How taking interest in other things can help you find inspiration
“CREATIVE PEOPLE WHO CAN'T HELP BUT EXPLORE OTHER MENTAL TERRITORIES ARE AT GREATER RISK, JUST AS SOMEONE WHO CLIMBS A MOUNTAIN IS MORE AT RISK THAN SOMEONE WHO JUST WALKS ALONG A VILLAGE LANE.”
Learning new things and exploring other interests will not only make you well rounded, they can also provide you with new ideas and inspiration. Taking on new challenges, learning new subjects can stimulate your creative mind and new disciplines can help you tackle a problem from a different perspective.
Exploring other fields
I remember, way back in my high school days, I took a CADD (computer aided drafting and design) elective that was held up at the Community College. I had taken it more out of the interest in getting to use the college’s fancy new computers (there wasn’t a PC in every home back then), than out of a desire to learn how to design an industrial dustpan. Nevertheless, I did end up gaining a lot of knowledge from the class, making me realize how important it is to broaden your horizons and explore other interests.
One of the things that I appreciated the most from that CADD class was the week in which we went over to the metal shop and helped put together the same industrial dustpan that we designed for the class. We learned all about metal cutting, metal bending, welding and other cool shop things that went into making our dustpan conception into a dustpan reality. Learning the actual fabrication process helped me better understand the drafting process, making it easier for me to both visualize the physical object that I was drawing and design it in a way that it was actually possible to build it.
It also helped me appreciate the utterances of my Dad, who always used to say that architects should always spend some time building before they set about designing things. Being a contractor, he would oftentimes be given a blueprint that simply was not feasible for one realistic reason or another. Whoever had designed it, had not fully visualized the terrain, the cost, or the materials. My dad’s reasoning was that if they spent some time in the field, learning about the building side of the business then they would be better able to design things that were feasible to build. I also imagine that an architect would like it if a contractor spent some time in the design department and gain a better appreciation for the architect’s desire to fuse art with function.
No matter what field you are in or creative endeavor you are pursuing, it will do you some good to broaden your horizons and learn something new. Whether you are an artist who is curious about electrical engineering, or an engineer who appreciates abstract art, keeping an open mind and learning new things and mastering other disciplines will help keep the inspirational fires of creativity burning within your mind. Exploring another field of study can help you look at things from a different perspective, giving you another angle from which to address a creative problem.
So, next time you see a class available on something that interests you, or a book about a foreign subject matter, or an opportunity to work in another facet of the field, take on the challenge and learn something new. You will find yourself seeing things with more depth and finding inspiration in places you never knew existed before.