Tag Archives: JUST™ Creative

Top 6 Tips for a Killer Logo Design

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This article was contributed by Lucy Benton.

Regardless of the industry, a general rule of logo design is to make it as simple as possible. The reason for this is obvious: a simple logo is much easier to memorize.

However, producing a simple yet effective logo is a challenging task. Besides simplicity, one must consider the uniqueness of the brand, colors, visual appeal, and many other factors.

You know what they say about first impressions. Well, the same rule applies in logo recognition as well. No one will know you if they don’t memorize your logo. As the result, your logo is a prominent and undeniably important part of your marketing effort.

The good news is that one does not need to spend years in design to make a killer logo. However, there are still some essential rules to follow in order to achieve this goal. Below, you will find these rules as well as helpful tools to make a great logo, whether you are a designer or business owner.

See here for more logo resources:

  1. Capture the essence of your brand

Vero Water Dinner

Vero Water branding & logo by Jacob Cass.

Your brand has a unique history that defines its present, or soon will. All the things that were important to you while establishing your company, as well as its core values need to be conveyed in the logo, at least in its essence.

For example, if you need to create a logo for a company that produces sparkling water, you may want to concentrate on the features of the product, including its refreshing, hydrating, and calming capabilities, such as Vero above.

The color also plays a prominent role in connecting the logo to the essence of the brand. For example, a logo of a sparkling water company may be blue to convey the power of water and desire to improve the health of the customers. In other words, the color of the logo should mean something special and not be chosen arbitrarily.

A logo design session commonly starts with brainstorming featuring the aspects described above. Don’t forget to write down the ideas you like. See here for how to unlock your creativity.

  1. Use colors effectively

Columbia Logo

Columbia Farmers Market logo design by SDKY

Let me discuss the colors a little bit more. There is a science called color psychology that studies the meanings of colors and how they are perceived by people. The knowledge provided by this science is a great source of ideas for logo design.

According to color psychologists, green symbolizes safety, nature, health, and freshness. Obviously, it is a good option for companies that produce foods. Next, yellow is commonly perceived by people as a color of innovation and optimism, so it can be utilized by high tech companies. Blue is considered beneficial to the body because it symbolizes wisdom, confidence, and stability. Be careful with using black: in addition to elegance and power, it also implies death.

Let’s continue to work on the example of a logo for a company that produces sparkling water. Apparently, black and yellow are not perfect in this case but green and blue might be the ones to use.

  1. Don’t be a copycat

Logo Copyright PosterLogo copyright by Jacob Cass.

Making a logo surprisingly similar to somebody else’s is one of the worst things that could happen in this case. Apart from the copyright issues, the viewers might have a hard time remembering it as your logo because it reminds them of a different one. As the result, a confusion occurs, and it’s very likely that you won’t benefit from it.

Of course, there are thousands of logos out there and some features of your own will be similar to some of them. To ensure that copyright is not an issue, you could perform an Internet or trademark search to determine if someone else has a similar idea before you even thought of producing a logo. As soon as your search does not show similar designs, proceed to the next step.

  1. Simplicity is the key

4. Simplicity is the key

All iconic logos are simple: Apple, Nike, Microsoft, Audi and many other ones are perfect examples. You will recognize them from thousands of others because they have simple yet unique features. The main feature should be the most recognizable, like four rings in Audi logo and the tick sign in Nike.

Be aware that the design of your logo may be changed in the future as the company grows, so it must be flexible as well. Make your logo as simple as possible by using simple elements like circles, lines, rings, etc. but don’t discount creativity when doing so.

  1. Use the right font(s) 

Mood board

There are so many fonts out there, so you will become overwhelmed very quickly, but these are the main categories. First, Serif is used for logos that need to look traditional. Second, Sans-Serif is perfect for modern-looking ones. Script is recommended if you need to make the logo more carefree or formal, depending on the typeface. Regardless of the choice of the typeface, you should also remember to make it versatile to adapt it well to the surroundings, especially pairing it correctly with other fonts.

Sans VS Sans Serif

For example, if you are running a company that is related to travel (a travel blog etc.), you may want to consider using a hand written script. If you want to look traditional, Serif is the way to go. However, if your brand produces innovative products, using Sans-Serif might be a good idea. Understanding the power of typography in logo design is crucial to success.

  1. Consider making an “active” logo

Twitter Logo Evolution

Having an active logo is an expert tip that has been considered by many companies. The best example of an effective active logo is the one used by Twitter. On earlier versions of the logo, the bird appeared standing, so it was a passive bird. Later, the designers of the company changed the logo: the bird became active and took flight! The latest logo of Twitter took it to another level by making the bird flying in the upward direction.

