There is a preconceived notion, at least for us creative professionals, that creativity is an endless fountain that flows eternal. On the contrary, creativity is something that requires maintenance and cultivation — not unlike a garden.

So what are some of the ways that you can foster and grow your own creativity?

  1. Go Somewhere You’ve Never Been

One of my personal favorite ways to get new ideas is to take a walk somewhere I’ve never been before. I like to go explore somewhere new; see new places. Just being somewhere outside of your normal everyday scenery can jump-start the creative process. An article in The Atlantic explains, “In general, creativity is related to neuroplasticity, or how the brain is wired. Neural pathways are influenced by environment and habit, meaning they’re also sensitive to change.” So go out and explore! Be inspired!

  1. Do Something You’ve Never Done

Another way to gather creative ideas is to break out of your everyday rut. Same as going somewhere new, shaking up one’s routine can lead to a whole host of breakthroughs. Try eating a new cuisine, taking a new route to work, completing an exercise class you never thought to tackle — anything out of the norm. This can help the brain fire in new ways, and thus, new ideas form.

  1. Study the Process of Greats…and Unknowns

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” they say, but no one likes a copycat. A good way to jog creativity is to study what other prominent creatives have done in the past. An even better way to use this to your creative advantage: look at their process, not their finished piece. What did they do to brainstorm? How did they start the project off? Also, don’t just stick to the big names! Look at up-and-coming designers, local artists, nearby vendors — what can you learn from them?

  1. Observe

When facing a new creative challenge, we can generate that “aha” moment simply by observing. Creating a website for a local restaurant? Visit the location, watch the interactions that take place, observe the food, the sights, the smells. Before you know it, creative inspiration will strike!

At Swarm, we strive to stay creative and innovative. These are just a few of our tips for keeping creativity growing. What are your favorite ways to get your creative juices flowing?