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Category: Creativity

Restoring Creative Energy

Being creative is an unknown and sometimes an unspoken energy that arrives on us at moments notice and at other times is nowhere to be seen when we need it most.

When we experience creative motivation everything in life is good. Our person expression through our work or art can be felt my others. But what happens when we don’t ‘feel’ creative?

How do we re-energize that part of us so we can continue to manifest the ideas and thoughts that come to us?

Of course there’s no one answer to that question and that may be the point. Re-energizing creativity will take you through multiple trial and error activities. Reading books, watching documentaries, scrolling through social media and talking with friends.

Writing, drawing, building, updating your creative space at home will all lead to taking action for the creative staleness instead of wishing you were more creative.

So the simple answer to restoring creative energy is to just do something, anything. I know it sounds too simplistic but sometimes the simplest ideas and actions are the ones that drive the best results.

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Creative Loyalty Doesn’t Exist

Giving your word to someone and keeping is standard practice for maintaining your integrity throughout business and in life.

The same doesn’t apply to your own personal pursuits. Contrary to popular opinion, quitting or giving up can actually be a good thing.

Since 2010 I had launched and subsequently took down several online blogs. While I know there could have been some benefit in continuing with even just one of them, I was honest with myself about how much passion I really had for the project.

Each time I quit I opened myself to experience something new, while adding what I learned from my past experiences to help me excel.

There are those who are okay to continue working on something to uphold the moral code of ‘not quitting’ and ‘finishing what you’ve started’.

You don’t have to be that person. Feel free to quit and start something at your leisure. You’ll come to realize trail and error is the gateway to longterm success and growth.

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The Holistic Creative Life

Never limit your creativity to only what you do professionally.

Always be willing to expand your horizons in every area of your life.

Try a new recipe. Take a new route to work. read a new author. Take up a new hobby. Participate in a new discussion group.

But also use creative techniques to stay physically, mentally, and financially sound. Be open to new ways of doing things.

True creatives live well rounded lives and always seek adventure and intrigue. They know that doing so leads to initiating fresh creative thought more often then just living a ritualistic monotonous life.

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Finding Solutions Already Provided

My kids don’t go to an after school arts programs. They watch drawing tutorials on YouTube.

Creative thought should go beyond the physical manifestation of an idea. It’s about being able to solve a problem using the simplest means.

For kids art classes at home, YouTube already solved the complex part of the problem. Our part is locating the solution already provided.

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How to Design Your Creative Space

What visuals motivate you? What triggers your creativity? What pushes you to give your best? What stirs up fresh ideas?

Think about these questions and answer them honestly.

I worked in logistics for years and it’s traditionally not a creative industry. However I bring creative thought to every role I work in regardless. It’s important for me to have visuals around daily to stimulate fresh perspectives and new ideas to solve old problems.

My creative space is set up with books I’ve read and books I plan to read. I have a picture of my wife and a separate one of my kids. I also always have a drawing or craft made by my kids hanging up.

But by far the most intriguing item I have in my space is my Funko Pop collection. The different characters, themes and colours allow me to stay in a place of creativity, freedom and fun!

Creative spaces aren’t just for graphic designers, animators or marketing professionals. They help us all stay productive and most of all promote mental wellness in our daily work lives.

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Benefits of Unconventional Partnerships

Back in the summer of 2019 I attended a the General Mills Carrier Summit. It’s an opportunity for the iconic cereal brand to connect with their supply chain network and provide a business outlook for the upcoming fiscal year.

General Mills also uses the event to review their successes from the previous year. One initiative I had no idea about was the Reese Puffs x Travis Scott collaboration. Here’s an excerpt from Hypebeast.com:

The Astroworld superstar and the Minnesota-based manufacturer are working together to release a special-edition line Of Reese’s Puffs cereal boxes. Although this product’s exterior packaging will be different, the pairing’s collaborative effort does not involve changing the taste and flavor of the standard Reese’s Puffs cereal. Travis Scott reportedly handled the design of the packaging, taking his inspirational cues from his Cactus Jack record label and the artwork that adorns his latest studio album. These new boxes will also carry a different price-tag: $50 USD.

The boxes reportedly sold out in 30 seconds at the initial collab in Paris. A few days later they could be found selling online for hundreds of dollars targeting hard core collectors.

As much as General Mills understand the cereal market, they were bold enough to partner with a pop culture icon to help them build a presence with a particular democratic. While at the same time not compromising the integrity of the Reese Puffs brand and popular recipe.

