Last week we did something a little bit different. A few of us went on a creative ‘fieldtrip’ or more specifically a ‘creative safari’ to Hyde Park and the Serpentine Galleries hosted by Claire Bridges from Now Go Create. We were her first guinea pigs for a new course.
As the name suggests, a creative safari is based on the proposition that the environment and the people around us are full of inspiration which we largely overlook or ignore. It’s a way to give our busy minds time to tune into the rich stimulus everywhere around us, learn from it – and make new connections.
Creativity isn’t something you switch on or off. It’s always on. Your brain is constantly joining the dots to make new and interesting connections from all it has absorbed. Our environment – the stuff out there in the big wide world – is a fantastic source of inspiration and fresh ideas. We just don’t tune into it enough.
Think about it. Where do your best ideas come from? Not the boardroom at 2.30pm on a Monday. You get light bulb moments when you are walking the dog, taking a shower, running, or when you’re in the car – in other words when you’re not thinking hard about the client or new business challenge.
So how does a creative safari work? Think of it like tuning out and tuning into your natural surroundings – the smells, sounds, textures, sights and feelings. To get into this inquisitive state of mind, you need to let yourself purposefully wander, dilly-dally, daydream and immerse yourself in the moment. The key is allowing yourself to be ‘porous’ and soak up everything. This is when our subconscious brain kicks in – this is the fun bit. It’s in these moments, when we are settled down enough inside to ‘hear’ ourselves think. And it’s a great place to get creative from.
So how did we do it?
- We challenged each other to think about one simple challenge
- Wandered around Hyde Park and Serpentine Galleries for 30mins
- Gathered up random thoughts and wrote them down
- Thought how these stimuli could apply to our simple challenges
- Buddied up and collaborated to nurture and develop ideas
- Shared them with the rest of the group
What did everyone think? Everyone was totally immersed and energised. They loved the time to allow themselves to think and use their environment as creative stimulus. But more than anything, everyone discovered something insightful from their own experience. And the biggest learning? You can do your own mini creative safari everyday on the way to work. Try it.