Keep Creativity Flowing? Tips From Creative Professionals.
Working at a design studio, video production agency, or any type of creative business means you have to keep coming up with fresh, innovative, and original ideas.
But even the most heralded artist can find it hard to keep their creative juices flowing throughout the daily grind. This is especially tough when new concepts must be designed upon request.
Writer’s block, content creation burnout, or whatever you want to call it. You simply can’t force creativity. However, there are many strategies to help stimulate your brain’s right hemisphere, and get the mind churning again.
Here are 10 practical tips to give your creativity a boost, from creative professionals in the field
1.Mahsa Fartous - Jimmy Joy
Creative Director at meal replacement company Jimmy Joy
“What works best for me to get the creative juices flowing is to first do extensive research and collect as much information as possible about a subject.
Visual research by collecting a lot of different images, but also diving into the history of the subject, reading articles, watching interviews, etc. depending on the project.
After this, I usually take a shower or bath for it all to ‘sink in’ and let my thoughts float away. Because I’m free from external stimuli, and the water has a calming effect, I can connect the dots without interruptions and come up with the best ideas.
After my shower, I make sure to write all my ideas down and develop them further later.”
2.Catharina Glogowski - Jaguarita
Owner and Designer of fashion and accessories brand Jaguarita
“My ultimate tip to boost creativity: head out into nature by yourself! I feel so inspired when I’m in the jungle, and during my trips to different places in Mexico sourcing new materials. Nature and new places always give me new perspectives.”
3.Ingrid sanghee edwards - Digital navigatorz
Owner and Creative Director of creative consulting agency Digital Navigatorz
“If I’m stuck on something in one creative pathway, I stop to take a break and indulge creatively in other outlets. Paired with moments of silence, reflection, self-care, and nature I am able to come back to the original task at hand and have a completely different perspective on it.”
4.Monique Drent - The Swapshop
Co-Founder of circular clothing project The Swapshop
“Creating a social startup is super cool, but sometimes stressful. Every day I’m busy with several different activities and often unexpected challenges.
Working too much and for too long at a time can send me into an uninspired survival mode. That’s why I set my alarm every hour so that I can ‘land’ for a few minutes.
Whatever I’m doing at that moment when my alarm goes off, I drop everything to do a little meditation session, jump up and down, go for a quick walk, or sneak out (during a meeting) to the kitchen for a glass of water.
This prevents me from feeling too submerged in my responsibilities and helps me keep a calm attitude toward deadlines. And this is exactly when I get the best ideas.”
5. Khaled Hamada - Levantine House
Co-founder, Designer and Event Manager at home/gifts shop and event decor/production company Levantine House
“The space that I’m in, influences my creativity. If I need new ideas, I surround myself with the place, tools, and the people that make me feel safe and accepted. Then my ideas will flow freely by themself.”
6. Anne Dijkstra - Creativebros
Co-owner and Video Producer at visual content company Creativebros.nl
“As a group of freelancers together we felt it was important to have a nice communal workspace where we could all film and edit our projects.
This created a work culture that increased conversation, the exchange of ideas, and inspiring each other to step out of our comfort zone to try something new!
Because everybody has their own interests and perspectives, which all came out so naturally this way.
So, my tip is to make sure you create a safe, inspiring work atmosphere that allows for experimentation, that also offers a good foundation to fall back on when people make mistakes.”
7. Marielle van Schie - Flirt Creativity
Head of Account at full-service creative agency Flirt Creativity
“As the Account Director at a full-service advertising agency, it’s important to know enough about all the services (branding, digital, design & photo/video production) we offer. Because my job primarily consists of establishing and communicating briefings within our team.
You might assume that this doesn’t require creativity, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Sometimes a client doesn’t really know what they need, so you have to think very fast on your feet during meetings.
At first, I primarily read books about advertising icons, like “Things I have learned” by Sagmeister. But lately, I found a new source of creativity; watching a lot of video content, especially documentaries about musicians and artists.
For example, “Watch the Sound” by Mark Ronson inspired the idea to connect a fashion brand to a well-known guitar brand for a branded content campaign collaboration.
The first draft for a branding concept came forth after watching the documentary “Jeen-yuhs” by Kanye West, during which we were inspired by the concept of continuing where others stop and the endless drive with which Kanye fights for his ideology.
“The Andy Warhol Diaries” has also inspired my team and me because it brought some of his concepts to light that were previously quite unknown.
Learning as much as possible from artists helps you feel inspired in ways that can be applied to any moment, and can be very useful during client meetings. I feel a lot more secure and feel like I can inspire others too with the underlying meaning and stories of these geniuses.
You never know where a good idea can come from, that’s why I try to expose myself to as much content as possible.
So, after another day working in the creative industry, go get a well-deserved bag of popcorn and get comfy on the sofa. You can never know when what you are watching, might lead to the next best idea!”
8. Nick Marlow - Studio Wit Zwart
Co-founder and Creative Director of video production company Studio Wit Zwart
“Keep giving your creativity impulses by discovering what others are doing. To make sure you come up with original ideas, it’s important to know what’s going on in the industry, so that you are able to avoid the common clichés.
But besides this, you should also talk about your ideas with people who are not part of your industry, because they have a whole different perspective on things.
They often don’t recognize how the technique behind something is really impressive, they just simply take it for what it is.
Lastly, doing sports is also super important! Sometimes when you’re stuck, it can really help to do a one-hour workout. It feels like you are resetting your head, able to make a fresh start.”
9. Joanna van der Werf - Underpromise Agency
Managing partner & brand strategist at artist representation and creative solutions agency Underpromise Agency
“Sometimes you just need to close your laptop, switch your phone off and do something completely different by yourself. Go for a walk, look out the window, or sit on a bench for some people-watching.
I often go to the bookstore by myself to flick through some beautiful books about photography, architecture, or fashion.
Just feeling free from all obligations for a bit is key. You can’t force creativity, it has to come to you, so give it some space.”
10. Dean Marc - Crafters and Drifters
Owner and Creative Director of content creation and influencer marketing agency Crafters and Drifters
“My creativity flows during the moments I am not sitting behind my laptop. A long walk (without music) in the dunes for example, during which I sort of force myself to ponder things always works really well.
What also works is having a cup of coffee by yourself, really early in the morning, at a café near the water or by the sea. This really works for me on a daily basis, sending me into a nice daydreaming state.
This helps me feel inspired enough to start the day with some creative ideas, and once I’m nestled behind my laptop I start working these ideas out.
Besides these rituals, I also have some people around me that always give me a lot of energy when it comes to business talk. A sparring session or maybe just a longer phone call with one of them can really help boost my creativity.
So, look around you and see if you also feel that energy around some of the people you know.”