There is a direct correlation between the quality and range of stimulus you take in and the freshness the ideas you put out- lots of books about creativity and many creative types in agencies attest to this.
In fact if your read Daniel Kahnemann this kind of mental priming can almost determine what kind of idea you have. If I show you lots of pictures of cute fluffy cats and doe-eyed dogs there is a high probability you will end up featuring them in your next piece of creative work.
A diverse diet of brain food is obviously what’s needed. This is what Edward de Bono advocated. He thought fresh ideas came from deliberately seeking random stimulus and used dice throwing to alight on unexpected words.
So it is not going to be enough to subscribe to feeds from the likes of springwise or contagious ( good though those services are) because frankly every other creative or strategy type in communications is doing it too. TED talk provide useful distractions but are a kind of idea porn-you look at it for 20 minutes and get excited but you don’t really get involved. It may be enough for some but is it really satisfying? Videos on the RSA website are deeper and more thought provoking anyway
Which brings me to my brain food plan for 2014. which is to take at least half day a month and visit one of the many exhibitions in available in London and report back.
First up Hannak Hoch at the Whitechapel (one of those wonderful London institutions which is at the heart of the artistic community in East London)
As one of the originators of Collage Hoch fed off popular culture and created witty and subversive artworks through juxtapositions of found images.
One of the best bits of this show is that you see her creative process laid bare in her scrap books- she was constant collector of images that she found powerful. She had obsessions- cute cats and naked native women for example- and used this as starting points for her works. Then she went in search of images that seemed to fit – a serendipidous and random process that produced fresh and surprising work. It is lesson in the importance of fresh stimulus, collecting stuff and playfulness. All things that people thing they don’t have time for
My Score 8 out of 10.
And hurry because the show finishes on 23/03
Here are three of my favourite images from the show