The key to creativity is combining unrelated concepts in unusual or novel ways. Here's an exercise to facilitate this process by deliberately prolonging our ideas stage.
Instead of quickly settling for one of the first creative ideas that come to us, pausing longer over the initial stage allows us to explore a greater range of options and sparks the cross-fertilisation of various ideas.
I'm lucky that my working process means I can expand my original 'seed' idea as I go, but this can still involve time-consuming re-working of a piece which might have been avoided had I refined the idea further before launching into it.
Pondering on this in the studio last week caused me to come up with this exercise to more thoroughly explore - and enjoy - the ideas stage.
Ideas Brainstorm Exercise
Try the exercise and let me know how it goes for you:
Begin with an initial or seed idea.
Brainstorm at least 20 different ways you might pursue your idea.
Support each idea with visuals. (Don't get hung up here - quick sketches, found images, textures, colour swatches and so forth are all you need.)
Let these ideas permeate in your subconscious for a few days before deciding how to proceed.