habit zero #128

the challenge


Today, we will focus on taking a closer look at things. Throughout our creative exploration, we aim to observe and see things differently. But when I say “take a close look” today, I mean it literally: throughout the day, our creative Insights should be based on a close-up view.

When we look at things in close-up — in some sense we take them out of context — we see them differently by definition.

The Seed we are playing with is Starry Night.

my insight


Just before the day was over, I found near my desk the perfect starry night. It’s made of a roll of glittering paper used by my kids for various creative activities. When photographed in close-up, omitting any context, it looks like millions of starts. To enhance the effect, I darkened the photo and turned it into a black-and-white image.



Taking a close-up view is a private case of changing perspectives. It is also one of the simplest ways to see things differently.

When you use an extreme close-up, you are focusing on details which are either not visible or are just getting lost among other information otherwise. The fact the context — the background or the entire object — is no longer apparent also has a dramatic effect. The starry night Insight looks so real just because it is isolated from any context. In other words, it is easy to interpret it as a sky full of starts because nothing in the image suggests otherwise.

The same trick can be applied to any creative challenge you are facing. We often start to analyze a problem or seek a solution from a high-level view. It is indeed a very effective approach as too many details can obscure possible solutions. But sometimes taking a closer look — focusing on a specific detail — can be enlightening. It could be the key to a creative solution.

How to balance this zoom-in and zoom-out — when to apply each and to which extent — that is a skill that has to be sharpened with experience. Being aware of the benefit of these two different perspectives and how they can complement each other, is an excellent first step.

mental notes


  • Zoom in and zoom out — change the level of details you focus on to get new creative ideas for addressing a challenge.

now it is your turn… be creative!



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