The Adobe MAX conference taught us a lot of things about the Creative Suite and 3D Printing, but that technology is nothing without the driving force behind all great makers — creativity. Pros from all disciplines of the creative world dished insight on their processes and lessons they’ve learned along the way. In fact, it’s perfect inspiration for one of our favorite mantras, #iamcreative. Whether you’re just starting your creative journey or you’re a veteran maker, these are the kind of tips we all need to bookmark for a little extra creative juice.
1. Don’t doubt your passion: Lee Hirsch has made a viral name for himself with The Bully Project. His own experiences were his motivation to create the documentary that started a nationwide anti-bullying movement. We can often think that our ideas and passions are singular to us, especially if we sit on them for a long time. But chances are, if you’re passionate about your ideas someone else will be too! It all starts with having the courage to put them out there.
2. Embrace what makes you unique: Weird Al is nothing if not one of a kind, and he’s made a living at it. We have to admit, we never thought to put Weird Al on the list of our greatest creative inspirations. Hilarious, yes. Smart, absolutely. But when we heard his story we quickly realized how easy it was to identify with.
After being told in school to do something “practical,” like become an architect, that’s what he went to college to do. Later, he wanted to try his hand at his real passion: making funny music. We all know how that turned out. Over 30 years since, his album has topped the Billboard 200 and he’s still making hilarious hit music. It’s all about finding your niche in the world and bringing people something they can’t get anywhere else.
3. Change your perspective: Ami Vitale is a photojournalist and filmmaker who has gone on assignment to some of the most conflicted areas of the world. She’s usually tasked with capturing war and violence, but she’s made even more of a name for herself since turning her head on the violence to capture the people who are living among it. By changing her perspective she was able to capture a wedding miles away from flying missiles. She said she felt empowered “by empowering people on the other side of the camera and giving them a voice.”
No matter what you’re creating, if you want to make a living at it, people are going to have to love what you make and enjoy it so it’s best to step back from your work and look at it from all angles, literally and figuratively. Your next “aha!” moment could come from a quick change in perspective.
4. Celebrate everything: Jason Seiler has been a caricature and portrait artist since he got in trouble for doodling in school. But now people PAY HIM for his art instead of giving him detention for it. You’d think with all of his success (his illustrations and paintings have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and even the cover of TIME), but he still gets totally excited with every triumph, big or small. He shared that he greets each new project with a fist pump and humbleness. This kind of mentality is really what the creative life is all about: always staying excited to change people’s lives with what you make.
5. Be a leader in your field: It’s been all over the news for years that the work force is changing. It’s no longer a place for tenure and tradition. An ever-evolving work environment is the prime place for adaptable, creative people. Jocelyn Glei, Editor-in-Chief and Director of 99U, talked a bit about this shift and how creatives are ideal for leadership in today’s businesses. We thrive on change and innovation and this can make us prime material to lead a team through the ebbs and flows of modern business. It’s seriously prime time for creative minds.
What’s some advice you’ve gotten to help guide your creative goals? Let us know in the comments!