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5 Tips For Building Your Creative Tool Belt

5 Tips For Building Your Creative Tool Belt

by Daric Gill

Recently, I spoke on this topic to the Columbus chapter of ILEA  (International Live Event Association). After hearing some positive feedback from the attendees, I was asked to post an article going over some of the information so they could share it with their other creative friends. While I’ve covered one of these tips on “Blowing Through Artist Block”, I have yet to post the remaining 4 tips I covered the other day. So here it goes…

Creativity isn’t just a personality trait. It’s a skill set that can be engineered and redesigned to help in all areas of your life. Much like math skills or literary skills, creativity can be a tool belt for unique ways of problem solving!

Read On For The 5 Tips

1. Aspiration Vs. Inspiration

River skyIt’s a safe bet that many reading this article have a Pinterest album called “Inspiration”. If not that, maybe it’s a folder tucked away in a nook of your computer with the same title. Another safe bet is that most  (if not all) of those concepts are left untouched once they are delegated into that folder.

Aspiration – a hope or ambition of achieving something

Inspiration – the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative

Think. Do. ThinkDo. Make sure that your hopes of achieving something turn into actually do those things. Wishes need action to come true.


2. Go Analog

Do you almost break into a panic attack if you think about leaving your phone or laptop at home for an hour or two? Maybe it’s time to go analog. Take the time; ditch the digital! Justify it all you want, but that email, deadline, or important call… well… it needs to wait some time.

“Go outside!”  It works for your kids, why not you?

Sketching IN the Scioto
Today’s office: A half-submerged picnic table.

Exercise for the sake of getting in shape is fine and dandy, but don’t forget that the mind is a muscle too. Take some time and go on a walk just to think. Remember to harvest moments in the mental field too. Sometimes zoning in on an idea while in the woods or at the corner coffee shop can flip problem-solving on its head.


Old School It W/ Pencil & Paper

postit-sketchesIt’s a good idea to sharpen a few ‘No. 2s’ and pull out that sketch pad, Post-It, or college rule paper. Sure, Edit/Undo can save us some years of struggles when typing out a proposal. But, there’s just something to be said for doodling in the margins while brainstorming. Those aren’t useless scribbles. No, that’s the mind’s way of multi-tasking creativity and pragmatism.

Also, don’t you agree that there’s something deeply frustrating, yet profoundly satisfying about crumpling up a paper and adding it to a pile of other rumpled up bad ideas? Catharsis can be a brainstorming device too.

3. Be Inspiring

Position yourself for Inspiration

We all know that sharing through leadership or as a public servant has a tremendous effect on others. But there’s also a lot of personal spirit that comes about from the privilege of leadership and servanthood. Doing well for others is a great catalyst for your creative drive as well.


4. Momentum

Momentum is yesterday’s motion, today.

Let’s say you’re trying to tackle a large topic. That topic probably carries with it a lot of mental weight. It’s hard to start an issue from a dead stop. Just like in physics, a heavy object takes a lot of force to get it rolling. However, once it’s rolling the transfer of momentum is great. The heavier the weight, the larger the momentum. Listen to Bill Nye explain momentum. You know… just for kicks. 

5. Top 10s

Stuck in a rut? Explored a concept for too long? Or simply out of ideas? We all have this issue from time to time. Here’s a problem-solving technique that can be used to break through to new ideas or to enhance already existing ones.  Check out “Blowing Through Artist Block” for the complete guide for the Top 10s.

Building Creative ToolBelt Top 10
Click to view larger image

You can find more free articles like this on my Artist Resource page. My mission is to provide free and accessible tools for artists, educators, and enthusiasts. I encourage you to share and refer people here as often as you wish. Naturally, these articles take many hours to thoroughly research and write. If you’d like to support me as an artist and advocate, please consider donating whatever you can. Thank you!

7 thoughts on “5 Tips For Building Your Creative Tool Belt

  1. Thanks for the tip on this blog entry. I am definitely going to use the Top 10s tip and will be following your blog posts closely. What a wonderful talk today, thank you.
    Cynthia Westover


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