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Brian Tonner from Bright Signals explains how and where to find the perfect creative idea.

How do you get your ideas?

Sit back and wait for them to come to you?

As a copywriter (or a creative if I worked in London) I get asked these questions a lot.

But it’s not so much how do I get ideas, it’s more where do I find them.

First off. I cover lots of paper.

With a nice pen.

Sometimes the answer is on page one.

Other times the idea is on page three or four.

About half the time the best brain nuggets end up on the back pages.

And on Mondays when the mind elastic isn’t mega stretchy the pages come out like the scrawlings of a heartbroken romantic poet.

A rubbish poet.

Lots of ink yes. Lots of ideas? No.

None whatsoever.

Not a fucking sausage.

But that’s ok.

Because there might be some ideas out there.

It’s time to peer further than the margins of your layout pad.

Get your crocs on.

We’re going for a walk.

To the nearest cafe.

Or to the nicer one with the extra plug points that’s about five minutes away.

Bring me mild music. Shined up cakes in glass cabinets. And pleasantly overpriced coffee.

No kombucha thankyou for it is repugnant and despicable.

If an award-winning creative idea isn’t in the first cafe it might be in the second.

Third. Fourth? Please be in the fifth.

Take your notepad out of your bag.

Get scribbling.

Get mad.

Not happening?

Pack up. Pay the bill. Push off.

This is cafe-Groundhog Day and it’s all in a day’s work.

Even an over familiar idea will do at this point.

Unless. Unless…

If you’re lucky enough to have one, try chatting to your creative partner.

That’s what they are there for.

And like all the best brief cracking conversations, it’ll happen in cosy cafe, over coffee, a stone’s throw from your desk.

Don’t sit back and wait for an idea to come, get out of the office and go and find one.