By Jason Dreistadt
Creativity is more than equipment. It is more than typing or clicking. It is more than the latest and greatest fonts and color palette. Creativity encompasses more than all of that. It is a mindset… a way of life, if you will, that includes both the approach as well as the execution. And it is not even limited to graphic design and programming. We can all be creative in one way or another.
If you are banging your head against a wall for a new idea, contemplating the challenges of switching from PC to a Mac, or drinking another cup (or two… or three) of coffee to boost your creativity, let’s take a step back and look at five ways to jump-start your creative process.
1 Be Strategic
I know this may sound counter-intuitive. But the left brain and the right brain need to work together. You need to have a plan. Define what you are trying to accomplish and what methods you need to use. I am not saying you need a spreadsheet to chart out the ramifications of varying font sizes and hues, but I am saying that it needs to be thoughtful and intentional.
2 Understand the Box
Many people say to try something new and think outside the box. Here’s the thing… Constraints help define the creative process. Just because there is a box, it does not have to stifle creativity. Some of the best creative ideas come from having to work around specific limitations. Find the best solutions given your parameters (you should have figured some of those out in Point 1).
Good creative ideas can come from the strangest places. Sometimes by getting your mind off of a project for a while and focusing on something else (or nothing at all), a solution will present itself. Stimulating your right brain with meaningful activity allows the subconscious to percolate and bring that inspiration to the top. Sometimes even moving around to a different location can help. One time, I merely sat on the other side of my desk and got a fresh perspective.
4 Continue Learning
Always keep up on the latest trends and thought leaders in your specific area of expertise, as well as some areas that are not your strong suits. By continuing to always learn, you become well rounded and an even greater asset to your coworkers. Because we know that a great idea can come from anywhere (see Point 3), you may be the catalyst that sparks another person’s creativity.
5 Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
No creative solution will take place without first taking a leap. It may be the best idea or the worst idea, however, you will never know until you try. And if it is the worst idea… EVER (I’ve had a few of those), it becomes a learning experience (see Point 4). And sometimes “this” idea will spark “that” idea which will spark another idea to inevitably bring about the final solution. And yes, there will be those times when the final solution will also fail. Do not let it bog you down and stifle creativity. Pick yourself up and move on to the next project.
Jason Dreistadt is Vice President and Chief Operations & Creative Officer at Infinity Concepts. Jason is best known for his passionate commitment to strategic thinking and creative innovation. He brings a broad spectrum of experience in branding, creative design, event planning, marketing, direct mail, and nonprofit management to his work at Infinity Concepts. Learn more at infinityconcepts.com.
Posted Sept. 1, 2022