Dumpster diving for inspiration

When I was a kid, anything was possible. I made art by melting crayon shavings with a magnifying glass. When I was seven years old, I planned on being an astronaut when I grew up. I discovered diamonds in rocks and built “mansions” out of sticks while camping with family.

Inspiration and creativity were possible at all times and came from everything around me – be it rocks, sticks or dumpster cans as pictured right. (That’s me pictured far left with my little sister, Laura, and two cousins, April and Christopher.)

I have no idea where this photo was taken, but whoever labeled the dumpster “inspiration” is brilliant. Why? Well, inspiration can come from anything (literally as you can see) and when we least expect it. However, for most us inspiration and creativity (which go hand-in-hand) come to us in irregular spurts, or at least that’s what we believe.

Not to fear, there is a solution.

The solution is to allow yourself to be inspired and give yourself the emotional freedom and time to be creative and explore new experiences – just like when you were a kid. What’s even better? Everyone can be creative.

This is great news for professionals working in a creative field, which most of us do whether we realize it or not, because being creative is good for business. It allows your mind to be flexible and adept in recognizing challenges and opportunities as well as how to make the most of those opportunities.

Creativity is crucial to success so long as you zero-in on how your creative ideas can be transitioned into savvy business maneuvers.

So, how should some of us more pragmatic thinkers approach inspiration and creativity?

  1. First, understand that the process is not a mystical one. It’s simply the process of allowing yourself the opportunity to hone-in on what you already know, or don’t know, and connect the dots.
  2. Second, you’ve got to allow yourself the time to be inspired and creative. Think of it like regular physical exercise for your mind.
  3. Third, surround yourself with other inspiration people. These types of personalities always find a way to make things happen – always. Keep them in your corner.

For us practical thinkers, me included, I recommend reading a blog a colleague wrote called “Creative brainstorming best when efficient.” It’s an excellent piece on how to overcome common hurdles in the inspiration and creative process. For those who are not convinced on how valuable creativity is in not only the success of business, but the critical need for it in America (period), I highly recommend reading “The Heart of Business” blog. This blog is written by a design professional named Craig Galati and he’s someone I enjoy keeping in my professional “creative corner.”

It’s easy to be re-inspired and reclaim your creativity, and it can be done one day at a time. For you critical thinkers out there just remember this: a creative thinker sees achievable opportunities everywhere, it’s just a matter of how they approach it.

If you still can’t find your way back to the inspired version of you in your yester-years, try thinking back on your childhood and the exploratory process you took in learning about the world in exciting new ways – like making art from wax shavings and the sun versus a traditional paint and brush.

Amber Stidham is the director of strategic planning at Imagine Marketing.
Contact Amber at

*Blog originally posted at: The Biz-E Gal: Life as a marketing pro and parent

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