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I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.

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Tips to Improve & Boost Your Creative Process

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This is a guest article contributed by Kimberly Wilson*, looking at some ways to improve and boost your creative process.

The importance of the creative process dawned on me the other day when I was making a cup of tea. It’s been a long road on the way towards tea snobbery, but the experience has taught me that like with producing great art, producing great tea must be done with care.

You take the time to pick leaves whose scent intrigues you; you steep a precise quantity in boiling water for just the right time, and reward your efforts with that perfect cup.

Alternatively you can pick up a value box of pre-bagged tea grounds at your area supermarket and take your chances with a hurriedly made, mass produced product. I assure you the experience will not be the same.

Tea Leaves Growing

Attention To Process

Expressing our creativity in a professional capacity requires the same attention to process.

You can’t expect to produce a great design just because you have a seemingly great idea. There is no magic button. Whatever light bulb moment you experience has to be tempered with meaningful planning and preparation if you want to create something arresting, powerful, and lasting. If you want some guidance on how to improve your creative process, consider these tips as a starting point.

Familiarize Yourself With The Process

First things first: in order to execute a creative project correctly, you need to familiarize yourself with all the components that will take you from idea to physical realization. If you have a faint concept for a client company’s branding design, for instance, try planning out the key elements of the design before trying to draw it out.

Tea Fields

What colors best communicate the ethos of the company? Would the brand have more impact with a minimalist approach, or does it need to be big and bold? Take your time to imagine yourself as a customer of your client company, consider the aesthetic appeal of your brand in various mediums, and so forth.

In other words, consider your idea from all angles before settling on one that fits.

Once you’ve settled upon the general layout of your idea, don’t hesitate to design multiple drafts in one sitting so you can work out all the aesthetic kinks of your idea.

Balance The Extremes

The creative process is all about balancing extremes. When a seemingly amazing idea hits us like a stack of bricks, the first impulse we have is to act on it immediately. But the idea you have is likely couched in extremes, having flashed in your mind out of nowhere and enticed your creative impulses.

Say you have the urge to create an utterly stark and simple design for a project on a whim. If you’re itching to sketch out your idea while it’s fresh in your mind, by all means do so! I’m not trying to advise against acting upon the sudden flashes of inspiration that drive all creatives. But do have the foresight to put away your design and look at it the next day with fresh eyes. When you’re not in the heat of the moment, you may realize that your design is unbalanced: perhaps the simple and clean look now appears too sterile, or it needs more attention to detail.

Tea and Creativity

Don’t Force Inspiration

This is perhaps the best advice that I can give. It’s the certainly something I tell myself all the time. When you feel yourself sapped of creativity, devoid completely of the motivation to produce designs, don’t look about for inspiration in vain.

Inspiration isn’t a faucet that you can arbitrarily turn off and on in your mind—it comes and goes as it pleases, often leaving us in the dust.

The best creative work comes from people working almost in an out-of-body experience of natural effort; in these moments, the urge to create isn’t forced, it comes from within without any exertion. Certainly creative minds are capable of coming up with things on the fly for small time projects, but when it comes to endeavors that require huge swaths of your time, you’re better off letting inspiration come to you. Ultimately, if the creative process doesn’t feel natural, then you should reconsider your approach.

*Kimberly Wilson is from accredited online colleges and writes on topics including careers, creativity, education, college life, home improvement & time management. Photos by Big Stock Photo.

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9 JUST™ Creative Comments

  • Brandon Halliburton Reply

    This was a good read. I admit that I have tried to force inspiration. I do see that I will have to reconsider my approach to a lot of things I do . I think for me, I get the light bulb moments often. Once I get the idea, I have the urge to put it together right away. Occasionally, I might draw it out. Sometimes, after looking at it later, I don’t get the same feeling as I did it beginning.

    I never thought of looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes a day or so later. Sometimes, you just want to get it out and be done with it. You can easily become frustrated when it doesn’t turn out the way it looked in your head. I think for me, I need to take the time and plan out my projects I guess, it can be hard working in such a competitive industry. Especially, with so many awesome designers out there.

    Thanks for taking the time to write article. It has helped me.

  • Sofia Reply

    Great advice, the most difficult one for me I think is not to try and force inspiration. You’re completely right, it doesn’t work at all.

  • Courtney Reply

    The greatest thing about creativity, it comes from places most people don’t see. I sometimes get in my truck and get away from the work and ride and look at the surroundings. Sometimes there are colors and objects that grab your attention. I always allow myself time to take a second and third look at projects. I never won’t to give them something that has made me tired.

    You should always keep your clients above yourself. That is one of the best keys to running a successful business.

    Great Article.

  • StaceyG Reply

    The problem I run into is when there is a looming deadline, which then makes me feel forced to be creative. Obviously, that’s when nothing great happens. But I take a break–5 minutes or a full day–come back to the project, and hey presto, magic happens!

    Courtney, I hear you about inspiration striking where you might not expect it. While out shopping, some ordinary placemats inspired me to finish a design I had been stuck on. Keep the eyes and mind open, always. Nice post, Kimberly!

  • Ryan s Reply

    Actually, to produce a perfect cup of tea, the water should be at about 86 degrees celcius, not boiling. Hope this works for you. Great article btw.

  • dave@Fiveonline Reply

    Creativity or Creative ideas come from most unexpected sources. Any idea may pop up anywhere , anytime in your mind. The mind has just to be receptive to this and implement it. Thanks for this creative insight.

  • Jesusa Walston Reply

    Take your time to imagine yourself as a customer of your client company, consider the aesthetic appeal of your brand in various mediums, and so forth.

  • Sherika August Reply

    You should always keep your clients above yourself. That is one of the best keys to running a successful business.

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