All of us who create for a living are expected to come up with ever more dazzling solutions in ever-smaller amounts of time, creating something of value for our clients and employers. Sometimes our efforts are lauded; more often they’re taken for granted. So how do we keep producing the work? And how do we avoid those (hopefully rare) times when we’re stumped for ideas?
I’ve found a lot of answers to these questions in Todd Henry’s book (and podcast), The Accidental Creative. The subtitle alone made me want to devour the book: “How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice.” There’s not enough room here to go into a lot of detail, but I’m finding that by implementing some of Henry’s suggestions, I’ve been able to make a lot more space for my creativity to come out and play. I’ll leave you with this thought from the intro:
“…you can improve your ability to generate good ideas consistently if you are willing to be a little more purposeful in how you approach the creative process. It won’t be easy, but in the end your work will be more satisfying, more productive, and more fun.”
(I would add my emphasis on fun!)
If you’ve read the book, I’d love to hear your thoughts. What was the biggest change you made in response to this book, and how has that affected your creativity? Share your thoughts in the comments.
New Work, New Direction
As part of my newfound space for creativity, I’m experimenting with different subject matter than I’m known for and have started a series of portrait illustrations. Above is one of author Joan Didion, who I had the pleasure of seeing at a recent talk at Fairfield University. If you’d like to see other portraits in the series, email me.