Creativity-on-Demand: 4 Ways to Stay Creative

By Lesli Walsh on March 13th, 2013 / Comments

A creative career can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Turning something you love and are passionate about into a way to make money is a dream come true for many people. However, there are many unique challenges faced by those in a creative career.

One of the biggest challenges is maintaining the ability to stay creative every day. Nothing can be more stressful than watching the clock countdown to a deadline when no ideas are flowing. Here are some tips to help get you through those rough moments and also improve upon your creativity.

1. Develop your unique process.
There is no right or wrong here. Your process should be unique to you. Your creativity is like a muscle and it can be trained, you just need to know the right way to warm up. I usually start challenging projects by researching and comparing similar projects. Then I move onto some quick sketching to work out multiple ideas quickly. This helps me to think creatively about the project, and to save time that I might spend staring at a blank screen hoping for an idea. It is important to understand how you work best and continue to train yourself to think creatively on demand.

2. Grow a thick skin.
No matter how great you think an idea is, or how passionate you are about it, there is going to come a time when your idea is completely rejected. This can be frustrating and devastating, especially when you really believe in your concept. This does not mean that your idea is bad, just not right for this particular client or project. If you dwell on it, or get angry, you are just making your job more difficult by clouding your thinking. I try to view rejection as a challenge and work really hard on revising the idea. Sometimes it forces me to explore a new concept and I end up liking it even more than the first one. The trick is to let it go, and move on.

3. Keep finding inspiration.
The routine of a full-time job can really hinder creative thought. We need new experiences and observations to keep our creative edge. See new movies, concerts, art shows, try new foods, read. It is our job to take those experiences and interpret them through our work. If you are doing the same thing every day, all of your work might start to plateau. I love seeing the work of other artists and designers, but I also find inspiration in things unrelated to my field. I love cooking and reading and I find that experiencing creativity in any form helps me to think in new ways, and that is what feeds inspiration.

4. Seek new ideas.
The creative mind longs for new ideas as much as our bodies long for air. It can be a lonely place if you are not around others who share your passion and challenge your thoughts. Find time to attend local seminars or events related to your field. Read blogs and articles about topics that interest you. Utilize social media to share and discuss ideas and projects with other creative professionals. I find that exchanging ideas with like minded people on any topic really helps to refresh me when I am feeling uninspired. Gaining a little insight into another persons perspective can sometimes help you see a project in a new light.

How do you keep your creative edge? Share with us and tweet at us different ways to #staycreative.

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About the Author

Lesli Walsh

Designer of graphics. Visit me online at www.leslidesign.com.