Being Creative Every Single Day
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.” – Maya Angelou
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein
Being a part of the video production and animation industry comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the biggest demands is the urgency to be creative on a consistent basis, where artists are sometimes working on numerous projects at once. While some clients may have a decent idea of what they want, it’s up to the artists to be innovative and bring the projects to life.
Consistently coming up with new ways of telling stories and design concepts can be difficult, but there are many daily practices to keep creativity flowing and prevent burnout. Here are a few ways the team at Pixeldust stay on top of their game and are able to generate new ideas each and every day.
explore unusual ideas
Stopping yourself from self-policing what creative ideas you entertain can be the first step towards a greater creative potential. It can be freeing so allow yourself to explore many different ideas and approaches all at once, even if most won’t make the final cut. An idea that seems silly at first can easily become something truly amazing if given the opportunity. Take time to sketch out rough ideas and different approaches before committing to a single direction. Seeing it “on paper” may be what you need to get inspired.
Free up your brain to focus on the things that matter by doing a mini digital detox or by tidying your workspace. You don’t want to bombard your brain with distracting visual cues when you’re trying to focus, so turn off notifications and put your entire attention towards the task at hand. Removing clutter and mess from your workspace can also help give you a sense of peace, to further aid your ability to focus.
Take a minute or two every half hour to step back mentally and be in the present moment. A simple, routine exercise of deep breathing can help ground you in reality, and helps turn off some of that internal dialogue our brains are so fond of unleashing when we’re busy. This also helps to reduce stress and give you a sense of clarity, which may open you up to receive an epiphany that will increase excitement and motivation for your work.
Take in inspiration
If you have the time, taking a short break to enjoy art made by someone else can help inspire you and reduce stress. Watching a movie, listening to music, or even just reading a book can strengthen the connections between the two halves of the brain, which helps with creative thinking.
Ask others what they think
If you think about the sheer amount of knowledge you have in your head, and realize that everyone else has about as much going on as you, the chances of finding a novel idea through their mind is much greater than going it alone! Show your work in progress to a friend or co-worker, and ask them what they think. You will likely walk away with a new way of looking at a problem. Collaboration with others will never guarantee success, but it sure can increase your odds.
Find your golden hour
Photographers often seek out the “golden hour”, the period of time shortly after sunrise or before sunset, where the light from the sun is warmer and softer than when the sun is high in the sky. Just as there is an optimal time of day to take photos, we all have periods of time throughout the day where we are at our most productive. Some people find that they can focus better in the early mornings, or late at night. Others do best in the middle of the afternoon. Think about when you might be at your creative best, and try to find a way to work during that time.
If you can’t shift your schedule around, it may be good to think about other lifestyle changes that will increase your productivity. For example, a burger at lunch may not be a good idea if you have a lot to get done after lunch, as your body will pool resources into the digestive system, which will certainly make it more difficult to stay focused and productive.
Get some exercise
The average person sits between 7 and 15 hours every day, which is not only bad for your health but also for your mood. Based on a study from Stanford, research has shown that walking can help improve creative thinking. Take some time throughout the day to step away from your desk and stretch or go for a short walk to get both your body and your creative juices moving.
It may take some practice and trial-and-error to find the creative techniques that work best for you, but taking a step back may just help you take two steps forward.