Graphic and Web Designer

Tips on Staying Creative

Category : Design · (1) Comment · by Sep 2nd, 2013

This has been long overdue but here is the list I made from last weeks podcast describing helpful tips on how to stay creativity. These are things that I’ve tried from time to time I hope you find them just as helpful as I have.

Creative Process & 18 Tips to Stay Creative

Make lists.

Keep a list of the things you plan to do for the day. This will help you stay organised and set you on a good path for achieving your daily goals.

Write down all ideas/ brainstorming.

When I work on projects I sometimes like to brainstorm and let my mind spill out all over a page with ideas. From here I can then build on the ones that I feel work and then start word associating. Word association is where I brainstorm words that best relate/ highlight my projects key points. Once I’ve jotted down all the words I can think off I like to highlight at least 5 words and see if I can build some drafts from there.

A good example of word association would be if I was working on a finance project I would start listing words such as money, currency, banks, stock exchange, foreign exchange, money bag, piggy bank, calculator, bank teller, business men, suit, ties. From there you can see how one word stems to another. Through word association you create a better idea for yourself on what you are trying to achieve with your design element.

Carry a notebook/ or have a notebook app (Evernote).

Yes, this might be a bit of a carry at some points when you feel that you have other things more important to store in your bag. Trust me! A sketch/ notepad is always handy to have around! You never know when aide will pop into your head! Be it a quick idea that comes up for a project that you’re working on or if you see something on the wall and it gives you an idea for starting a fun project for yourself.

Take a break

Get away from the computer, change your environment and go out for a walk to stretch your legs.

Don’t beat yourself up.

We’ve all had the moment when we get frustrated with ourselves and feel that we’re not performing at our best! Don’t be so harsh or yourself as this might do more harm than good and cause you to feel like you failing even more. Just take a break and accept that you’re still developing and  believe that you will create something better/ come back stronger.

Allow yourself to make mistakes.

Such a classic saying! Mistakes is where the magic happens! It’s what forces us to learn and to come back stronger. We should welcome mistakes (to an extent!) and se them as opportunities for us to grow and develop ourselves physically and mentally. What I mean was that if I was in the gym and I was doing a squat with poor form and was told that I was sloppy. I’d take it as a blessing in disguise, learn from this critique and find out the proper form of performing squats so that next time I can go back to the gym and develop myself physically. Through this process, I’ve built the mental strength to accept critique and to not beat myself up and saw this as a chance to correct my form and come back stronger. Accept failures, they happen for a reason. To teach us things we didn’t know before and make us stronger people.

Be open minded with your ideas

Don’t be afraid to share your ideas and thoughts. The worst idea is the one that never gets shared! No matter how silly, incorrect or off the wall it may sound an idea could provide you and those around you with the right ammunition to get your project off the ground and again help you achieve the goals that you create for yourself.

Break the rules

(but first make sure you know the rules so that you know which ones to break constructively).

Don’t be afraid to bend the rules from time to time (as long as you don’t hurt nobody!) then this will give you a chance to push the limits a bit. I know I’ve found it a bit difficult to try new things but once I have it turns into an experience where I know that I can say that I’ve tried  something new and depending on the result it will help me determine if I an use it again apply it in a different way or simply not do it again.

Stop trying to create your work whilst analysing it at the same time.

Just let your ideas flow, don’t worry about applying a grid or getting the letter spacing correct right off the bat, the main thing i to not lose focus or disrupt the creative wave that your surfing by analysing something minor like thinking about colour or shapes. Just go with the flow and worry about the smaller details once you feel you’ve planted your ideas/ work on your sketchpad or working document.

Clean your work space.

This is a bit feng-shui to say but a clean workspace reduces a cluttered mind! Give it a go! Spring clean your workspace!

Get feedback.

It’s always nice to have your work reviewed and get some feedback on it to see how others perceive the work you create, and have them let you know that your work is ticking the right boxes and portraying the right message. However..there is an extent!..Proceed to the next point…

Don’t allow your work to be someone else’s perfect.

It’s all good when someone is helping you out with your work and give you suggestions and feedback. Bear in mind that that’s all it is..FEEDBACK and SUGGESTIONS! Don’t let somebody else dictate/ stump your creativity. Keep yourself in the driving seat and don’t get steamrolled into adopting somebody else’s idea and approach, cause if that’s the case then you might as well handover the project to them if they want to do it so badly that they’re disregarding all the work that you’re pouring into it. Stay strong and don’t get overruled.

Surround yourself with creative people.

They say that we are the direct reflection of those around us. If you surround yourself with great people then you are creating an ideal environment for yourself that will allow you to nurture your goals and aspirations that will ultimately help you overcome barriers and meet your personal goals.

Don’t give up.

Need I say more?

Find different ways of doing things

Experiment with your creative approach. For example you are used to creating posters in Photoshop using images/ photography. How about adding a spin on things and creating the same poster in Illustrator and using vector instead or focusing more on typography! This new approach will help you learn and expand your creativity borders. Enjoy!

Find inspiration.

Who doesn’t like looking at other peoples work! If we didn’t have each other, who would we learn from or build our ideas off of? Find resources like PinterestDribbble or subscribe to creative newsletters like Hongkiat. These will help us with fresh creative breeze from time to time and inflate our sails are we explore the sea of creativity.

Enjoy what you do.

Take pride in your work. Do what makes you happy! It makes your enjoyment of life all the more fulfilling and worth living!

Finish the job

Always see a job from start to finish! There will always be some sort of experience for you to take away from a job and at the end of the day you will leave with another project under your portfolio, another happy customer and another experience that you can learn from and share with others.