What Keeps Us Creative?
With a name like Creative Fold, the stakes are high. No matter what we do—from game development to website graphics to industrial design—we are creating. But even professional creatives can get in a slump, thanks to a rainy day or a rough case of the Mondays. On those days, when the creativity just isn’t flowing, it’s good to have a few tips and tricks up our sleeves.
Kelly looks to a variety of sources for inspiration like design books, changes of scenery, and piano lessons.
“Over the years, I've acquired a nice little stack of design books and often use them as reference when I need some inspiration.
Also allowing myself to recharge my mental, emotional, and physical batteries to avoid feeling that "burnout" is critical. Or if I am feeling stagnant, I'll spend a day working from another location – just being someplace other than your own four walls can help break out of a creative block.
In January, I decided to take up piano lessons as an alternative creative outlet away from the screens. I love music and being able to focus on progressing and writing my own little melodies has been super fun.” –Kelly
Kristin tries to keep creativity fun.
“I stay inspired by keeping my creativity fun and not just using it for what I consider to be work or practice. I try to do creative things without putting pressure on myself to meet a specific goal. For instance, when I practice piano, I end my practice with playing something that is purely for fun. Sometimes I photograph and record wildlife such as butterflies only for the purpose of enjoying and experiencing it. Making room in my week to be "creative for fun" helps prepare me for when I need to sit down and really dig into a creative project that has goals and/or deadlines.” –Kristin
Katie cultivates a creative space through physical objects.
“I draw creative energy from objects around me that make me happy. In my office, that's my collection of a variety of sculptural "stars", which are basically math art. At home, that's also my 2 cats. I think basically these are things that make me feel calm, and I'm most able to be creative and productive when I can tune out the chaos of the day and focus. Being calm helps with that. Some people listen to music but for me that actually just makes me more stressed haha. I like to shut everything off – all email, chat programs, and phones – so I'm in total quiet, without interruption, make a cup of tea, and get to work. That's where I find my flow.” –Katie
Jodi shakes it up with new patterns and textiles.
“During lock down, I have embraced fun socks and slippers; stripes, bright colors, fuzzy insides etc... They remind me not everything needs to be so serious. I have also been working on creative writing & story-telling when I have time.” –Jodi
Hayley looks to stillness and focus as a way to launch creativity.
“Inspiration happens for me when I put the time and energy into whatever I’m doing. I’ve found it easier to explore my creativity during lockdown with less social distractions and unplugging more frequently. Being able to find stillness and listen for that inspiration is key.” –Hayley
Elisabeth brews a cup of strong coffee to boost creative energy.
“As for me, a nice cup of coffee usually does the trick. When I’m feeling stuck or my momentum is faltering, I go to the kitchen, make some coffee, dig around for some sort of treat, and head to my desk with a renewed spirit.” –Elisabeth
So there you have it—from our team to you. In addition to our creative work during the day, many of us use these creativity tips in our free time as well: Kristin is a professional musician, Kelly collects design books, Elisabeth writes about food, Jodi is an accomplished storyteller, Hayley creates inviting spaces to practice yoga, and Katie explores nature.
We hope one or a few of these tips can help you through the creativity blahs.
Creative Fold is a small, women-owned creative agency specializing in graphic design, content creation, industrial design, product development, and manufacturing. Follow us on Facebook or Linkedin for creative inspiration.