Use a different tool

Reference the opposite

Experience nature

Relive a related memory

Sketch it out (no matter what “it” is)

Find a distraction

Ask for opinions from unlikely sources

Step outside of your discipline(s)

Relate — or contrast — a random sentence from a book to your work.

Introduce an element of chance

Make an instinctual move

Find a collaborator

Reinterpret something visually

Draw from another discipline

Ask someone outside of your field — get an outside perspective

Relevant Links:

Oblique Strategies website

Makers – Women in Arts Videos