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Lecture theatre

Being creative on demand

Chris Sharrock is the Dean of Arts at Camberwell University. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to visit one of his lectures, during which he spoke of his experiences as a Professor and how he has developed his own technique for being creative on demand.

Of course, this is never as easy as it sounds. The dreaded writers’ block is always around the corner, and trying to force yourself to be productive can be a heavy burden to carry, especially when there are outside distractions.

Sharrock’s lecture has inspired me to post my own tips for being creative, the techniques that I use to cope with the creative demand.

  • Forget about the task in hand. No, really – once you’ve thought about something for a long time, it can weigh on your mind. Forgetting about it by doing another activity helps you relax and often you’ll come up with the solution to the problem just like that.
  • Just take a walk, or watch some television and you’ll be surprised how many times an idea will come to you when you least expect it.
  • Keep a notepad by on your bedside table. During the time in between wake and sleep, our mind can often make spurious associations, some of which may be useful. Remember to write them down, though, as you’ll probably have forgotten it by the morning.
  • Bounce ideas off people. Your family, work colleagues and other people in the same field as you – all may have something to contribute and bring in an outside factor you were initially blind to.

As a parting note, just remember that being creative is a process, and not always necessarily a product. And remember, it can take years to find a working technique that’s right for you. What are your personal methods?


I know nothing about art; as a rule, 'modern' graphic design does not appeal to me. I like to write in the first person because I do not want to be someone else.

Influences: public toilet cubicle drawings/slogans; WordArt posters in Market Street shop windows; Mega-Zine; bootleg vinyl artwork; Janne Suni; Pink Floyd; whoever is responsible for the Max Headroom hijacking incident; Collie, the Inept Reviewer.

6 thoughts to “Being creative on demand”

  1. Very interesting observation which I can relate to. My only problem I usually face is if someone else has come up with the same idea.

  2. Some of my best ideas come to me in one of the worst places. As I am driving on the freeway to work. Oye, not the best time to daydream. Nice tips, thanks for sharing.

  3. My best ideas come in part from talking to people and in part from not having anything else to do with my mind; one of my most productive periods in blogging was back when I had a 1.5-hour mass transit and walking commute to and from work. I could get half a week done and still manage to work on my fiction projects! For some reason, the shower’s also really good for inspiration.

  4. Being creative is a must in this world . The best way to avoid sticky situations is by being creative and handle the situation with care so that one doesn’t lose dignity and hurt others in the process.

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