Do you believe that creativity is an innate thing – that you are either creative or not. Would you describe yourself as creative? How can you become more creative? Hegarty on Creativity: There are no rules explores all of this.
What or who do you think of when you hear the word creative? For me, I used to automatically think of the creative arts; painting, music, photography, dance, poetry, writing, sculpture, makeup artists, hairdressers. People who create things out of nothing; who have a creative eye and can bring things to life through their imagination. However, over time and through my work experience and alongside peers, I can see the power of all types of creativity. It is not about doing something for the first time; for being totally original and brand new.
A creative is also a problem solver who looks at the world differently. The innovative business person who uses something that already exists and puts a new spin on it. Engineers are creative. Mathematicians are creative. It is about thinking creatively and then approach life in a new way.
The issue is, HOW do you measure creativity? Who decides what is creative and what isn’t? How much of this is a subjective?
The key to creativity is that it comes from a place of confidence. Those people that project their version of creativity it is because they trust that they can do it. Or, it makes them feel great. It is an escapism for them. Creativity doesn’t to be authenticated or permitted by others.
However, creativity comes up A LOT when it comes to business and career. It is stimulating, challenging and good for your mental wellbeing. All big ticks for me!
So, how do you flex your creative muscle (what every YOUR version of creativity is?)
My career started recruiting for and working the creative industries. Every day , Graphic Designers, Public Relations Professionals and Advertising Gurus would sit opposite me as I interviewed them and helped them find their next job. I was BLOWN AWAY by their level of creativity; when I first started I was impressed by anyone that could draw!
However, over time I could see the different ways that these people create. From taking other people’s ideas and making them real, to understanding where the best place is to present the information to the general public.
John Hegarty is one of the leading players in the Advertising World. He is put up on a pedestal for aspiring advertising professionals and has worked on world-wide campaigns. You may not know him, but you will know his campaigns; from putting Brad Pitt in Levis to bringing the phrase “Vorsprung Durch Technik” to the UK.
His book, “Hegarty on Creativity: There are no rules” is a handbook to push you to think of the world of creativity differently; and to expand your creative ability. Each page includes a provocation to push yourself out of your comfort zone, building your confidence and opening your eyes to your unique creativeness.
These are the top things I took away:
1. Keep your head up
It is easy to fill our time with smartphones and books. When was the last time you went on public transport and just people watched, or just let your thoughts wander? You need to give your brain time and space to create; day dreaming isn’t just for children.
2. Nothing is original anymore
Most ideas, however original, is inspired by something else. Be if film, music, art, processes or systems, consume as much information as possible and create something from it. Think of it as a recipe; you are simply remixing, upgrading or tweaking something else. Don’t get stuck in the belief that your ideas have to be a one-off to be worthy. Check out the amazing TED Talk that proves this!
3. The important of partners
In the world of Advertising, the partnership is the key to success. Copywriters and Art Directors spark their ideas and creative imagery out of words; they become a creative team that builds confidence and their ideas can become fearless. Who is your team?
4. Become awkward
The easiest way to lose any spark of creativity is to read and see the same thing over and over. The best way to create new ideas is to find different perspectives; be it films, books, music or people. Force yourself to consider new ways of working, thinking and expression. One of the “50 provocations” from the book was to read the Economist. I grabbed this, and The New Scientist; two magazines I wouldn’t actively seek out. It was fascinating – some went totally over my head, some stimulated online research as well a reading about topics I would usually pass over. It WAS awkward, but insightful and has led to some interesting conversations and made me aware of things I hadn’t considered before.
5. Admire and be inspired but not intimidated
It is easy to look up to people who you view as creative and compare what you do or how you do it. I’m not as good as them as a mantra that stops you making suggestions or making your craft public. As I have said numerous times, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. As Hegarty says “Respect don’t revere”.
What can you learn from this person’s journey and approach that you can apply to your creative life?
This book is a great way of stretching your creative muscles, redefine what it means to you and have fun. So, think differently, act differently, creative and as the man says “There are no rules”.