Creativity is the most important tool for every designer; technology canâ€™t replace it and as a personal opinion it wonâ€™t replace it until the end of days. I saw a lot of great works done in earlier version of Photoshop which still impress the users of the latest version of this program (CS5,unfortunately I am not a user of this â€œwowâ€ version).
Here I present a list of some tips to increase your creativity; these work for me and I noticed from various forums and blogs of the world-wide designers that these tips also work for them.
Please write your impressions in a comment so that I discover what the best tips are, and maybe I will republish this article as being better informed than now.
Do not worry, these tips work for 90% of all people, only few of us are special and have different opinions. I hope to aid you in your process of creation and let me know how much I helped you.
1. Usually, creativity comes after many hours of work.
Probably, all my articles about freelancing on the Internet seem to contain the same messages, only work improves your skills.
In design as well as in science there is no wonder, all what matter is the number of hours of work and how passionate you are in making your projects.
The difference between a very creative designer and one that suffer a lack of it in accomplishing a task is, most of the time the fact that the first one worked on a previous similar project. In conclusionâ€¦creativity likes experience & work.
2. When you are thinking about a concept it means that you are working
In my career as a freelancer it happens very often that it can take up to several minutes to imagine a sketch of a design, staying as focused as possible, sometimes even with my eyes closed. My brother told me once that a better place to boost my creativity in this way isâ€¦ a bed.
I on the other hand believe that it is much better to stay quite some time (or to lose time how my brother likes to say) concentrated on creating an initial concept than hurrying up to draw as many sketches as you can, but without them being interesting. I really believe this: when somebody is thinking on how to create something shows a hard work not a pretext for lazy people.
The entire world is governed by the law of Murphy and not by the physics (good for Einstein that canâ€™t read this article!) and of course when you didnâ€™t expect the solution, it will hit you. A general rule that doesnâ€™t sound too professional, but is indeed very true: the best concept comes after you have chosen one as the best one.
3. Be very relaxed when you are working
I know that it is almost impossible to be calm when you need some whole days to fulfill your schedule for today (sincerely not all the time I respect this tip).
Anyway my effective power is superior when I am very unstrained and I listen to my favorite music (some psychologist consider that the symphonic music is better, but I believe it is more important to like what you are listening to, please let me know your opinion).
4. Creativity increases from multiple opinions
I learned a lot by demanding the opinions of all my friends regarding my works, even if they have experience with design or not. Feedback helps you a lot, because you can see the drawing from multiple perspectives.
The best example is a recent concept of a logo designed by me for a friend: it wasnâ€™t a very serious taskâ€¦in fact it was an avatar for the Yahoo Messenger. I initially, in the picture bellow, imagined 2â€Dâ€ and from this sketch I start adding color, making some small corrections and so on.
It was a big surprise when he told me that he sees it as being 2â€Pâ€ in the image; obviously both of us are right, but I should have seen the different aspects as the creator of the logo. From this experience I learned that paying attention to different opinions can boost the creativity, because you have access to multiple points of view.
5. Take breaks
If you are very tired and bored, yet still stay in front of your PC then this is a loss of time (I hate this situation). A break sounds as an excuse, but you should organize your schedule very well and you must keep in mind that having a break is a â€˜mustâ€™ in boosting your efficiency, not something that is optional.
It is scientific demonstrated that small pauses are very good in the process of creation (these help the brain to â€œrespireâ€, even the best processor canâ€™t work with 100% of its capability without some breaks).
6. Read blogs and study portfolios as much as you can
Logo that can be seen as 2â€Dâ€s, but also 2â€Pâ€s.
I see a very clear connection between information and creativity. A good searcher on Internet surely will find good sources for inspiration and this is the fuel for creativity.
Nobody can only work; a pause can be a very good solution to escape from a bad state. I usually, after approximately two hours of continuum work, spend around half an hour looking at the new post on various blogs of the great designers.
7. Pay attention to the psychologist pieces of advice
Psychology studies the way of improving creativity, and of course this science can give you better advices than me. A very important piece of advice that really has a positive effect on me is to change the design of my office; this helps me a lot to fight against boredom.
I canâ€™t afford to change every day the furniture in my study room around, but small changes can be easily made as a new keyboard, a very nice wireless mouse, wallpaper of the PC (some operating systems permit to change the desktop wallpaper at every minute-I have multiple collection of impressive backgrounds that give me a good disposition every time).
Finally, I want to repeat that everything depends on your own way of working and thinking; all my advices are based on the opinion of the majority of the designers.