How to Encourage More Creative Thinking

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.”
— Frank Zappa

Here's one for all you creatives out there who struggle with writer's / artists's block at times. Artist, Barbara Bailey talks us through her methods for encouraging creative thought:

Be aware of the world around you, take time, notice things, and improve mental wellbeing.

Become more aware of sights, sounds, smells and tastes that you experience.

Be open and receptive to whatever crosses your path and learn from everyday experiences.

Boost creative concepts and practise shaking off mental blocks.

Working in a creative job means continually coming up with good ideas. Stimulus is all around us, often in the least likely place and we need to look carefully.

A small sketchpad and pencil or a camera helps record ideas.

We need to find new ideas to grow and not reinterpret old ideas. Step outside your box, go to a gallery, movie or a part of town that you would not normally visit and be surprised.

On Sunday, I learned that the word 'bach'- the name of an iconic New Zealand beach cottage, is short for 'bachelor'.

This fact amuses me because no one seems to know it and I am sorry that I have never questioned the origin of this word.

Notes on the wall of the exhibition I visited, explained that originally a bach would have been used by used by a bachelor for weekends away, fishing, swimming and surfing. An untidy cottage, it would have been be furnished with spare bits of furniture and abandoned odds and ends.

I spent time at the Maritime Museum in Auckland on Sunday. I was last there when my children were young and that was years ago.

The exhibition, 'At the Beach: 100 years of summer fashion in New Zealand', celebrates changing beach fashions and fun since the early 1900s. It is at the Auckland Maritime Museum and runs until 8th February 2016.

Tucked away in a corner of The Beachwear Exhibition is an original bach complete with tiny freestanding stove, a huge pressure cooker and a collection of odd cups and saucers. The shelves hold ancient boxes of custard powder and tinned fruit.

Next door to the bach is a beach store and I found it hard to leave this atmospheric corner.

Photographs of the labels on bottles and jars, close-ups of the door frames and cupboard handles will provide me with starting-points for collages I am currently working on.

The collection of swimwear in the exhibition is comprehensive and fun. Mannequins are arranged in beach themed tableaux and each group is dressed in period togs. All are portraying good, clean, beach fun. Fashion buffs will love the structured swimwear, most of it pre lycra and stretch fabrics. Along side are early speedboats and surfboards.

Soon we will be peeling off tights and winter woolies and stepping into beach shorts and body-baring dresses.

Most designs currently in the shops are retro; cropped pants, tailored shirts and sun dresses which are distinctly '50s. Why notp pp into the Maritime Museum and have a closer look at the original garments.

Open the mind to to the whole of the museum, mull over what you have seen and something there will surface when searching the brain for a new idea.

At The Beach; 100 Years Of Summer Fashion

Auckland Maritime Museum Runs until 8th February 2016

  • Suitable for: All ages
  • Residents of the Auckland region can visit the Maritime Museum galleries for free if they provide proof of address on arrival
  • Children: 5-14 years old (4 years and under are free)
  • Family Pass = 2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children
 
  Barbara Bailey CONTRIBUTOR

Barbara Bailey CONTRIBUTOR