Copyrights illustration – Stella Bentama

The importance of being creative

In the creative job field like Web design, Graphic design, or Digital Marketing, we are paid to create: visuals, web content, templates, applications, etc. We have to be creative to “fight” our competitors. But like any other human, sometimes we run out of ideas. We have literally ZERO inspiration, nothing. So what do you do when you get to the point that you can’t think of anything? Well, let me give you 15 ways to develop and stimulate your creativity.

1. Brainstorm

Nothing is better than brainstorming first. Write down every idea that is coming through your mind. Do it with pen and papers, it’s better than on some Brainstorming apps because you are tempted to delete some words with just one click.

2. Don’t censor yourself

Do not censor yourself while you are producing ideas. Every idea is good to keep, even though some may seem silly. Unconsciously, it will take you to other inspirations that could be great for your project.

3. Get inspiration from other designers

Hold on. I’m not saying that you need to copy/paste someone else’s creative project. I’m telling you to take inspiration from it: a painting’s style, the hidden but smart message of a commercial, an illustration’s color palette… These inspirations will take you on others and will help you build harmony and make sense in your project. This process should not be done before your brainstorming.

4. Create a Moodboard

Writing words can be helping you find a path for your project, but sometimes images speak better for themselves. This association of photos, colors, illustrations, shapes will be easier to create an artistic direction. Select all the images that make you think of your project, put them into different categories, and at the end keep the only relevant ones.

5. Let your dreams speak for you

Quit reality to dive into your subconscious. Our brain is way more creative when we are sleeping. Trust your dreams. So first thing you want to do when you wake up is to write down the stories of your dreams. This way, you won’t forge them. You could be creating something incredible based on your dreams!

6. Go for a walk

Marily Oppezzo’s study showed that walking was beneficial for our creativity. Her test results have proven that a group who had the assignment to go walking while producing ideas were much more creative than a group who was told to sit during the whole test. She advises us to bring our phone to record ourselves when we have ideas.

7. Listen to music

Prepare a little playlist that motivates you or calm you down. Listen to it while you are working, walking, or working out. The song’s universe, lyrics or rhythm may inspire you for your project.

8. Read

Stories are often inspiring. We always get something positive out of it: an emotion, travel in time, imagination. At the opposite of movies, when we read a book, we don’t really know how the characters look like. Our brain imagine them because of the author’s descriptions. Unconsciously, we are making our brain works, so our creativity as well.

9. Speak and listen

I’m not particularly talking about your coworkers or people who work on the creative jobs field. Talk to your closed ones. Talk to people who are different than you, who’s perspectives are far from yours. These people may have some great ideas you would have never think of!

10. Change your work environement

Working from home alone can be frustrating for many of us. Of course, you have the freedom to work the way you want, but working from the same place you live in isn’t really stimulating your creativity. Go out. Work at the terrasse of a coffee, or in coworking spaces. It helps to change your reflexion’s process.

11.  Keep your work environment clean

Work in a clean and bright place. Cut yourself off from any distraction like your phone (notifications). All these elements catches your attention from your main goal and keeps you in reality. How do you want to be creative if you are always bothered by your daily distraction?

12.  Don’t runaway from bold colors

Jean-Gabriel Causse, a French designer and writer have said during his TEDx Talk in Dunkerque that we should all work in a colorful work environment. Blue is for creativity, and red would help you be more productive and focused. So please don’t stay in a dull and boring place all the time. Every color has a behavioral impact on us, so use it!

13. Capture the inspiration!

Contemplate and take the time to observe your surroundings. This woman’s dress, this flyer’s colors, or this charming street: they all have caught your attention but you don’t know why. Capture them, take a picture! You will keep them as a source of inspiration for your next creations.

14.  Change your daily routine

The routine is creativity’s enemy. Change your behavior and your routine to spice your life up et wake up your creativity: take the subway and not your car to go to work, change your running path, wake up an hour earlier than usual. Although this will help stimulate your creativity, the best advice I can give you is to travel alone! What’s better than traveling overseas to get out of your comfort zone?

15.  Meditate

Sometimes, there is nothing worse than forcing yourself to produce something. A study has shown that meditating 30 min a day could make you focus better and generate ideas. So sit down, close your eyes, and don’t think!

Have you tried these solutions to develop your creativity? Did it work? Let me know by dropping a comment!