Grab a backpack
There are travelling art scholarships that are given out in Australia every year to young artists. These include the Brett Whitely Travelling Scholarship and the Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship. Why do the scholarships send artists travelling? Why don’t they just send them to their studio with some cash and tell them to practice what they do? How does travel contribute to an artists development?
Travel represents many things to an artist: Fresh environment, new ideas, different perspectives, unique stimulus, a change in the way you see the world. These are all wonderful things to stimulate creativity. Every well known Australian artist (from my understanding anyway) has taken in some major overseas trips that has greatly influenced their art and career. A different perspective has been forced on them from being in a different environment, surrounding themselves with completely new things and most importantly looking at and recording what they see . It is often spoken of as a turning point in their practice. Artists respond to and represent the world around then. The environment they place themselves in and the stimulus it brings is of utmost importance.
It is the same for creativity and corporate creativity in particular. If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got. If you want to get fresh ideas, continuously innovate with new products and ways of working then you need to travel! Does this mean everyone needs to grab a backpack and head to Paris? Whilst this sounds great, post GFC this probably isn’t going to happen. You can travel without going to far. Find a fresh environment for your team meeting. Bring in someone from another department who has nothing to do with your problem for a new perspective. Spend a day in your customers shoes. Go for a quick walk in the park. Sit in a cool coffee shop and make a list of all of the interesting things you see and relate them to your problem for some new stimulus.
Make a commitment to do some mind travelling every day. Grab your back pack – what are you waiting for? And remember, even a little adventure feels GOOOOD.