Creativity simply doesn’t exist every moment of every day.
As the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes says, “You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.” How do you get your creative juices flowing? Is it the same method each time you need to create something new?
I can’t say mine is the same. It differs depending on my mood, what it is I’m creating and for whom, the time of day and season. Take today for instance. It’s ridiculously windy outside my window. But we finally have some thick, fluffy clouds moving rapidly across the sky. We haven’t had a drop of moisture for nearly three months and subsequently very little to no cloud cover at all. But the wind and clouds and sounds the breeze makes sets my mind into a certain space; a kind of creative mood. What I may create now would be very different than if I had just finished a long walk on a beach or through a lush green forest.
In addition, as alluded to in the comic above, time creates a mood. A deadline certainly creates a sense of urgency. If I’m drawing initial sketches of a logo for a new company and I’ve promised those sketches to be delivered on a certain date then I am absolutely not waiting until the last moment to work on them. I’ve found I’m not nearly as visually creative on a short notice or a tight deadline. There’s no room for inspiration, for re-looking at an original sketch and allowing it to sink in or to evolve on its own. Those designs may seem very rushed to me.
Another catalyst for creativity for me is sound. If you were to walk into my office most days, you’d hear nothing. Silence. Maybe the typing of the keys, the hum of a heater, or other organic sounds. I do quite a bit of reading, coding, focused writing and designing on a daily basis and find I concentrate better on a task when it’s silent. But when I’m sketching a new logo or designing a flyer – music is playing. The type of music I listen to affect the sketches to an extent. I try to think of what the client has asked for and play tunes that may help me get to that point.
So don’t feel bad if you can’t create something you’re proud of every moment of every day. Perhaps you need a looming deadline, the right environment to set up in, or simply to step away from the project for a time in order to be rejuvenated. That’s what I’m about to do – time for CrossFit! Get my creative juices flowing.
I’d love to hear how you boost your creativity – post your comment below.