If you to include an object in your logo, consider making it active. For example, a sport equipment brand may use a spinning ball or have a line to convey motion.

Every logo should resemble the uniqueness of the brand. Make yours filled with meaning, and follow the tips above for a killer logo!

Lucy Benton is a writing coach, editor at BestEssayTips. She specializes in content writing for marketing purposes. She studied Creative and Professional Writing at Maharishi University of Management. 

Source: http://justcreative.com

How To Be & Stay Creative for Career Success

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This article was contributed by Hugh Beaulac.

Over the long haul, you have nailed a job interview, and you’re in a meritorious job that brings you joy and money. But is it enough to achieve career success?

Although you have great knowledge about your niche and experience in it, you need to stay creative to keep on climbing the career ladder.

First and foremost, let’s take a look at statistics:

  • 80% of people claim that creativity is the key driver of economic growth
  • 75% of people think they are not living up to their creative potential
  • 60% of CEOs agree that creativity is the most important skill to have in a leadership role

Hold on…

What is creativity?

“To me, creativity is seeing and communicating ideas in ways that are unique, compelling, and unexpected.” – Lee Odden

It seems that being creative at work can help you a lot! But if you’re still hesitating whether it is important, pay attention to the list of reasons why doing it should be high on your list:

Why you need to stay creative

1. Creativity Gives You Flexibility

No matter what your job position is, you need to stay focused on the task to complete it on a high level. Even if you have a short attention span, you can work hard on your task until someone or something interrupts you. The business environment is full of distractions like noisy colleagues, meetings, conference calls, and you need to stay flexible to boost your focus.

Being creative encourages flexibility as you can switch between tasks with ease! The key point is that creativity is connected with advanced memory abilities and focus, so it’s easier to shift tasks.

2. Creativity Prevents Burnout

Having overwhelming tasks at work may lead to burnout which means reducing job performance. If you have a goal to achieve career success, burnout is your biggest enemy. However, creativity can help you a lot as you can find a unique solution to any task and, therefore, make it more interesting. After all, a routine can cause stress as your brain doesn’t work for its potential, so stay slightly groggy.

3. Creativity Improves Productivity

Being productive in a workplace means being able to complete more tasks, spending less time. All in all, it means finding a work-life balance, so many people crave for productivity at work.

When you have improved creativity skills, you know how to use different methods to finish your tasks.

4. Creativity Helps to Find Various Solutions

Creativity offers diversity.

When you think outside the box, you’re able to find solutions to the same problem and pick out the most actionable one. Going beyond the surface, creative workers can make up unusual problem-solving and, therefore, achieve success.

5. Creativity Keeps You One Step Ahead of Competitors

What makes you any different from other colleagues hoping for a job promotion? Your creativity, without a doubt! The more creative you are, the more unique ideas you have! Working in a competitive environment, you need to offer something innovative. Therefore, your skills are in a high demand for employers.

6. Creativity Increases Income

For a variety of reasons, creativity gives you opportunities to earn more. When you’re a valuable worker, your boss knows the importance of your work for the company, so you get a promotion and keep on climbing the career ladder.

Plus, being creative at work allows you to take several freelance projects as you’re able to complete them on time. In short, you’re able to manage several works to increase your income.

7. Creativity Helps to Win Friends at Work

Creative people know how to establish good relations with different people, and it plays an important role in the business environment. Although you don’t have to become close friends with your colleagues, getting along with them is crucial for your business growth.

8. Creativity Keeps You Inspired and Motivated

Creativity drives innovation, and when you see the progress of your work, it inspires.

It goes without saying that being inspired and motivated is great when it comes to achieving business success. If you know how to learn from other people who succeed and draw inspiration from them, you don’t give up.

9. Creativity Allows You to Keep a Work-Life Balance

It’s scientifically proven that creative people can find a balance between work and life as they know how to keep in touch with their dearest and nearest while working hard. When you have a creative attitude towards the life, you have various techniques to stay a profitable worker without sacrificing your personal life.

Ways to Improve Creativity at Your Workplace

Ocean of Creativity

All the above-mentioned reasons prove that staying creative at workplace pays off, so if you want to improve creative skills, check out the list of ways on how to do it with ease:

Form Flawless Daily Habits

Having daily routines can be a key to success as some of your habits can give you benefits in a business environment.

  • get enough sleep: if you sleep for 7-9 hours, your body gets a rest which gives you extra energy for daily activities.
  • drinking a cup of green tea: it consists L-theanine that boosts brain powers and, therefore, you’re more creative.
  • do physical activities: going in for sports helps to improve mental skills like creative thinking.

