Here’s a simple, fun and effective activity to try if you’re after a quick way to stimulate creativity: letterscouting. You can try this by yourself or in a team, and the results can be really surprising.
All you need is a camera phone. OK, you could use any type of camera, but there’s something about the quick convenience of a camera phone that lends itself to this sort of activity. The point of this activity is not to produce perfect photos but to stimulate creative observation of the world around us and looking/thinking at/of familiar things in new ways.
Here’s what to do:
- Set yourself – or your team – a time limit. 5 minutes is plenty.
- Roam around and take a photo of something that looks like each letter of your name. So if your name is Ben (like mine), you should end up with 3 photos – one that looks like a B, one that looks like an E, and one an N. Of course you can take photos of letters in signage, graffiti, and so on, but you get extra points (read creative satisfaction) if you can find letters in real-world objects and their placement.
- Come back together again and share the results.
You might want to then compile them and put them somewhere to share. They look really cool put together as your name, and even cooler as a group of names. And unless you happen to have a really long name, you may need more than 5 minutes… but the idea is to not look for the perfect photo, just anything that looks reasonably like letters.
I did this activity with my team at Digital Eskimo, at the end of our team meeting, and it was pretty fun. Here’s mine:
… and here’s a couple more:
So try it! Who knows, maybe we should start a Tumblr blog or Pinterest board for this sort of thing. If you know of one, or want to start one, please let me know.