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Connect the dots: why you should keep your eyes open

Curiosity

This is a guest post from Pete Gomori, Senior Brand Manager at  Futureproof

One of the main pieces of advice I give to marketers is “keep your eyes open”. People think that creativity is all about racking your brain really hard to produce a brilliant idea. It’s not.

Partly it’s about letting your imagination free so it can play, and find its own path to a great idea. That’s why you hear people saying that things just came to them as they were taking a walk, on the tube, or chopping vegetables.

Partly it’s about approaching the problem from innovative angles, and pointing your mind down interesting pathways to see what happens there. (What if this was a film? An illustration? A music video? An art installation?)

To do both of these things well, there’s a crucial element that allows your innate creativity to arrive at something wonderful. Input.

Input is a bit like when you create a moodboard as stimulus in a brainstorm session. Images, words, objects… they all spark off thoughts which can lead to something big.

What I’m suggesting is that rather than waiting for someone to bring you this kind of stimulus, you should be constantly seeking it out yourself. Filling your head with all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff, so that when someone presents you with a brief, a brand thought or position, a product, idea or story, you have a whole field of fertile ground and exciting bits and pieces in your head to make links with. Creativity is about playing connect the dots – and you can’t play connect the dots without any dots, no matter how good you are at drawing lines.

And I think that everything is interesting. Watch one episode of a random TV show you’d never normally watch to see what it sparks off in your head. Read up about an obscure medieval principality. Study art nouveau furniture. Analyse racing bike design. Anything and everything. This might sound silly, but you never know what you might be reminded of at some point, and what will spark off something new and beautiful. The most creative people actually refer back to old things when making something new.

“It reminds me of…”

“Have you seen…”

“What if we crossed…”

The more you’ve seen and remembered, the more sparks you can create, and the more great ideas you can be at the heart of.

SNR_PG1Pete Gomori is a Senior Brand Manager who works on front-end ideas and thinking for new clients at Futureproof. He comes from the cultural and creative industries, was Head of Marketing at Royal Museums Greenwich, Marketing Manager at Tate Modern and worked in digital marketing for video games with SEGA. He’s interested in everything, but especially maps, music videos, WWE, Japanese food and mid-century design.

Photo Credit: M I T C H Ǝ L L via Compfight cc

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