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The Creative Process and Using Your Five Senses

By: Amy Marks-McGee
Posted: March 3, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

Chances are that your best ideas do not come to you when you are in your office from 9–5. Unfortunately, most of you work in a vacuum where you rarely think outside of your responsibilities and your industry. This tendency to limit yourselves is a major impediment to creativity. To facilitate creativity you need to be in tune with your five senses at all times.

In the beauty industry, consumers are continually seeking what’s next and what’s new, challenging you to invent new and unique products and services. In order to continually create new products, you need inspiration. Inspiration happens from a variety of stimuli, and the best ideas often come to you when you are least expecting it—usually when you are not trying to solve a problem. Often inspiration and information are in front of you, but you are too busy to see it. So the next time you are not working, think about the activities you do outside the office and see how you can find inspiration.

Eating and Cooking

Whether you enjoy dining out or cooking in, ingredients are a key factor in your eating or cooking experience. From traditional home cooking to trendy cocktails to the gastro-molecular movement, new ingredients, uses and combinations of ingredients continually present themselves. Take note of unique ingredients or combinations and you may begin to notice a pattern that can be applied to your work in beauty.

Other characteristics to keep in mind include aesthetics such as the smell, taste, color, texture and presentation of your food. Aromas and tastes are an integral part of your daily experiences. In addition, color and the way food is displayed, as well as the texture and mouth feel, add to your sensory experience. For instance, if you have eaten at a restaurant whose cuisine is unfamiliar, you probably were much more aware of your surroundings. The newness of the atmosphere, scents, unfamiliar ingredients, unusual combinations and presentation of food made this dining experience unique and different from the everyday.