Creativity is a discipline, a skill that grows stronger the more you practice or use it. It’s when you’re able to take inspiration and pair it with imagination to create something of value that no one else has before. Creativity is about pushing yourself, and when you find a stopping point – pushing yourself further. Creativity is ignoring your first idea until you’ve ideated 30 more. Creativity is about awareness, wonder, and dedication – and overall, it’s about growth.
The ability to create and recreate using inspiration and imagination holds a high value in the workplace. Anyone can use templates. Anyone can pull images from the internet. It’s those who challenge themselves to think beyond what has been repeatedly done by others and those who learn how to turn an apple seed into an orange tree. Contrary to what we may have individually been taught, creativity is a skill that requires practice, which means it is a skill that can be learned. (“non” creatives, rejoice!)
Here are some tips and tricks to practice creativity:
1. Look for Inspiration. This practice takes awareness. Look at portfolios of award-winning innovators in your field, and outside your field. Create a mood board, pull color palettes, look at fonts and textures, read blogs, take a walk. Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to find it.
2. Mind-Map. Write down a base word, then follow it with every word that pops into your mind without thinking. This practice takes wonder. Find words that don’t pair, and pair them. Take your initial idea and pull it into a completely different dimension.
3. Work Deeply. This is my number one rule when working creatively. Working deeply with zero distractions (no phone, no glancing around the room, no talking), will help you take your idea to the next level. It takes a great amount dedication to even practice deep work. Deep Work by Cal Newport is a great book for increasing your awareness and working deeply for those who are interested.
Be aware, have wonder, and dedicate yourself if you’re truly passionate about growing in your creative abilities. You got this.
Deep Work, Cal Newport
Graphic Created by Brittany Stanfield