Crystal Chan is a freelance sound designer and student of UC San Diego’s Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts program, specializing in music. She currently resides in San Diego, CA.
“In my experience, it’s not so much ‘Inspiration and Distraction,’ but ‘Inspiration IN Distraction.’“
… especially when I feel like I’ve exhausted all of my ideas on a project, or just don’t find the project itself to be particularly interesting. Skill and effort are essential parts of the process, but sometimes the best ideas come when my mind isn’t actively focusing on what I need to do.
Attention is rather tricky for me. I either can’t focus at all and get distracted by everything possible or I focus so intensely that I completely lose track of time and before I know it, the entire day is gone and I’ve spent 12 hours working and forgot to eat. So, one skill that I’ve picked up is to pay attention to my thoughts during the times that I stray from productivity.
While free-roaming through distraction, I often find myself drawing connections to my projects, discovering strange and innovative ways to look at something or achieve a goal, etc. The ideas that result from this also tend to seem more natural and easier to grow and mold to whatever I want.
I like to carry around a notebook and pen, as well. Any time I feel inspired, whether that be thinking of new ideas, seeing something amazing, hearing a catchy song, or coming up with song lyrics I really like, I can jot it down. I enjoy the pen and paper aspect of it because it encourages a more exploratory nature compared to just typing words on my phone. It helps that I can draw arrows, underline, cross out words, and illustrate ideas.”