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Happy International Creativity Month – 5 Tips to be more Creative!

Happy New Year!! We hope you had a lovely festive period and a great start to 2017. We couldn’t think of a better way to start the year than with International Creativity Month.

As you can imagine we eat, sleep & breath creativity here at IDEAlee HQ, with countless years of creative related experience and qualifications under our belt. However, there are so many ways to be creative, you don’t have to be Picasso or Jonathan Ive. You can also focus your creativity on your business activity or your personal interests.

For us creativity could mean drawing a bespoke piece of artwork, cartooning or illustration one day to then being commissioned to photograph images at a special event. Or we could be designing some promotional materials, working on branding or developing a Logo using a broad range of software.

IDEAlee Logo designed and drawn in the snow!

However, creativity can strike at any time and like most of the country we were in the main pleased to see the snow last week. In fact we couldn't resist using the garden as a drawing board for a bit of silly snow related creativity. You really can choose any medium...

So as promised at the start, in the spirit of sharing here are my 5 great tips to being more creative

1. 30 circles test.

Start with a creative exercise perhaps something like the 30 circles test by Bob McKim. Take a piece of paper and draw 30 circles on the paper. Now, in one minute, adapt as many circles as you can into objects. For example, one circle could become a sun. Another could become a globe. How many can you do in a minute? (Quantity rather than quality). Have a go and feel free to share your attempts on our Facebook page…

Not many people will reach 30, largely because we have a tendency as adults to restrict our own creativity. Kids are great at simply exploring possibilities without being self-critical, whereas adults have a harder time. Sometimes, even the desire to be original can be a form of self-editing.

2. Find your creative mojo! You might think ‘I’m not creative and I never can be as I can’t draw’ but there are so many different creative activities, you just have to find one that interests you…here are a few of the hundreds out there to wet your appetite …drawing, painting, design, photography, sewing, crafts, knitting, sculpture, pottery, illustration, acting, model making, building, glass blowing, gardening, or playing a musical instrument (such as the ukulele which my Mother-In-Law has recently been rather taken by!).

A breakfast face - with egg eyes, a sausage long nose and baked bean mouth!

You could even just arrange your breakfast in a creative way, such as the surprised man I did for my son!

3. Make some time to be Creative.

Shrug off any fear of criticism or inhibition you may have, and create an environment that works for you to be creative. People tend to be more creative when they feel at ease, relaxed and safe – but that can mean different things to different people and personalities. I personally come up with some of my best ideas when I’m cleaning the car but others may prefer: quiet, composed environments while or alternatively loud, fun and distracting locations. Some may draw on others for inspiration and others prefer to be alone.

4. Learn and have a go.

Once you know what creative activity you would like to try or perfect, you will need to decide on your preferred learning style. There are so many online tutorials covering all number of creative topics which are free to access and flexible to pop on when you have some free time. Or maybe you can read and self-teach, consider enrolling in a daytime or evening class to learn with others or (cue the shameless plug!) you could contact someone like IDEAlee who can offer one to one tuition in a range of creative mediums.

5. Inspiration.

In order to remain creative and up to date in your chosen medium, there are so many places to take your inspiration and pick up new techniques – such as, the internet (search engines, blogs, social media), books, magazines and journals, museums, friends and others with your interests. Screenshots, photos, clippings - keeping a visual scrapbook is a great way to catalogue your inspirations!

As always, a huge thank you for reading this month’s blog, let us know how you get on if you put any of our top 5 tips in to practice and here’s to many more months of creativity!

We’ve also updated our website with a ‘case studies’ page to showcase a range of the creative projects we’ve been working on since our start-up just 5 months ago – feel free to take a look.

Best wishes,


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