Being Creative May Mean Going Past the First Idea

Concept sketch

Creativity is mostly about pushing your limits on a project you may be working on. We all get into the trap, especially those of us that work for clients in the arts of settling for the first concept for a project. It can be very hard to come up with new ideas when clients give you the scenarios for the work and the details or deadlines are so tight they leave little room to be creative. Even so it is important as an artist to at least explore other possibilities before settling on the one to use for a project.

So how do you go about doing that? What if you don’t come up with any new ideas? Have you failed? In my opinion there are two factors that will allow you to push your creativity and allow you to get a better idea for your project. Those two factors are time and experience.

Time is the first factor

Lets look at the time factor first. If you are a professional artist or creative person often a tight timeline is our biggest struggle with many projects. If you are a hobby artist it may be the opposite and mean adding an Concept sketchend date to get the ideas flowing on a project. When we are pushed to complete a project your creativity goes down. If you can add some time around your project you will find that ideas will come easily. The process I use is to start sketching out ideas with the original draft idea, but when possible I will stop after a couple of ideas and let the project percolate in my mind. I will then go back either later in the day or better yet the next day and may find other ideas have come to mind allowing for a better project concept.

Experience can make your concept

The second factor that can often help develop a concept is your experience. Many clients will offer concepts based on their experiences. To make a concept even better it is best to try and add your own experiences to the mix. For instance I had a commission for a picture of a retiring doctor from one of his team members. When I was contacted she wanted him in a doctor’s office and mentioned to add something like a weight scale in the background. I began drawing up the concept with the scale and then my mind began to work. What had I seen in my doctor’s office? Plaques of certification, medical supplies, magazines, medical equipment, etc. I was able to add additional items to give the picture more personality.

If you are looking to improve your creativity on your art or creative projects try those two ideas to making it better. Give yourself more time to develop ideas and improve concepts. Add your experience into the idea to give it more personality. Of course the final piece is to never accept the first idea. As an artist a general rule is to come up with three different concepts before moving forward with an idea. I hope this was helpful and allows you to have more creative projects.

Until next time,


About the Author

Bruce Outridge is an artist, author, consultant, and speaker. He presents on creativity, business, and leadership. To learn more about Bruce and his work visit his website at

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