11_creativity_on_demand

People getting to work in the creative business often don’t are aware of how many times they must come up with an idea for a project. No matter how big or small a job is there is some creativity involved. Most people think that creativity is some magical thing that creative people have, and others don’t – the ideas come naturally from somewhere inside of their mind. But how can anyone relay on something magical to do business. And how can you avoid having a stall? Here some insights and tips.

Creativity is not about inventing things

First of all, what is creativity? We consider that something is creative if we haven’t seen anything like it before. But if we have a closer look we might say better – We consider something creative if no one before has thought doing it this way. This difference is important – it reframes the mindset. It means that some really creative can be achieved by using things and techniques already “invented” and use them in a different context. So you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but you can use it a way nobody else has used it before.

A very nice example is the work of a graphic design graduate. She made a small book with poems – the theme of the poems was about traditional living in the mountains. There is an old embroidery-culture bound to this living and so she didn’t “print” the book, but she had the text be stitched on cotton and cord the cotton-pages together. It looked like a book and it worked like a book, but it was different. Neither the stitching, the cotton, the book form where invented by he. Even stitching text on cotton is nothing new, but bringing it together to form a book was the creative act.

Creativity is not an coincidence

If we convey, that creativity is bringing together existing things to form something new, then we have to know the existence of the “things”. If you are interested in a broad range of topics you will have not many problems finding techniques, materials, styles, knowledge from different cultures together. If you are just interested in product design, graphic design, illustration, photography or something else specific you may be the best technically speaking, but you will lack on real creativity. You might have heard about the famous “Get a life!” spoken by William Shattner at a Star Trek convention to the attending crowd. It meant getting out of the narrow perspective of a geek into the interesting broadness of life. Now I tell you “Get interested in everything!” – You don’t have to know everything exactly about everything, but try to know that it’s there. You never know if the way a certain flower looks like or how handcrafted wheels where made will be useful to you in the future, but if you know that there was a special technique behind the wheel making you might apply it to making a mailing out of paper.

The pool of knowledge you gather this way can then “on demand” be accessed through the various creativity techniques. Brain Storming, Leathering, Mind Mapping are just tools. You need raw material to build something and in the creative business the raw materials are all around you. So collect them and use them.

In the next part I will tell you how to use and collect this ideas in an art director way.

Thank you for reading

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1 Comments

Jericho Palmos
August 12, 2010

Hey frank, i’ve read your lesson about how to become creative and i find them really helpful for aspiring art directors like me. i just started my career as an art director here in the philippines, and i will definitely use those guidelines in your lesson in doing my job creatively. =) im looking forward to hear some more creative stuffs from your blog!

Thanks and more powerful ideas!

Jericho
MAnila, Philippines

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