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Brainstorming Ideas for Creating, Inventing, Making, Building and Innovating Can-do Solutions

Most people know about brainstorming and have used the process at school, at work or at home to create possible solutions and to create ideas. This process is valuable to know and easy to use, once it is learned. Brainstorming for inventing, creating, making, building, innovating can be applied to virtually any area where it can-do solutions are needed.

There are only a couple rules to follow when brainstorming and it is easy to get side-tracked and forget them. They are very important for the process of creating ideas to flow successfully and generate possibilities.

The Two Rules of Brainstorming Are –

One –

Reserve the critical and especially, negative barrage until some other time and that includes the thinking in those negative and critical terms, as well.

Letting go of preconceived notions of what can’t be done, won’t work, can’t work, doesn’t work and why it won’t work. Those valuable and critical analysis skills are hindering to the brainstorming process rather than helpful although AFTER the entire process has created possibilities, those analytical skills will come in handy.

Two –

Judgmental and limiting constructs of thinking are not helpful in brainstorming real solutions to real world issues, nor to designing and inventing new things that have never been done before.

Letting go of what won’t work together, what must be used for specific purposes and nothing else, what can’t be used for that, what can’t be bought, what has never been done that way, can’t be possible for this and what MUST be used ONLY in certain ways.

Not only does thinking and speaking this way at every turn in the process, deplete the energy for creating solutions, it does nothing else of value either because in doing so, no other solutions are generated or created by it either. Set that kind of thinking aside and put as quick a stop to it as possible or the process of brainstorming might very well miss rather than produce results.

NOTE –

It doesn’t prove anything nor help anything when creating new ideas and innovations through the brainstorming process, to express or think through WHY IT WON”T WORK or WHY IT DOESN”T WORK THAT WAY or WHY IT CAN”T HAVE THOSE THINGS USED IN A DIFFERENT WAY or WHY IT ISN”T RIGHT TO PUT THOSE PARTICULAR THINGS TOGETHER for a possible solution.

Not only distracting, these expressions don’t prove how much better one person is thinking than another in this situation. It is a waste of time – until much, MUCH later in the process of inventing and creating and well after the brainstorming portion of the inventing process is well over.

From the Oxford Dictionaries –

cre·a·tiv·i·ty – [ˌkrēāˈtivədē] NOUN –

The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.
Synonyms: imagination, innovation, innovativeness, originality, individuality, artistry, inspiration, vision, enterprise, initiative, resourcefulness
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from Wikipedia –

CreativityWikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creativity

Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible or a physical object.
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CricketDiane 2018 Invent - Inventing -Box Grey White 1 CricketDiane 2016 small tableau
Inventing Tableau created by me (CricketDiane 2018), to describe the creative process of inventing.

Brainstorming in three steps –

First – 

Decide on a problem to solve, something to create or state a question to be answered.

Second – 

Generate ideas of possible solutions, turn it around other ways, seek other ways to answer the question or to solve the problem.

Third – 

Writing down all – and I mean, ALL the information as the process of brainstorming and generating ideas occurs, take one more step and ask the question again for the subconscious to generate possibilities and solutions. WRITE THESE DOWN TOO.
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Notes on the Process of Brainstorming –

In those three simple steps, the brain / the mind can begin assessing a problem, critically analyzing what it will take to solve the problem and generate possibilities for solutions.

Throughout the process of brainstorming, no matter how outlandish, silly, unattainable, ridiculous, insane, crazy, new, never done that way before or STUPID an idea or thought may be – WRITE IT DOWN ANYWAY without judgment. DON”T exclude ANY of them.

The reason for this is because the mind and subconscious will generate more rather than shutting down, if EVERY single idea is given the merit of recording it by writing it down, saying it aloud for a video or audio record of it and by putting it on a whiteboard, post-it note or on a chalkboard,

The fact is, some of those ridiculous, crazy and unattainable ideas end up producing other ideas or combinations of ideas – and sometimes, they even turn out to be the ideas and solutions that do work.

To not record those ideas which are judged along the way as stupid, silly or crazy, only serves to hinder the process, thwart the generating of more possible solutions and maybe even cheat you out of real solutions that can and will work in the real world.

Brainstorming is only one facet of generating solutions and creating ideas that will work as part of the inventing process. Among a group of people, focus groups and teams of people, brainstorming often yields surprising solutions that would not have been considered nor created at all.

