guest blogger Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua


I wanted to try something new here. We will be having guest bloggers once a week.

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I’ve been particularly focused on the business of photography lately since I’m one of the presenters at ASMP’s Strictly Business 2 events. We’ve spent so much time and effort examining ways of maximizing income, looking at investing in your business though effective marketing tools, and improving paperwork and workflow, etc., that it’s easy to forget about the other side: the creativity. That’s what I’d like to talk about in this post–ways to refresh your creativity.

Here are a 10 simple things you can do to give your creative brain a wake-up call:

* Go to an art museum. Exposing yourself to other art made by other people can inspire your little grey cells.

* Watch a movie. No, a slasher film won’t cut it but it doesn’t have to be some obtuse art film either. For example, the new boxed-set for Blade Runner has long sections talking about lighting and even if you only watch the movie, you’ll get visually inspired. Or how about anything by David Lean…

* Draw. Even if you draw like a 5-year old on a Tilt-a-Whirl it’s great for the creative synapses. You could play a game like “Add aline” where one person doodles something then the next person adds onto that then another person adds on to that (or the first personagain), etc.

* Write. Journaling is great for the creative brain. Anyone read The Artist’s Way? Even if you don’t go for her techniques, the idea of writing–hand writing–makes your brain fire differently and that caneasily contribute to fresh creative thinking.

* Shoot something new every day for a month. This can be done with acell phone camera or whatever you want. Just shoot. Don’t think.Don’t put up all sorts of rules about how or where to shoot, just shoot. You may just capture something that you’ll want to explore further in your “real” work.

* Read a novel. This is surprisingly helpful. I can almost always tell who reads a lot and who doesn’t just by looking at a body ofwork. If you have a reading disorder (and many creatives are dyslexic) then listen to audio books. Non-fiction is good too but usually people sacrifice reading for pleasure (novels) and need to re-find that creative medium.

* Learn a new instrument. Many photographers are also musicians of some sort and while playing your chosen instrument is also good, learning a new one challenges your brain a bit more and that helps create new connections.

* Take a class. Not a photo class (though, again, that is also good) but something different like cooking or poetry or dancing. Like the last suggestion, this creates new neural connections and that keep your brain “fresher” (thus making zombies everywhere rejoice).

* Get exercise. This one is especially true if you have ADD/ADHD.Exercise helps improve blood flow to your brain and rhythmic exercise (jogging, swimming laps, even cycling) works much like meditation to help focus your thoughts.

* Get some nookie. I know, it sounds cheesy to mention sex but having sex can inspire your creative brain. Think about Picasso–that man was notorious for it and he made great work. There really is a connection there, and it works for women artists too.

Do some of these regularly and/or put them into a hat to draw from the next time you feel creatively lethargic. Some will resonate better for each individual than others will, but I encourage you to try any/all of them before rejecting any of them as “not right for you.” Sometimes what we think we’ll least like will turn out to be a new passion. Worked for me with teaching. 🙂

Leslie writes a regular column in Picture magazine and is very active in many creative/creative-business groups and forums, both online and in the real world, including AIGA, Adlist/Adland, APAnet, APA, ASMP, and Editorial Photographers (EP).

Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua lives in San Diego, California with her architect husband and two very spoiled cats. For more information please visit her website here and her blog here.


3 Responses to “guest blogger Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua”

  1. Agree on the getting exercise idea. I’m especially fond of taking my camera along on bike rides.

  2. rb2008 Says:

    nic ways t release new ideas frm mind…

  3. Floroskop Says:

    I think this try.

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