Those of us who work as "Creative Professionals" are usually faced with daily tasks that require Creativity on Demand ™.
Creativity on Demand ™ is not a pill, nor an energy drink (although it should be…after the amount of Red Bull, Rockstar and Amp I have personally consumed over the last several years, it pretty much makes me an expert on the subject). It means we have to keep that creative light switched on 24/7 in order to be successful. You can’t really have an "off day," being "too tired to think" is not an excuse, and staring blankly into space with your mouth slightly agape when a client asks for your input regarding an idea will not win you any confidence points.
I count myself lucky that many of my friends are illustrators, musicians, performers, filmmakers, craftsmen and writers. Artistically minded folks have a tendency to look at things in quite a unique perspective--with passion and, at times, peppered with a bit of insanity. My friends’ work and our creative talk positively inspires and motivates me more than just about anything else in the world. There is nothing more intense than developing ideas and working with others who share a similar passion and insanity. And there’s never a dull moment because the fire is always lit!
We talk a great deal about creativity in our industry, but where do you find that creative inspiration when you know that you must be ready to hit that proverbial stage switched on at a moments notice? Let’s talk to our artists!
I called on a few creative professionals in our industry to stir up a little creative talk and asked them what juices their creative mojo, where they find their inspiration and motivation, and how they feel it influences their work, if it does.
Creative Director, Marketing Design at ASI Manipulator of Left Brain Activities
Music: "Hands down music motivates my left brain more than anything. It probably stems back to my mom holding me and dancing me to sleep as a baby. But these days seeing live music and writing, photographing and videoing it pushes me creatively."
What’s he listening to these days? “Whale” by Yellow Ostrich.
The act of creating art physically: "Since I am at a computer most days and nights, it takes creating with my hands to really free my creative side. My recent love: spray paint and graffiti art. “
Getting the heart rate up: "You know bringing out that ice feeling down the back of your neck, that lump in your throat. Whatever the flavor of the season is tossing at me. In the summer it usually involves a skateboard, surfboard or bike. In the winter it's a pair of skis. It's really satisfying to slide, roll or ride creatively. My wife makes fun of me because I constantly look at the urban or natural landscape thinking how it could be ridden in winter or summer.”
See what he means in the video Texas Suitcase - aka a few days in Summit County, CO.
Creative Director, Pro Towels Etc. Graphic Designer, Artist, Awesome Dancer
"I get inspired a lot by pop culture, all across the board, whether it’s packaging of a product in a grocery store, album art, music, movies, etc. Madonna once said, 'Inspiration is about paying attention,' and that’s how I try and view things. I listen to music a lot while I’m designing or painting, and I think that can be seen in a lot of the finished products. I try to immerse myself in the culture of what I’m creating. It’s important to do research, but it’s also important to put yourself in the client’s shoes. What would make you choose this particular business, buy this product, steal this sign?"
Video & Multimedia Specialist at PPAI Musician
“What stokes my fire? I would say that 'thing' is very different between my professional life and my personal musical endeavors. What is really satisfying in my professional role is working on a project with my entire team and collaborating, brainstorming--ending up with a final product that is beyond what any one member of our team could accomplish on their own, including myself.
“In my 'other' life, my musical inspiration probably came from sitting around at the age of 10 or so in my room endlessly listening to Pink Floyd records! Then later on as I got more into computers and digital music making, I think I was inspired by a lack of inspiration--I just wasn't hearing the sounds I wanted to hear. So I decided to try and make them myself. This is where my music differs from my professional life: I make music that I want to hear, and if other people like it, great. If not…oh well…it doesn't concern me in the least.
“But as the years go by, now I get much more satisfaction from plugging in my Strat, stomping on some pedals and letting 'er rip than I do sitting in front of the computer for two hours tweaking a snare drum sound! So I guess it has come full circle..."
Check out Joel's work: http://jethrotilton.bandcamp.com
Queen of All Things Online, The Imagery Group Costumer, writer, photographer and performance artist
"After thinking about it, I realized I find inspiration in a ton of (mostly) geeky things: comics, movies, cartoons, television, music, books. I think the love of performing helps me in the office. It definitely helps with the blog writing and social media aspects, and it helps when I come up with an idea to get everyone either in the office or the industry involved. I’d rather be considered the oddball with crazy fun ideas than 'normal.' It’s just a matter of finding different ways to channel it when I’m at the office, like writing blogs about Disney villains and business or zombies and tradeshows or dressing up my coworkers as zombies and filming them."
President Blue Monster Promotions Graphic Designer, Artist, Mad Scientist
Left-of-center mastermind Marc is self-proclaimed creative critic. "Just call me Perez Hilton Kozak," he says. Marc finds his inspiration mostly in magazine ads, billboards, subway ads and tv commercials to really get his creative mojo going. It's not necessarily because of the good creativity, but the not-so-great also fuels his fire.
Marc also created an "outside of the box" creative persona to front his company and inspire others. "I decided to name my promo character Dr. Blue, the evil mad promo scientist. What does a mad scientist do? He creates monsters and experiments with ideas that no one else would ever attempt to do. This is my goal, to teach all of you how to experiment on your marketing ideas to promote yourself. You need to create your own storybook series. Keep your customers guessing on what you will come up with next."
Promotional Industry artists, designers, product designers, musicians, writers, film makers: We’d love to hear from you. Got a way you cope with Creativity on Demand ™ or have a method to your creative madness you want to talk about? Please, share your comments with us and let us know what you do!