Creative brainstorming is an amazing process and quickly delivers to the individual inventor or teams of people, large groups of possible solutions and novel approaches to create something new, to innovate something or to solve an existing problem. It also awakens the intellect, the subconscious and the creative mind to continue applying what is known and unknown to create solutions to the problem and to invent new ways to approach it.

Happy Inventing and Innovating!

– cricketdiane, 01-09-18

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Let’s Invent Something

Inventing is fun and sometimes the yield is a solution that has not been done before. Whether inventing makes a new thing or an innovation of an existing thing, the process of inventing is enriching and rewarding. Inventing strengthens thinking skills, creativity, problem solving, resourcefulness and improves the abilities to apply many other skills to real life situations and things. It is well worth doing.

There are several ways to approach inventing. One way is to start with a problem that needs a solution and invent solutions, products, processes, systems and innovations that improve or solve for that particular issue.

Another way to approach inventing is to start with nothing in particular as a goal, sit with an array of mismatched miscellaneous things and simply starting playing with them until something else is created. Sometimes it can solve an existing problem or provide a solution that is needed and sometimes it creates a non-utilitarian outcome that is unique and interesting. Often this process itself is valuable because it helps the mind to find other solutions and inventions that awaken along the way throughout the process.

The trick in either approach is to capture, not only the end product and enjoy the process of inventing and resourcing that happens, but also to grab those interim ideas, solutions, thoughts, applied knowledge and other inventions during the process. This can be done by quickly writing down a note here and there or by doing video of the process and speaking aloud those thoughts and ideas or by setting aside those interesting interim steps as they are, when they happen as the inventing is underway.

Briefly – To Invent Something – 

Step One – Decide to invent something. Set aside the next hour to be involved in inventing something. It can be 30 min. and for that matter, it can be the next break of ten minutes, if the idea generating part of the process is separated from the action steps to play with actual making. It doesn’t require absolute quiet. Inventing does not require zero distractions. It doesn’t need everyone else around you to stop what they are doing and let you invent something.

Step Two – Give merit to some ideas that you’ve had about things that you’d either like to invent or that need an invention to solve them. It doesn’t matter how big an idea it is or how large an issue it solves. Just because you aren’t a bridge builder, doesn’t mean you won’t be the one who comes up with a sustainable, workable solution to some existing problem with building bridges that still exists today. Even small ideas and small issues that creates headaches for everyone are call for solutions and inventions. Some of these are worth thinking about too. Write them down as you think of them. That starts the inventing creative juices and intellectual skill sets into action.

Step Three – Draw on your knowledge and experiences to bring information to the process. If you don’t know something, google it or look it up in the books around your home that you’ve noticed without opening. Drop those books open at the point your hand opens them and see how that information starts folding into the process. Check details on the internet, but don’t get lost in trails of information. Keep referring back to your paper and pencil, tablet doc or video talk it out loud process to get the new info into the mix. Talk into a tape recorder or a facebook live video, if nothing else to get the idea and information flow recorded as the stages of inventing progress. Later these highlights can be used to trail off into other projects, other inventions, resourcing for networks of other possibilities and possibly, for markets once the invention is at the final stages.

Step Four – Put your hands on something. It can be drawing the ideas, writing them down, but even better is to start touching things and trying them together in different ways towards a solution to make your invention ideas come alive. White boards are great, but getting some items from around the garage or attic into a box and fiddling with them is almost magic in the ways it stirs the inventing process. Make sure and write down, photograph, video or record those ideas and interactions with things during this part of inventing – or they will be lost, because they will change and keep becoming something else or something more as the process of inventing continues.

Step Five – Check what you’ve done. Look at what you’ve created, ideated, modified, innovated, invented along this way and start matching how those ideas and inventions could solve certain problems you’ve had in mind at the start. Would they? Or have they solved something else that you had not really thought of directly but it could do that? Have there been nifty, interesting creations and inventions from throughout the inventing process that could be their own outcome and interest you? These can be either set aside for later or take a moment and decide that there is the direction you’d like to see to conclusion first.

Step Six – Depending on the ideas and inventive avenues you’ve decided to pursue, the next stage of inventing is about making something with those ideas and determining what things from the real world would be required to create it. That can be as simple as determining whether it could be made in wood or metal. And, it can be as complex as looking online to understand carbon composites and where to buy small quantities for creating a prototype of the invention. More drawings help at this point, keep taking notes and recording ideas as they occur. This part of the inventing process is not as mundane as it may seem. The mind will create more solutions here that could also work, will problem solve for lacking access to the exact perfect materials by accessing and resourcing options that could work and will create ideas for getting your hands on materials or pieces of other machines and salvaged or reclaimed things that could be used to make you invention or innovation.

