1. Play well with others
Social and group contexts contribute significantly to the creative process, according to Harvard Business Review. Users, customers, and audiences play an important role especially in commercial fields like graphic design. Companies and individuals must learn from internal and external influences. Workers are more motivated by challenge than financial incentives and salary.
“Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others…for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received and am still receiving.”
How do we create group environments that encourage creativity? Open brainstorming sessions where all ideas are encouraged are one key tactic for unleashing creativity at work discussed by Boland Jones, CEO of PGi. It’s important to actively discourage negativity in these meetings. Write down every idea in a place that everyone can see them.
2. Follow your passion
Passion is key to creativity and helping us enjoy the challenge or working through the rough parts. You’ll have higher quality results and more of them if you love what you do, according to music coach Mike Monday. He suggests find ways to delegate the parts you don’t like. For example, an artist might have an agent to do their marketing or a graphic designer might have a book keeper to handle the gritty financial details. Your audience, fans, and clients can be informed of what you will and won’t do. Clients can be asked to do deep proofreading of your graphic design work, for example, leaving you to concentrate on the design.
“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.”
3. Choose to be happy
It may sound quaint that happiness is a choice, however there is scientific evidence that a positive attitude is achievable there choice. One experiment in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that trying to be happier changes mood levels. We can examine our thoughts to find positive truths. We can practice gratitude and focus on improving various skills to create more positive situations as we work.
“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
Only 10% of our long-term happiness is external, as Professor Javy W. Galindo wrote for Time Magazine. Research shows that how we think and what we choose to think about is what ultimately determines our happiness. Rather than look for the negative aspects of our lives and relive past problems, we can redirect our thinking toward what is going right and channel that into our creative process.
I wrote a guest blog post and illustration for The Artistic Engineer. Anxiety and stress are our natural responses, we just need to learn to listen to them and channel them into our creativity. Science tells us this. There have been links between stress relief and creativity. Some of you probably think you're not creative, and at the same time you create your life every day. How do you manage your anxiety when creating? 5 Steps to Tackle Your Creative Anxiety / The Artistic Engineer
Today's Q&A Monday explores creative habits: "What habits help you be more creative?" Anonymous (via Quora) Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin To focus on creativity I have several habit strategies including: Act creatively now or as soon as possible Make habits convenient helps Change the external circumstances. I find audiobooks and podcasts to be an incredibly inspiring habit. Listening to other creatives and being exposed to their work. That helps me want to create work of my own. Many audiobooks are free online via my local library. If your library offers this, I can't recommend it enough. I recently ... Read more
Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.