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Your Daily Creative Challenge

Sep 10 2017

Creativity isn’t a state of being—it’s a practice. So Fast Company created a 14-day challenge, tapping some of the most intriguing and productive minds in their community to provide exercises to help their readers reach their creative potential. One of their contributors is our own Roshi Givechi, partner and executive design director at IDEO New York. Here’s her recipe for discovering inspiration in the every day.

As a Third Culture Kid, I took pictures to trace my changing worlds. These days, capturing and reflecting on images is how I feed my sense of wonder. This creativity challenge uses a dash of intention to keep your curiosity engaged throughout the day.

Roshi Step 1

1. Morning Capture

In the morning, take a picture of something or someone around you.

Make a mental note of why you photographed the subject. What caught your attention? Then, examine the image. Identify one element or aspect of that image that strikes you. It can be anything—an object in the frame, a color, a texture, a mood. What sparks your curiosity? This is the kernel of inspiration for the next picture you’ll take in this short series.

Write down and complete this sentence: In my next picture, I’m curious about exploring ______.

Roshi Step 2

2. Midday Capture

In the afternoon, take a picture inspired by the kernel of inspiration you wrote down earlier and reflect on what you appreciate about this new capture. Then, look at the image, studying it to identify a new kernel for the next picture you’ll take.

Write down and complete this sentence: In my next picture, I’m curious about exploring ______.

Roshi Step 3

3. Evening Capture

In the evening, take a picture inspired by the kernel of inspiration you jotted down in the afternoon.

Then, look back at the first and last images you captured. Compare them. What’s their relationship to one another? What do you make of their juxtaposition?

Did your curiosity take you far from where you started? Did you circle around a single idea? What does that say about you in this moment of your life? Even if the setting didn’t change much, noticing details in your everyday environment can be a worthwhile exercise—especially in an era of selfies.

I hope this challenge was an easy way to observe what's around you. It can also be compelling if done over a week or month. Instead of taking multiple pictures in one day, take one picture per day and identify a kernel of inspiration to steer your focus for the photo you snap the next day, and repeat. Compare your first image with your very last, and reflect on the journey.

One last provocation: Pass this creative challenge to someone you know. Just copy and paste the instructions and, in the spirit of generosity, give them your last image to help inspire the first image they might take—like a visual chain letter.

Cassandra Cc Card
  • Roshi Givechi

    IDEO Alum
    Having spent significant time across the U.S. and Asia, Roshi channels her global exposure towards amplifying creativity and culture firmwide.
  • Miles Holenstein

    Graphic Designer, Global Talent, IDEO San Francisco
    Miles is a designer, writer, and morning person currently working at IDEO San Francisco. His most recent work focuses on urban ecology in relation to human diversity.