One of the interest tools I use to help get my creativity going is looking at pictures. I’m not talking about pulling out the family photo album and getting at laugh at that shot of Uncle Dan wearing the hula skirt…though, that actually could work. What I’m talking about are stock photo books.
In advertising, production, and the graphics industry there is a big need for photography. But shooting something new every time you need it is expensive. So what’s spring up is a whole industry of stock photos that you can purchase for a particular use. To aid their potential buyers, these stock companies create books of photos. They divide the pictures into sections – active people, panoramas, nature, highways, etc. You get the idea. Sometimes whole books are dedicated to one subject.
Over the years, I’ve collected several of these books. When I’m stuck or feeling uninspired, I’ll pick one up and start thumbing through the pages. If a picture catches my eye, I’ll mark it with a post-it. Occasionally, a photo will do more than just catch my eye. It’ll jump off the page at me. I’ll stop and stare at it for several minutes. Maybe it’s a picture of a person, and I can see their whole character right before me. Maybe it’s a place and as I watch as a scene from a story I have yet to write unfolds.
Often the pictures I’ve looked at don’t make it to the written page. But what they have done is get my juices flowing again. And in the back of my mind I know one day I’m going to find that picture that will translate not only to the page but will give me an entire story. It’ll be like my own mini-moment of nirvana.
What do you use to jump start your creativity?