Step Seven – Go create the damn thing, if you haven’t already. Create the inventions and solutions that have come along in the stages of inventing too. Make them. Build them. Invent the same thing again and take one of the other avenues you had considered to see where it leads and how it approaches the problem solving in a new or different way. It will yield surprising and often, astonishing results as your mind draws on the previous experience to refine the invention in new ways. Build a prototype and make drawings either by hand rendering or on the computer using things like SketchUp and drawing apps. Save the interim sketches and ideas as you use those, by the way – and then continue modeling and rendering. Those interesting elements at various stages will remind you of other avenues to pursue as well and serve as part of the inventing process that is extremely valuable.

Happy Inventing

  • cricketdiane, 01-08-18

By the way, check around and there may be a makers space near you where the prototype can be made by you as a member using the tools and resources available there. Most of the makers spaces are reasonably priced and use of some areas / tools / time there if commonly priced ala carte as well as through the membership pkg.

Also check out the Makers Magazine sometime. It is filled with resources for inventing and making.

CricketDiane 2016 inventing invention
An invention that I prototyped using the Manhattan Makers Space last year. They were so busy on their computers, they barely noticed me back with the tools creating it. Very fun. CricketDiane 2016

 

10 More Great Tips for Artists

10 More Great Tips For Artists – 2
©Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2008

1. Go through the house, office and studio – sharpen every pencil – make sure anywhere with a writing surface has a cup of pencils, pens and an old-fashioned hand held kid’s pencil sharpener. Place some sheets of clean, un-lined paper nearby, plus posty notes and 4×6 sheets of unlined paper to make thumbnails and notes.

2. When paint tubes are near their end, cut them open and use the last of the paint directly from the casing or scape out with palette knife and use from the palette. Save the lid, cause sooner or later . . .

3. Place paint cloths, paper towels and cloths filled with thinners or turpentine into old metal coffee cans with lids. Keep out of reach of children and away from foodstuff until ready for disposal. Be sure and mark can with red electrical or paint tape and label with marker what it is.

4. A piece of rubberized, textured shelf liner cut 4″ square is good for opening paints, paint jars and tubes, jars of medium and varnishes. Pliers, if used, must be held firm but with gentleness or they can rip the paint tube and press the lid and tube lip beyond recognition.

5. Baby wipes will take almost any paint off hands including oil paints, acrylics, alkyds (which are very nasty) and acrylic mediums – as well as some glues. Masking fluid can be cleaned up with dawn dish soap and a baby wipe. Brushes dipped in dawn dish soap and water before use in masking fluids will allow the masking fluid to be removed after use.

6. Dawn dish soap will take oil paints and other paints, except alkyds, off hands and out of brushes. Xylene and toluene based enamels must have their own thinners to be removed from anything. Do not use dawn dish soap or toluene based thinners on natural bristle brushes because the natural oils in the hairs are also removed and the bristles will eventually disintegrate. Do not leave brushes in water, turpentine or thinners for any extended length of time. Glues that hold bristles can dissolve and are compromised. The bristles will then release in the painted surface as it is being created. The bristles can also give way entirely from the metal casing that holds them to the handle..

7. Old brushes with dried paint make perfect tools to create certain special effects in painting surfaces. Don’t yell at the kids and don’t throw them out. Set them aside in a cup or box with similar tools for special effects when painting and sculpting.

8. When stores go out of business – there is a lot of unusual shelving they also sell – make them an offer. Also, hair salons’ shelving and store displays make good additions for studio  storage. Cabinets from kitchen remodeling can be acquired and cleaned, resurfaced, painted or glued with new formica pieces. Countertops can be added pre-made from the hardware store or from cabinet shop remakes. Any solid door or old table top can be placed on top of several cabinets for a worktable.

9. Some design markers (professional grade like ad agencies and illustrators use) can be reconstituted by placing alcohol or acetone (nail polish remover) into a shallow dish and placing the tip into it to absorb the carrier. Some art markers can be reconstituted with water, alcohol (or mineral spirits and/or painting mediums). Use of pigments are available in a new form with the latter and are no longer appropriate for children to use.

10. As new work is being created or experimental ideas are being explored, take digital photos or scans throughout the process at different stages. Viewing them on the computer gives a better view and a different understanding of what is being conveyed in the paint. Then, the process can continue with the additional information during the creation of the work.

Happy Painting!

(Re-post from 2008)