Three Channeling Tips to Help Idea Generation

Many independent creatives think of themselves as channels rather than originators of an idea. What exactly does this mean?

When you make a work of art, like a painting, a photograph or a novel, people might refer to you as the painter, photographer or writer respectively. However, some people believe that they don’t come up with the ideas that lead to these works of art themselves. Perhaps these ideas are just floating around and they just channel them into the right direction.

This is a metaphysical idea, of course, and it might seem strange at first. How can ideas just be floating around? They have to come from somewhere, right? And that somewhere must be a person’s brain or mind, not some metaphysical outer source. Still, it’s interesting to try to channel ideas because it can help you to come up with new things that you might not have thought of before. Here are a few ways in which you can do so:

  1. Empty the mind. One great way to “catch” ideas is by emptying your mind. This can be done via meditation. You can either concentrate on your breathing or listen to a soft piece of music that you like. Try to imagine that all your mental chatter is floating away. You might already have good ideas in your mind but they’ve been covered up with other, non-essential thoughts. Let those things fade away until you find a nugget of truth at your core. And then try to translate that nugget into art.
  2. Learn from your idols. Everyone loves certain artists, singers, photographers etc. And everyone’s taste is different. So keep the people that you love in mind and try to channel them. Singer Ariana Grande has been quoted as saying, “I’m trying to channel super-confident women like Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé, because I realized that if you want something, you really have to go for it, just like they do.” Think about the qualities you want to develop the most in your art or even your personal life. Then figure out who already possesses those qualities and try to channel them.
  3. Channel your feelings. Another great way to experiment with channeling is by directing your efforts towards your feelings, which are usually a great source of ideas. Your thoughts might crowd your mind and prevent you from moving towards your goals. However, your feelings are always clear. You always know when you’re feeling good about something or bad. If you focus on your feelings and try to convert them into art, you’ll find that you’re channeling something beautiful and powerful!
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