At Industria Innovations, creativity is a huge part of what we do every day. Our clients and partners rely on us to be subject-matter experts when it comes to retail trends. But in order to really help deliver incredible results, we have to constantly focus on being as creative as possible.
We chatted with some of our talented product and packaging designers to get the inside scoop on how they stay creative in the workplace.
If you’re a creative person and want to spend your day designing the coolest new products, check out our careers page. We’re hiring!
Fostering Creativity At Work
Before we get into our creativity tips, it’s important to acknowledge a universal fact: all creative people feel blocked at some point. So if that’s you, don’t worry!
These tips and tricks will help you encourage your creativity to flow. And remember, creativity is a unique and personal thing. What works for some people might not work for others. That’s ok!
Creativity is an essential part of design work - including the work we do at Industria, like designing patterns, products, pr packages. We think of creativity like a muscle. The more you practise it, the stronger that muscle becomes.
And it’s worth it! Because creativity can often mean the difference between a good design and a great one.
So whether you’re professional designer or just starting out, these tips will help you unlock and grow your creative potential.
Creativity Tip #1: Break Out of Your Routine
We all have our routines. We wake up at the same time, brush our teeth, eat breakfast and then head off to work. But what if we broke out of our routines? What if we did something different each day?
Research has shown that, when we try new experiences and expose ourselves to different perspectives, cultures, and environments, we can often be more creative.
So, if you’re feeling stuck in a rut, try breaking out of your routine. Take a different route to work, eat lunch at a different time, or go for a walk in the afternoon. By shaking up your routine, you’ll give yourself a chance to think differently and be more creative. Who knows, you might just come up with your next big idea.
“A change of scenery-going to a cafe, or a walk through a forest can really help refresh my spirit and give me the focus needed to tackle whatever project I'm working on.” -Kate Balah (Senior Designer of Industria Innovations)
Creativity Tip #2: Brainstorming and Free Association
If you want to be more creative, try brainstorming and free association.
That’s where you allow your mind to wander and generate a wide range of ideas without judging them. Brainstorming is a great way to generate new ideas, and free association can help you make connections between those ideas.
To practise free association, just allow your mind to wander freely, without censoring your thoughts. Let your mind go where it wants to go and see what connections you can make.
You might be surprised at the ideas you come up with when you let your mind roam freely. So next time you need to be creative, don't force it; just let your mind flow.
Creativity Tip #3: Practise
Like any other skill, creativity can be developed and improved through practice.
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to becoming more creative. But there are certain practices that can help you develop your creative muscles.
One way to become more creative is to set aside time each day for creative pursuits. Whether it's 20 minutes or 2 hours, make sure you carve out time to do something that's purely for creative expression. This could be painting, writing, playing music, or working on a hobby project.
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to becoming more creative.
Whichever way you choose to practice, the important thing is to keep at it. The more you do, the better you'll get. So don't be discouraged if you don't see results immediately. Just keep practicing, and eventually you'll see the results you're looking for.
Creativity Tip #4: Get enough sleep and exercise
We all know that a good night's sleep and regular exercise are important for our overall health. But did you know that these habits can also boost your creativity?
A wide range of studies have found that people who got a full night's sleep were more capable of “divergent” thinking, or creativity, the next day than those who didn't.
One study found significant impairment in divergent thinking as a result of only 1 night of sleep loss. Researchers believe that sleep allows our brains to consolidate and process information, which can lead to more creative insights.
Exercise also has been shown to improve creativity. A recent study from 2020 found that active people were more creative! They came up with better ideas, more frequently, than sedentary people did.
In a new study from the University of Graz in Austria, even walking or other moderate exercise showed a connection to creativity (these people also tended to be happier.)
The researchers believe that exercise enhances blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which can improve thinking and problem-solving ability.
So, if you're looking to boost your creativity, make sure you're getting enough sleep and exercise. Your brain will thank you!
Creativity Tip #5: Learn to Let Go of Perfectionism
Creativity often involves taking risks and making mistakes. We have to embrace failure as a natural part of the creative process.