Some of the most effective strategic partnerships are ones we least expect. It shows us that being open to unconventional ideas can unveil a whole new world of opportunities for extend our brands and business awareness.

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Tell Me a Good Story

In 2015 Philadelphia erected a statue of boxing legend and former heavyweight champion Smokin’ Joe Frazier who passed away in 2011.

This, coming decades after a statue of Rocky Balboa was left standing after filming ended for Rocky III to commemorate his fictional boxing career.

To Philly’s credit, there’s a lot of funding and enthusiasm backing Frazier’s statue. It’s almost like they’re embarrassed by the truth of how one shrine should have proceeded the other.

Human behaviour is a strange thing. I’m not from Philadelphia so I don’t know the details surrounding decisions that were made. The fact that a statue of a fictional boxer was paid homage before a boxer who was the first to defeat the great Muhammad Ali shows us the power of storytelling.

Most view Rocky was an all-time great movie series. Forget about Rocky V and the 6th installment Rocky Balboa for a minute. The first four movies are all instant classics. The story of a Philly underdog never fails. We all watched the coming of age of the great American hero who became a champion through hard work, determination, and hustle.

Rocky’s story was powerful enough to convince city officials to leave the almost 9-foot movie prop, originally created for the 1982 film Rocky III, at the top steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The same iconic steps we’ve all at one time in our lives pretended to jog to the top of like Rocky with our hands raised.

Images like that are embedded in our memory and bring deep emotion to parts of our lives. I still have images in my head of Drago viciously knocking out Apollo Creed in Rocky IV, followed by Rocky’s training sequence to get his revenge on the Russian boxer.

That’s what great storytelling does. It becomes part of our own history. The measure of a story’s impact is reflected in the memorials we build to remember how it made us feel at that particular time in our lives.

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The Truth About Our Creative Passion

Yesterday I posted an article on LinkedIn about 4 titles you need to read while in quarantine. One of the books on the list is Todd Henry’s Die Empty

You can read my thoughts on the book here.

One of the topics Henry talks about is the idea of our passion and what in reality it looks like in our lives:

“’Passion’” has its roots in the Latin word pati, which means “to suffer or endure.” Therefore, at the root of passion is suffering. This is a far cry from the way we casually toss around the word in our day-to-day conversations. Instead of asking ‘What would bring me enjoyment?’ which is how many people think about following their passion, we should instead ask ‘What work am I willing to suffer for today?’ Great work requires suffering for something beyond yourself. It’s created when you bend your life around a mission and spend yourself on something you deem worthy of your best effort. What is your worthwhile cause?”

I’m currently in the process of writing my first book. For as much excitement and anticipation I have, the actual writing part is a grind. The intentional focus and discipline needed are not for the faint of heart.

We walk away from Henry’s description understanding why so many people start but never finish. Our internal fortitude needs to be ready for the daily grind our passions lead us to.

Write this down somewhere you can read it every day: Falling in love with your passion is falling in love with the pain of hard work.

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The Innovation We Need Now

I always loved the Dyson vacuum commercials growing up.

They changed the game on how cleaning your home should be, focusing on making it more intuitive to how we move and where we actually need to clean.

It was innovative. They set themselves apart from their competitors with their design and high price point. They knew their market and never shifted from it.

Today, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve switched gears to provide help in light of the shortage in medical equipment.

In just 10 days Dyson has designed a unique ventilator specifically for COVID-19 patients. Here are the details from Inc.com:

“According to a letter from the company’s founder to its employees, James Dyson says the company’s goal was “to design and build an entirely new ventilator, The CoVent. This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently, and at volume. It is designed to address the specific clinical needs of Covid-19 patients, and it is suited to a variety of clinical settings.

Working with The Technology Partnership, the company says it is working on how to quickly produce the ventilators once they are approved by the U.K. government. Dyson also says it will donate an additional 5,000 units to different countries. Those ventilators will come in handy in places that are quickly running out of beds. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this is a life and death effort, as hospitals have become crowded with Covid-19 patients.

Dyson has caught on to what real innovation looks like. They saw a need and utilized their creative genius to create not just a cool product, but one that can save thousands of lives. And can be produced quickly!

It can be a piece of equipment that can save lives. Updating supply chains to get vital supplies to the most vulnerable. Improving communication technology to expedite the flow of critical health information.

Real innovation focuses on the human needs of the moment. Because what’s more important than the ‘quality of life’ of those around us.

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