If you’re feeling stuck, the simplest thing you can do is to inspire your mind. Just as we look after our bodies, we need to nurture our minds and go beyond the areas we are working in. Inspired by the artist, designer and director Es Devlin’s lockdown masterclass on her exploratory research methods, we wanted to share our joy of research in inspiring new ways of thinking.
“Allow your research to take you as far as you want. Allow one thought to lead to another. Don’t be afraid to go down a rabbit hole of research. ” — Es Devlin
Follow your instincts
Focusing on what you’re interested in and going with your instincts, rather than focusing on what’s part of your business or practice, is probably the only way to inspire a new idea or way of thinking. Without following our instincts and looking deeply, we’re unlikely to discover, learn and grow.
Make time to explore and play
Just like physical exercise, making time to explore new ideas is integral to your creative health, and as Es shows in her masterclass, not every research or idea gathering needs to look the same. The way you collect and explore ideas can be completely unique to you.
Record what you find
What are you seeing? What are you feeling? Record your observations as you go. You might use words, shapes, collage, snippets of songs or sounds. There isn’t a right or wrong way.
“Find the common denominators, find the patterns, find the underlying patterns and follow them intuitively.” — Es Devlin
Look for patterns
Es encourages us to keep looking for connections and patterns in our work and to follow them. It’s from this process and the discovery of these interconnections that you’ll begin to see new ideas emerge, providing a way of not only turning ideas into form, and where the opportunities are, but also ways to keep exploring and connecting those ideas.
Take it further
The next step is to take these ideas forward and create something with them. If you’re more comfortable with shapes, then draw, paint or collage. If words, numbers, music or even cooking is your passion, use them. The important thing is to keep absorbing more and more, and recording what you’re finding as you go. You may find yourself moving in a new, unexpected direction or realising that you’re on the path you need to be.