How to Get Inspired...
Take a step into the mind of a creative with this attempted educational stream of consciousness...
STEP 1: The Project.
Typically the creative process starts when someone comes to me and says, "I need you to do this..." They give me the end goal. In this way, the creative process is similar to someone telling you, "I want you to get to the Great Wall of China, but I don't care how you get there." There would be nearly an infinite number of roads, paths, and modes of transportation to get there. So what's next?
STEP 2: The Budget.
To get to the Great Wall I could buy myself a first class luxury airline ticket or I could walk. While the latter would be very scenic, it would probably take a few years to accomplish. If this person is funding your travels, you will have to get an indication for the mode they would prefer you to get there. The goal with a budget is to meet somewhere in between efficiency and beauty to find the most cost effective compromise.
STEP 3: The Method.
Once you know how you will get to the Great Wall, you need to know the direction you will travel. Will you fly over the Atlantic or the Pacific? Will you make pitstops along the way? By finding this information out, you are able to delve into how the person thinks, and furthermore, find out enough about them to start planning your trip.
STEP 4: Fill in the Blanks.
Once you have the outline, the rest is easy for a creative. You simply fill in the blanks. Breathe life into the project.