Join Kristin Ellison for an in-depth discussion in this video Harnessing your creativity, part of Getting Started in Graphic Design.
Creativity is the fuel artists and designers depend on. Many believe it's an elusive force that comes out of thin air, except when it doesn't. Who hasn't sat in front of a blank canvas, sheet of paper, or computer screen waiting for inspiration to strike? As Stefan Mumaw says, creativity is not an external force or a rare skill, it's a habit that can be learned and exercised every day. The first step is understanding that creativity, at its core, is simply solving problems with relevance and novelty.
Meaning, is the solution appropriate for the problem? And is it original or new? With that framework in place, you can then use brainstorming exercises to shake out new and fresh ideas. Kickstarting creativity requires action rather than divine intervention. You can make simple adjustments to your workflow such as, stepping away from the fonts, you tend to use or getting out of your office and taking a closer look at the world around you. Applying parameters to your work, can also have a profound effect.
Sometimes just tightening the scope of a job results in more creative solutions. Drawing is also an important part of creativity and ideation. But many designers ideate on screen rather than on paper. As Von Glitschka once said, imagine a fashion designer who didn't sketch out a design and just went directly to cutting fabric. The simple act of shutting down your computer will enable you to really focus on developing your ideas without being distracted by color, or type, or the tools in your software. You don't have to be a skilled artist.
Simple sketches will enable you to document your ideas as they unfold. Then you can choose which ones you want to bring into a digital environment for development. Designers find inspiration in unlikely and unique places. Exploring the creative process of others can be a fantastic way to sharpen your eye and potentially reframe your own creative process. We're constantly adding new documentaries on some of the most creative designers and artists of our time. So be sure to keep an eye out for those. Remember, if you're in a creative rut, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, will ensure stagnation.
So sharpen your pencil, change your routine, and try out brainstorming exercises. It'll likely leave you with a pile of ideas and smile on your face.
To help you get started, Kristin curated a playlist of courses covering just the foundational elements of design. View and subscribe to the playlist here.