If only there were an on-and-off switch for creativity, the world would have much better design. Creativity is the impulse that drives good design to communicate non-verbal messages to your target audience.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an internal setting to get the creative juices flowing. It sometimes takes inspiration and out-of-the-box thinking to get yourself in the right frame of mind to strategize, to plan and to execute design that makes a real difference. We’re passing on 7 of our favorite quotes that help our team when we’re hit with the proverbial blank page.
“Everything you can imagine is real.” — Pablo Picasso
As one of the pioneers of the avant-garde art movement Cubism, Pablo Picasso revolutionized the way the world saw art. No longer was art kept in a tightly bound box of landscapes and portraits. His talent and influence on creativity as we know it proved that the only thing to hold you back is yourself.
Imagination is the most powerful tool to inspire your aesthetics. Creativity is not always a linear process. Be open to the possibilities.
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook
The path to creativity is to be bold and to act without fear. If you’re not willing to make mistakes, how will you know how far your creative endeavors will reach?
Much like the customer process, avoid the friction of seeing the creative process as yet another item on your to-do list. When you’re having fun, your audience will pick up on that vibe and they’ll want more of what you’re offering.
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“Creativity is an energy. It’s a precious energy, and it’s something to be protected. A lot of people take for granted that they’re a creative person, but I know from experience, feeling it in myself, it is a magic; it is an energy. And it can’t be taken for granted.” — Ava DuVernay
Creative people, listen up! Your talent and skill needs to be nurtured, not abused. According to the Harvard Business Journal, to be more creative, schedule your breaks. They found that when people switched back and forth between two idea-generation tasks at a fixed interval, they generated the most imaginative ideas.
When you hit a wall, step away from your project. Take regular breaks so you can hone your creativity with a fresh eye.
“If you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain.” — Dolly Parton
Don’t let a bad day, bad team or a bad client define your project. Oftentimes, the most beautiful, wonderful creative projects are borne out of negative experiences.
Dolly Parton grew up poor in the Smoky Mountains. As a woman trying to move up in the male-dominated country music industry, she experienced her fair share of discrimination and harassment. Yet, she is the biggest star in country music, and perhaps the only celebrity to bridge the gap between conservative and liberal politics. She has sold more than 177 million records, has 25 single or album releases certified Gold or Platinum, has won 8 Grammys and has composed more than 3,000 songs.
“It’s true whether it’s the music business or any business there are certain guidelines and certain rules that you go by,” Dolly said in this Forbes article. “One of them is found based on that old saying of ‘to thine own self be true’. You have to know who you are, you have to know what it is that you do best, you have to be willing to sacrifice for that and you take it as far as you possibly can.”
“Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.” — Salvador Dali
Perfection is subjective and a fallacy. You can waste a lot of time trying to reach for that perfect situation, design, messaging and strategy. Instead, what really happens is analysis paralysis. Your eye for detail is great, but when it stops you from moving forward, doesn’t that defeat the purpose?
“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” — Albert Einstein
Tap into your creative energy by surrounding yourself with fellow creative people, a movie, a good book, a walk through an art gallery. Creativity thrives with diverse perspectives, so don’t be afraid of constructive criticism. Make room for innovation and develop risk-taking strategies that workout your creative muscles. And, remember, to pay creativity in kind. Encourage others to show off their creativity.
“What makes you different or weird — that’s your strength.” — Meryl Streep
In business, it’s called differentiation or unique value proposition — what makes your brand stand out from your competitors. Today’s audience wants to support brands they trust, whose mission and vision is something that align with their values. If you’re having trouble tapping into the flow of creative energy, ask yourself why you are in business, why you do what you do, what you’re passionate about. Oftentimes, the qualities that others might find weird or different are what gives you the most power.