I wanted to share something that I’ve been working on including in my workshop course materials about learning how to cultivate your creativity. We all start out in life with a different set of tools for accomplishing our goals. Some people have natural talents, some have lots of support from their families, some have life paths that teach them valuable skills… But some don’t. You don’t have the same toolbox as anyone else. Our talents, the support & education we receive, the growth we experience, it all varies, as do our abilities to find creative solutions.
1. Stop Comparing.
It’s totally insane to imagine that we should measure our output with anyone else, no matter how similar they may seem to us. Consider simply that every moment you spend comparing is a moment you COULD be spending creating, practicing and honing your own abilities. Also, you have to understand that the struggles you face as you create are vital to building your abilities. We always say that you are not hiring a designer, you are hiring their experience. Experience is what makes a creative person valuable. They’ve been through struggles and they’ve solved them, and that contributes to their toolbox.
2. Focus on Solutions.
The process of finding a creative solution, whether you’re designing, painting, or doing any kind of creative work, starts with being able to visualize the outcome. Knowing what you need the end point to be is the most important step. If you know what the outcome needs to be, then you won’t get hung up on the obstacles. We like to say that if you have no plan, then how do you know if you’re facing an obstacle or an end? So, always start on paper. Sketch the solution, or write it down first.
3. Sharpen Your Tools.
Acquire new skills and experiences like they are what you need to breathe. Share your skills with others. Eventually, your output will be a reflection of the energy you put into creating good work. The journey is what makes your output unique and diligence paired with focus will result in a product that you can take pride in.
I also wanted to mention that something I run into with people who are learning to design is a tendency to rely on tricks or trends. This is why I always encourage my students to start with paper. Your design concepts shouldn’t rely on the Photoshop effects to be good. You should be able to communicate your solution using pencil and paper FIRST. If it’s good on paper, then it will be amazing when you execute it with design software.
So, I’m curious… What are your biggest hurdles when you’re trying to be creative?