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xllr8

creative problem solving & critical thinking

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I've been wondring lately, "how did the originators of cool shit make things happen?".

Or rather more importantly what thought process did they employ to approach the almighty "I wonder how...?"

 

What do you do when you get stuck?

experiment, rtfm, google it, hit up a forum, hang out,... etc

 

for example: I knew I wanted to make cool motion gfx, so I goofed around in 3D, video, etc. All this time later, I'm realizing that instead of attempting to devour every detail (of every book on every topic) I could have focused on concept & design aspects first. Then use those results to drive future action, learning or farming as necessary along the way.

 

what questions to do ask yourself to maximize your efficiency/returns on effort expended?

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By stuck, do you mean technically or creatively? Technically I tend to head for Twitter straight off, then after that it's forums and the whole internet merry-go-round.. lately the answer to most problems has been "oh that's been fixed in R13/CS5.5"..

 

Creatively - find a mental groove that works, think the problem out. Going for a walk, sleeping or doing something completely different often helps to ferment ideas you might not otherwise have thought of.

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…predominantly technical. It’s really a random list of odds & ends. Like how do I achieve this mesh, or get this glow…. etc

 

I suppose I should figure out how to up my chops in google-fu J. I don’t want to feel like I couldn’t make it without a forum. Sheez to think, at least I didn’t have to program the tools I use.

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Some spills:

 

Creative: think out of the box and in macro layers. For example, if you need to make a design about lights, make a list of 10 things that pop up in your mind when you think of "light". To go macro, take one of these words and write down 5 things that pop up in your mind. Then try to link these with your original subject, in this case "light".

 

Technical: Forums, Twitter, Google,...

 

grtz

J

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All really great suggestions, yo! It is hard to remember to quit staring at the screen sometimes ;. Also that whole list/wordlist idea expansion technique, yup it works.

Now for the twitter suggestion, don't laugh, but how do you incorporate it? I setup an account once, way before it got popular, then kinda just shoeboxed it.

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Creatively - find a mental groove that works, think the problem out. Going for a walk, sleeping or doing something completely different often helps to ferment ideas you might not otherwise have thought of.

I second that: Ideas usually don't come from staring at a monitor (or two).

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For something technical I usually do searches related to my problem and crawl the usual forums (like here).

 

But for something like a creative block, I have a list of inspirational sites I visit including dribble, Motionographer, motion served, vimeo, mograph.net, and abduzeedo.

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Thanks all, for that twitter heads up. Don't know why I shoeboxed it, but dang it's active :).

...at the very least to stay connected & inspired.

 

Great stuff on the 99percent, timely too. It's pretty amazing how all the articles on prioritized productivity mirror meditative practices. They're like adhd tips for creatives, very rad.

Edited by xllr8

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