From Mumbrella: Go on then… What are the creative industries?

Excellent cross posting HERE from Mumbrella & The Conversation on the decline of the so called ‘creative industries’, and the idea that such things even exist.


All industries have the potential for creativity.

All people are creative.

Creativity can be enhanced by training. That’s a fact, Jack.


Until we stop labeling industries as ‘creative’, we won’t stop considering others ‘non creative’, and until we stop the twin tidal waves of risk aversion and conformity that are currently sweeping the world, we will continue to see incremental creativity, rather than the radical ideas that have truly changed the world.

Authority Is Given, Control Is Taken, Respect Is Earned.

But once you earn respect, the others often follow.

With Respect to Operation Respect, Rock River Valley

Earning respect in any field is tough, and creative types have it tougher than most. What we do is usually subjective, we’re always competing with the next big thing and past success is often seen as a sign that we’re past our best.

So how do you earn the respect of your peers? I can only go by my own experiences.


I’m not claiming to be at the top of my field by any measure (when it comes to ideas, I like to think of myself as a hack with a knack), but I believe I’ve earned some level of respect from my peers, and I hope to continue holding that respect for a while longer.

How? I help, and I share.

I’m not the world’s greatest creative, but the techniques I’ve learned, the insights I’ve gathered, the work I’ve done over years has value, and I share that with my teams, colleagues and associates whenever and wherever possible.

I don’t shove anything down their throats, but I’m happy to have my brain picked and to explain why I’ve done what I’ve done, and how I did it. Over the years, I hope I’ve helped a few people grow in their careers, and helped others solve creative problems.

Basically, I don’t believe I’ve earned respect based on particular projects, as much as on a willingness to share and help others along the creative path.

So the question is; what do you do to earn respect as a creative? If you’re relying on that last big idea, you might be in trouble (that was great, but what have you done for us lately?). If you rely on building respect and reputation based on helping and mentoring those around you, you’ll find the path easier, more sustainable and ultimately more rewarding.

Creative Techniques: The Benefits Of The Right Creative Thinking Space

Apologies for my recent slackness in posting. New jobs demand new focus, so my head has been firmly in workspace.

creativity_booster_kit-250x300As part of that new role, I recently had the pleasure of attending a creative training session with Mark Hawkins of Inventium. Stacks of great, scientifically based insights and techniques for improving creativity.

I’m not going to delve too deeply into what Mark taught (hey, it’s how Inventium makes a living), but the issue of creative space resonated strongly with me. Where do you do your thinking?

In many corporations today, national designs infiltrate local offices, painting walls, ceilings and floors in a triple coat of beige. While this is great for accountants and senior management, who may only crack a smile when 100% conformity is reached, it often leaves workers in incredibly uninspiring environments.

Yes, the advertising and marketing worlds are usually different, but I’ve been dragged into many creative sessions with clients in the boardrooms of the bland.

If you have control over your creative environment, Inventium recommends warm colours and external images (i.e. natural scenes) on the walls to help stimulate creativity. If you don’t have control, open the front door and go for a walk.

I attempt a 20 minute walk every day. It’s good for my health, and (because I always take a problem out on the walk with me) it’s good for business. The break from routine, the natural environment and the change in my usual surroundings always helps my creativity.

Do it. Grab the handle, open the door and change your environment when you need that extra creative nudge.

The 3 Top Tips To Creativity That You Already Know, But Aren’t Doing.

EelCreativity is a slippery beast. Everybody has great ideas. You just ask them. But how many are translated into reality? Here are three simple tips that you KNOW you should follow. So why aren’t you?

1. Begin. whatever you’re planning to do, start doing it. I know how lame this advice sounds, but I also know how many people have said to me “oh, I’ve always wanted to write/paint/sculpt/invent etc. etc.” Ideas are everywhere. Creativity is everywhere. The determination to do something about it is in short supply. Which brings me to tip #2.

Drum roll please….

2. Persevere. The alternative to the “I’ve always wanted to” line is “I started to write/paint/sculpt/invent something once…”. Beginning to work on your idea is fine, but once the initial thrill is over, it’s too easy to put it aside, or lose it in the mundane activities of the day to day. Keep going. Set yourself realistic mini goals throughout your project. Keep notes so you can see how far you’ve progressed. Find your own way to push yourself onwards, so you never feel the regret of saying “I started…..”. Instead, head for the chest puffing you of tip #3.

3. Finish. I know, you’re reeling back in amazement. Or saying “duh” to yourself. How can you start something without finishing it? Come on, be honest. How many drawers or files of half finished bits and pieces litter your life? Don’t keep fiddling away forever. Nothing is ever perfect, and you can come back and tweak later, as long as you finish first. Set a time frame. Even if it’s only first draft. Invite friends over to see your work on a set date. Publicly proclaim that you WILL finish on this day, at this hour and minute, so you can’t hide and tinker.

Creative endeavors are highly emotive. They carry a high risk of personal embarrassment if they fail. So it’s way, way too easy to carry that world breaking idea in your head and trot it out at parties than it is to commit to completion.

Years ago I had an idea for a novel. I began, I persevered and I completed. Did I become the next JK Rowling? No. But I can always say I did it. You can even buy it HERE.

Go on. Take the risk. Get your hands dirty. Begin, persevere and finish.

Creative Techniques: The Easiest Creative Trick In The World

stevejobsIn a famous Wired article, Steve Jobs said “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.

It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things…

A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”

Two things stand out for me. ‘Diverse experiences’ and ‘broad perspective’. One leads naturally to the other. If you work in a creative role, don’t focus completely on your specialty. Read widely. Explore areas that may not seem relevant. Discover. Uncover.

Continue reading