Here at the agency creativity is very important but not just in the creative department. We know that real creativity and great ideas can be inspired by anyone. Developing personal creativity and keeping it fresh is vital and useful for everyone’s job. Voicing opinions, open communication and expressing creative ideas is not only encouraged it’s also critical to our success.
Similar to exercising the body, the mind can be exercised to think creatively. Creative thinking breeds more creative thinking and using your mind to foster ideas can be matured. I have found 3 simple exercises to help boost creativity that anyone can do.
This is very easy and anyone can do it. Even if you don’t draw very well. It’s called blind drawing or continuous contour drawing. Think of an object. Something complex like a bicycle. Close your eyes and draw the bicycle from memory. Add as much detail as you possibly can. Don’t take the pencil off of the paper. Keep your eyes shut. Think about the handlebars, gears, seat, pedals, spokes, everything on a bicycle. Don’t peek! Take your time. Really work on your drawing. Put a basket on the bike or even a person. Get the details. Don’t worry if you lose your place in the drawing. Just keep your pencil on the paper. Don’t worry if you cant remember exactly how a bicycle or whatever object your drawing looks like. Relax.
Ok, so that was fun right? Maybe the drawing looked kind of funny but I bet it was pretty cool and somewhat unexpected. You suck if you peeked. You’re missing the point of the exercise. Ok, so now try someone’s face. Find someone who won’t care that you are staring at them. Don’t look down, don’t peek. Draw the details of their head. Draw hair, glasses, eyes, lips. All of your subjects features should be drawn. Don’t look down and don’t peek. Don’t worry if you lose your place. You are focused on ‘seeing’ your subject, not a masterful drawing. Really observe the details. Keep your pencil on the paper. Don’t worry about the communication between your mind and your hand. Did I mention NOT to peek!
Now go frame you drawing.
Find new routes
People are conditioned to stay on their proven and conventional path. It’s safe and familiar. We are creatures of habit. Unfortunately this stifles the imagination. Getting out of your comfort zone will push you to think differently. Taking a new route to get to the office or back home is an easy way to get your creative juices flowing. Be consciously observant noticing the details of your new path. Observe the architecture and landscapes. You may even discover a shortcut. Just don’t be late to work! Lol
Purposefully change up your routine in the day on your walk. Yes, you should take a walk every day. Getting up and physically taking a 10-15 minute walk during the day is encouraged. Getting the blood flowing will increase your productivity in the long run. Ask a friend or coworker to take a walk with you. You can discuss office politics or something completely random. Change up your route often.
Try something new!
Life is full of things. New exciting adventures you haven’t had. New restaurants you haven’t tasted. Museums you haven’t visited. Movies you haven’t watched. Bands you haven’t heard live. People you haven’t spent time with. Experiences you haven’t had. Consciously try new things and set new goals. PMG’s Product Manager, Chris Alvares sets up 30 day challenges for himself every month not unlike Mark Zuckerberg’s famous yearly challenges. This pushes Chris to stay fresh and keeps him experiencing new things. It shapes methods for him to work differently and keeps his creative juices flowing. The list could go on forever. A cooking class, a new program or language, a sports activity or game. Instruments you haven’t played. Life can be exciting. Doing and trying new things is a great way to keep your creativity in peek shape.
In summary, creativity is a vital part of what keeps the agency moving forward. Staying creative is part of your job as a dedicated employee. Smart companies that employee smart creatives know this. Exercising your mind to stay creative can be challenging but the rewards are immeasurable. They include increased productivity, a positive & stimulated mind and an elevated level of work. Stay thirsty my friends.
Want some more? Here are some good books about developing your creativity.
The Creative Confidence Book by David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley