How to be creative in this day and age


Last year we wrote an article on what to do for a successful 2012. After a rough and sometimes challenging year we have complied some do’s and don’ts for a successful and creative 2013.

Stop being creative
Take a break from the creative scene every now and then. Creativity can only be achieved with a clear mind. I always recommend doing something completely none related to your industry for a few day or weekend. Just like any machine the brain needs a break or it will start spewing junk.

Start something new.
A mundane life is no life for a creative mind or any kind of mind. Business leaders come up with new challenges everyday not to piss their staff off but to create a sense of forward movement and to also be ahead of the pack. This can be said on a personal level. I call these projects ‘passion projects’.  Starting a new personal project gives you something to be excited about outside the 9 to 5. The job of your dreams will eventually get ass boring and we all need something to keep our passion high and it’s a great opportunity to gain new skills. This is how I started SA Creatives.

I say this over and over. Read about you craft, see what the world is doing. Reading lets you see what gaps are in the industry that you can close while obviously educating you.

Read  outside your craft
I continuously repeat this point because its one of the key points to being an awesome creative. Flooding yourself in what your counterparts is doing is good for keeping you in the loop but wont differentiate you at all. I challenge creatives to pick up a book about something randomly different like space travel. Okay maybe that’s a bit too out there, but expansion on creativity is expansion of knowledge.

If you are bored or uninspired in you current job, leave. Its as simple as that. Creative challenges wont find you, you have to find them. Nothing worse than working outside of your passion.  Find an opportunity to grow outside of a slump.

Grow your ideas.
Being technically skilled is great, having ideas is even greater. Ideas sell , they open up opportunities to express even more. So for 2013, exercise you idea producing machine and I promise you will shine. The more you read, the more your idea machine is strengthen.

Get digital all ready
I’ve been saying this for far too long now , creatives need to catch up with the digital sphere. Sometimes I just want to smack my counter parts who don’t know what twitter is with a wet face cloth. Today you are measured by your digital savvy and it will be so for a very long time. As the creative world is changing, so is the creative world. People need smart ways to communicate their message online, so get on your pc and get a piece of the pie. So get a twitter account, facebook account and maybe start a blog.

Last but not least…. Get the crap out of your portfolio
For the past few years I’ve interviewed many youngsters looking to get a job. One thing I’ve picked up is that their portfolios are full of eye poison. The kind of stuff that makes you want to eat ice cream while getting a root canal. This is not to say they are bad at what they do, its their portfolio sample choices that kill them. Its assumed that an interviewer wants to see who you’ve done work for……WRONG. We want to see your technical skill. My portfolio doesn’t have a single item from my previous job, because I feel they are not good enough. They are restricted by what the clients have requested. My portfolio has my personal work, nothing but the best of me and it “wow’s” who ever sees it every time. So if your looking for a new job, show the best of you , not the ugly annual report layout you did for a fortune 500 company.


Go forth and create !

Creative Director. Founder of The SA Creatives. Designer, fine artist, writer, photographer & idea hunter. Arch enemy of Powerpoint. @artwelln

1 Comment

  • Reply June 6, 2013

    Edwin Soobramoney

    Thanks for the awesome advice. I really get what you’re saying about the portfolios. I have quite a few friends who have portfolios just for the sake of it while I’ve redesigned mine like 5 times over the last 6 months because I always feel its not good enough.

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