So this past Wednesday I attended a Lunch+Learn for Crosspoint's Creative Team. I volunteer with them and they wanted the opportunity to give back to the people that help serve to make them great. It was an incredible experience because sometimes you just need that creative "recharge" or for someone to tell you..
"HEY! How 'bout you try something new today?!"
No matter what role you are in, we are all creative humans in our own way. We all have our own outlets outside of work that keep us creative... some being: knitting, wall-murals in our garage, coffee connoisseurs, volunteering with a non-profit, typography and even karate.
Sometimes though, when we are in the work flow go-go-go mode, we begin to feel like our creativity is stagnant and/or gone. Good news: your creativity IS NOT GONE - it's just used up for the moment so here are some pointers from Stephen Brewster, Cross Point Creative Director, to help you refuel :)
Tips from Brewster
+ Stay Alert
There is inspiration flying at you 100mph EVERY day. Stay alert and just soak it in.
+ Read / Write Everyday
You might not have time to sit and read a novel every night, but pick up a magazine or open a new article and read until you're inspired. Also write down all your inspiration - come back to it later to see where your mind was going and see if it relates to anything in your projects / life currently.
+ Scrapbook Your Creativity
Not literally - unless you can... then that's awesome. There is inspiration everywhere - airports, restaurants, nature - take pictures of cool creative things you see/like and create an album in your phone, Evernote or Niice to keep it all organized.
+ Take a Picture EVERYDAY
Taking a picture everyday FORCES you to be creative. You can only take so many pictures of your cat before your friends and family start to silently recognize you as the crazy cat lady. One. A. Day.
+ Communicate*** [My Favorite]
In order to communicate and exercise your creativity - you need two type of people in your life:
Champions: (aka your cheerleader) People that inspire you by raving about your talent, complimenting you on a job well done or just praising their love for your work! These people will lift you up and inspire you to do better work, knowing people look up to you.
Challengers: These people are pushing you to do better. Always giving you feedback or encouraging you to try new things or a different approach. Pushing your design, code or spreadsheets to the next level :)
Side note: Whoever your Champions / Challengers are, I encourage you to tell them how they inspire you and thank them today! :) They will be more alert to hold you accountable - AND - you'll totally make their day!
+ Remove Routine
Routine kills creativity. If you work from home every day, change the location of your desk or hang up some different artwork. If you work at the same coffeeshop every week, try a new one. Drive a different way to the grocery store... take a backroad instead of the highway. Mix up your life! You will always find new ideas in the beauty of adventure.
+ Find Yo' Jam
Listen to the music that helps you with what you are working on and focus! These are my two go-to playlists but depending what I'm working on - Spotify Mood Searcher helps with that!! Working from Home playlist and Peaceful Piano.
+ Catch a Movie
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is a movie worth? Go catch a movie! It will always fire up your creativity and get your mind wondering about the branding, collateral, music soundtrack, costumes and how they accomplished all those dare-devil stunts.
+ Take a Walk
The hardest part about being creative is walking away and realizing it is time to forfeit for the time-being and go clear your head. You are not helping anyone by staring at your computer screen - deadlines and time crunching included - taking a 10 minute walk will help your focus more than trying to pound it out on "E".
+ Create Unnecessarily
For some reason when there is a dollar amount tied to your passion... no matter what, it becomes work. You go with what you know creatively, because you know it works. But every time you do that, you are always cramming yourself inside of a box and never trying new things! Create unnecessarily and work with your hands for FREE... but for YOURSELF! It will open outlets for your design and creativity you didn't know were there.
+ Be Intentional to be Alone
Your best ideas are found when you are driving alone, in the shower and right when you wake-up / falling-asleep. Be sure to cherish that time and allow the ideas to flow - keep a notebook by your bed!
+ Dont Quit
You will never succeed if you quit - try the different outlets to test your creativity and see what works best for you!
I hope you enjoyed these pointers as much as I did!