What characteristic do most designers, musicians and writers have in common? Besides a typically shared enthusiasm for Apple products, handlebar mustaches, and scotch, there is one characteristic that is universally shared by all artists – creativity. The ability to interpret and express the outputs of our world in ways that move us physically, mentally and emotionally. 

Most people believe that creativity is a gene that you are born with. Researchers tend to agree, suggesting that a person’s aptitude for creativity is largely dependent on DNA and mental makeup. So either you have it, or you don’t – right? Just because you weren’t painting Picasso’s at the tender age of three doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to train your brain to think outside the box in new and exciting ways.

In his TED talk, “You’re a Lot More Creative than You Think,” internationally-renowned artist John Paul Caponigro believes that “The human being is a creative species.” Basically, the idea is that we are all born with creativity – some of us are just born with more than others.

And even if you’re in a field that doesn’t typically ooze imagination in the same way that advertising does, creativity is a skill that can still improve your value in the workplace and at home. Just a few benefits of creativity that are applicable to your everyday life include:

1.       Improved problem solving skills. Thinking creatively allows you to find solutions to problems that you might not have considered otherwise.

 2.       Faster idea-generation. When your friend asks you, “Where should we go for lunch?” is your typical response, “I dunno. Where do you think?” Don’t be that person. Fine-tuning your creative abilities will help you think quickly and to generate more ideas on a whim.

 3.       Better mood. It’s hard to hold back a smile after you’ve discovered a new path or created something original. Now go brainstorm five new uses for crayons, and tell us you didn’t have just a little fun.

Ready to get your creative juices flowing? Check out our top five list below for improving your imaginative thinking, and then read on to discover our favorite tips for boosting creativity at the Revel office.

1. Have a drink (for the 21+ crowd only). The advertising industry is known for partaking in the occasional… okay, more than occasional… happy hour libation. But, there’s a good reason for it. Studies have shown that drinking alcohol – in moderation – facilitates creative thinking by relaxing the mind, and in turn, boosting imagination and inner consciousness. Cheers!

2. Go on vacation. Like you needed another reason to escape to Cancun, research has shown that taking vacation improves creativity by introducing your mind to new stimuli — faces, places, smells, tastes. Exposure to new stimuli can help you unlock creative ideas. Vacation also tends to relax the mind and improve your mood – both of which have also been shown to boost creative thinking. 

3. Move your eyes from side to side. The simple act of moving your eyes from side to side can actually improve the number and quality of original ideas that you create, according to this research. The idea is that when both the left and right hemispheres of your brain work together, the more creative you will be. By moving your eyes in a bilateral pattern, you are increasing your “inter-hemispheric interaction”. In other words, your brain is communicating better.

4. Take a walk. Unchaining yourself from the office desk and taking a walk – even for just a few minutes – can boost creative output by 60%, according to researchers at Stanford University. Further, people who exercise on a more frequent basis showcase better creativity and cognitive function than those who are sedentary. So go ahead, fight blood clots and dull thinking by being active!

5. Embrace the blues. Don’t be sad – we’re talking about the color here! Exposure to the color blue has been shown to boost people’s ability to think creatively as a result of sub-conscious associations. From a young age, we tend to associate the color blue with the sky and ocean, which tends to have a calming effect. These tranquil cues help you feel safe to explore thoughts and ideas creatively.

 What other creative-hacks does the Revel creative team swear by? We asked the team, “What is your go-to strategy when you need a creative boost?” Here’s what they said:

Chris Jarratt: "For me creativity inspires creativity, so I hit my favorite sources for creative inspiration, such the CA Annuals (Communication Arts), Dribbble, Behance, LogoDesignLove, Creative Bloq, The Dieline, UnderConsideration, etc. If none of that works, I simply put on the headphones and fire up Jay-Z's The Black Album. That always gets me in a creative mindset."

Amanda Smith:  "I like to get a cup of coffee, turn on some music and scroll through design blogs for a few minutes when I need to get the creative juices flowing again."

Kyle Rutheford: “For me creativity is fueled by nature. It could be a short walk through a park or a few days camping and hiking. Either way I end up feeling charged and ready for the next creative challenge.”

 Do you have a unique or unconventional way for boosting your own creativity? Share with us in the comments section below or on our Facebook page - https://www,facebook.com/reveladvertising.