Are you a perfectionist? Do you strive for excellence in everything you do, no matter how big or small the task may be?
If you're too focused on perfection, you may be afraid to take risks or to experiment with new ideas.
If so, you're not alone. Many people strive for perfection in all that they do. And while there's nothing wrong with wanting to do your best, sometimes this quest for perfection can actually hold you back.
If you're too focused on perfection, you may be afraid to take risks or to experiment with new ideas. You may be so worried about making a mistake that you never get started on a project at all.
On the other hand, if you're able to let go of perfectionism, you may find that you're more creative and productive. You'll be more open to trying new things, and you'll be less likely to get bogged down in details.
Creativity Tip #6: Learn to Focus and Concentrate
Creativity involves the ability to focus on a task and to block out distractions. This may seem like a difficult thing to do, but it can actually be quite simple.
Start by setting aside some time each day to focus on your creative endeavors. During this time, turn off all distractions and give yourself permission to be creative. It doesn't matter if you don't have any specific ideas in mind, just allow yourself to explore and see what comes up.
You may also want to try some specific exercises to help you focus and increase your creativity. For example, try focusing on one object for a set period of time and brainstorming all the different ways you could use it. Or, try coming up with ideas for a new product or service by brainstorming all the potential needs that it could address.
The most important thing is to keep practicing and expanding your focus. By doing so, you'll gradually increase your creativity and be able to come up with more and more innovative ideas.
Creativity Tip #7: Read, Watch and Listen to Diverse Things
Expose yourself to different forms of art, literature, and media. The more you see, the broader you can stretch your imagination.
According to Brainline, research estimates that eighty to eighty-five percent of our perception, learning, cognition, and activities are mediated through vision. Creative work is often an amalgamation of two or more creative ideas.
Therefore, keep an eye on the creative things that happen around you. Even better, save those inspirations for later use. Every time you come across something that appeals to you, capture it, share it, pin it, or save it so that you can use those inspirations in the future.
Creativity Tip #8: Collaborate With Others
Creativity is a vital part of success in almost every field.
That’s why working with people from different backgrounds and perspectives can lead to new and unexpected ideas.
So when you feel like you've hit a creative wall, one of the best ways to jumpstart your creativity is to collaborate with others. When you work with someone else, you can bounce ideas off of each other, build on each other's ideas, and come up with solutions to problems together.
If you're feeling stuck, try reaching out to a friend or colleague.
Plus, it's just more fun! Working with others can help you come up with new ideas, find new ways to solve problems, and be more productive overall.
If you're feeling stuck, try reaching out to a friend or colleague and see if you can collaborate on a project. You might be surprised at how much more creative you can be when you work together.
Creativity Tip #9: Take Time to Daydream and Reflect
It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and forget to take time for ourselves. But if we want to be truly creative, it's important to take time to daydream and reflect.
Allow yourself to think freely and let your mind wander. Set aside some time each day to do nothing but think. Let your mind wander and see where it takes you.
You might be surprised at the ideas that come to you when you give yourself some time to daydream.
And don't forget to reflect on your day-to-day experiences. What did you learn today? What did you enjoy? What could you have done better?
Taking time to daydream and reflect can help you to be more creative in all aspects of your life. So make sure to schedule some time for yourself each day!
Creativity Tip #10: Record Your Ideas
Look around you and take note of anything that catches your eye. This could be anything from a cool building to a great piece of furniture. Keep a notebook or journal to record your ideas and thoughts and come back to them later to see if they can be developed further. Instead of going through your days having inspired thought but then forgetting them once you get back to your craft – remember to document your life experiences.
Whether through a creative look book or collaborative board like Pinterest or even Evernote or by taking photos, you will be surprised how many ideas are lost throughout the day, which turn into missed opportunities to use your creative ambition on your everyday work world.
Creativity doesn't always come easy. Sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error before you land on something you're happy with. So don't be discouraged if it takes a while to get the results you want. Just keep at it and eventually you'll get there!