Is it even possible to accurately explain what creative inspiration actually is? Let’s face it, it’s hard enough to ‘bottle it’, let alone describe it. For me it is more of a feeling, of excitement, thus making it even tougher to pinpoint!
I think of creative inspiration as being the “light bulb” moment, often coming completely out of left field. So, what’s the trigger? Is there a silver bullet?
One of my fields of interest is creative mathematics, that is, mathematics that is not necessarily found in current curricula, which nevertheless serves as a rich reservoir for creative inspiration. The mantra of ‘learning by doing’ is very much at forefront of everything that I dabble with in the creative mathematics space.
Many years ago I came across an article in an American Recreational Mathematics journal that at first didn’t ‘grab me’ immediately, but over time resonated with me sufficiently to inspire me to pursue my own creative mathematics project. The article itself was not a ‘light bulb’ moment, rather a trigger for me to devote some time and energy discovering and inventing my own material.
This material took the form of a board game made up of multi-coloured blocks. However, with the advent of technology, game apps became very popular, more or less sinking my hopes and dreams of pitching my ideas in their current state.
I needed to adapt to the changing environment and as luck would have it I had developed the resources that would steer me toward my future creative inspirations, my coloured blocks!
So, all of those countless long nights, sawing, sanding, painting and re-painting wooden blocks, (made from door-stop), in my man cave was not wasted after all. What I had was the tactile tools required to fiddle, doodle, dabble with that has provided me with numerous ‘light bulb’ moments. By being able to physically handle materials like my beloved coloured blocks has led me to reconfigure my original board game ideas into game apps and puzzles.
What has influenced me in my creative pursuits came from a very simple idea that triggered me to take action. My humble blocks continue to serve me and provide countless creative inspirations. I feel very fortunate and privileged to be able to continue sharing my creative output with people at the workshops I run and through the game stores.