Same day creative deliverables are a thorn in my side. Creativity is not a linear process and the harder you work at a problem, the more you become attached to initial or incorrect solutions. I promise you’ll get better results if the seeds of an idea are first planted, and then given time to incubate. Allow your brain the time to make unplanned associations as your subconscious continues to processes ideas. You may be hit by sudden inspiration or notice something outside the work environment that relates to the problem and provides a novel solution. Sure, we can all hammer out deliverables under stressful timelines but an uninspired idea is, well… uninspiring.
I always want to create the most awesome piece of technology that I can. It makes me think of a master chef who always strives to make something bold and great. Doing that requires big visions and sometimes a lot of courage. It also requires a great deal of humility. It doesn’t matter if 90% of people in North America love quiche. It only matters if the chef’s customers love quiche.
Websites, email campaigns, print campaigns, hosting, and almost anything else you could think of is measurable. Since customers don’t always want exactly what we envision, measuring and adapting these campaigns is like a taste test for thousands of people at a time. I strive to be bold and different, but I always want to create a recipe that succeeds.
As a designer, I think there is huge value in making an effort to engage emotionally with my audience. I believe we experience emotion only when there is a shift in the level of an emotional state, either up or down, and that the emotion fades once we stabilize at a new equilibrium. It is the movement in levels that we experience as emotion (hence, being “moved”), and with that comes the possibility of growth or behavioral change. Understand that decisions are made emotionally, not logically. Connect to the heart and you will affect the change you are looking for.
I am an avid hiker. If I could, I’d be on the trails 365 days a year, rain, snow, or shine. Not only is it great exercise, but it actually improves my creativity. Spending time outdoors in nature replenishes the problem-solving parts of the brain that actually get depleted when we are constantly engaged with technology. In nature, my mind enters a state of soft-fascination and my thoughts begin to wander. It’s also been proven that we are better at coming up with creative ideas while walking rather than sitting. So the next time you find yourself stuck for a creative solution, maybe the best thing you can do is go for a hike. Just remember to print out that map so that you can turn the phone off. And make sure you invite me.