It doesn’t take much time or effort to form these habits but it gives you an incredible result.

A well-organized workplace

Distractions are the biggest enemies for creativity. When you’re working in a messy distractions, you spend a lot of time when you need to find something in piles and you reduce creativity. Thus, creating a well-organize workplace (when everything has its place) is important.

However, pay attention to the fact that staying messy can also help some people boost creativity.

Brainstorming

Although many people prefer working alone, collaborating with your team can enhance creativity. All people are different and we have various views, so discussing a topic together can give useful insights.

Role Play

If you’re an employer who wants to encourage employees, do an experiment: change people’s duties for one day. Implementing a role play in a workplace can help to understand more about your colleagues’ duties and boost creativity.

Challenging Tasks

Have you ever heard advice to ‘find comfort in discomfort’?

When you take a slightly difficult task, you start using extra brain power, and it helps to become more creative. Plus, if you have a difficult task, you need to stay creative to find a solution to it. Thus, you think outside the box which is the next step towards personal growth.

Bonus Systems

Although most of us know that you’re lucky when you do for a living what you love, it’s important to get a financial bonus to keep on achieving success. People who have bonus systems at work are more likely to do their best whilst completing tasks.

Changing a Workplace

Changing a workplace can lead to creativity boost. The main idea is that you need to adapt and respond to change, and it makes you more creative. Moreover, if you work in an office daily, you don’t have a source of inspiration while working in a cafe can give you insights while observing other people.

The Sum Up

Being creative pays off as you can stay ahead of your competitors and get more at work.

However, some people believe that creativity is available for a limited group of people. If you believe that being creative is an inherited skill, you should try to develop it. Creativity can be taught without a doubt if you have a desire.

How do you work on your creative skills at work?

Hugh Beaulac is an aspiring writer who shares his knowledge and tips on various topics to help people find useful insights. He is fond of arts and design, so Hugh puts creative skills high on his list. You’re welcome to connect with him on Twitter

Source: http://justcreative.com

8 Essential Tips for The Perfect Website

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You’ve been honing your craft for a while now! Your portfolio is starting to look awesome to the max.

Maybe you’ve even built up a bit of a following on social media.

However, there’s a good chance that you’ve been neglecting your website. With social media being such a powerful tool for creatives, who cares about a website, right? Wrong.

A website’s still the best way to create a hub where people can stay up to date with what you’re doing, get in touch with you, and purchase your products.

Whether you’re a pro creator with a creative studio that has gear valued at the same price as a new Cadillac, or if you’re simply a hobbyist artist who makes cool things on your smartphone, a website is easy enough to create, yet can be powerful enough to build a career off of.

In this article, we’re going to go over 8 different ideas you should keep in mind when building your website. Enjoy!

8.) Choose a platform that offers both ease-of-use and no limitations in customization

If you’re new to website creation, you might be a bit overwhelmed.

In advertising, you’ll see solutions such as Wix that you can create quality sites in a few clicks. In the marketing community, you’ll hear WordPress boasted as the most versatile way to create a website. In the eCommerce world, you will hear Shopify recommended as the best way to easily sell online. And finally, in the programming community, you’ll hear a variety of answers from using complex backend frameworks to just creating a static HTML/CSS/Javascript website.

My simple recommendation is to choose a platform that offers both versatility and ease-of-use for your needs. For 90% of people the answer is going to be WordPress. See here for how to set up your website/blog using WordPress.

7.) Make sure you are tracking valuable metrics

The most common website analytics tracker is Google Analytics. It’s powerful, lightweight, and relatively easy to use.

Most people simply look at their traffic graph to find out how many particular visitors arrived on a given day.

However, did you know that you can use Google Analytics to track sales, newsletter signups, what people are searching for on your website, and even how many times people download your freebies?

Behaviour Flow

One feature that I’m really digging is called “Behavior Flow”. It shows a graphic of different landing pages on your site and where they go after viewing that particular page (ex. Going to your about page, going to your shop page, leaving your site, etc).

As a creative, some quite valuable metrics you could be tracking on your site are:

  • How many monthly visits your site brings
  • Average time spent on your website
  • What social channels generate the most traffic
  • What type of music you produce that generates the most sales/downloads
  • Behavior flow (See above example)

6.) Test your page load time and work on improvement

According to the Kissmetrics blog:

“40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.”

It’s not enough to just throw a website up and call it a day. I highly recommend – right this second – that you go to Tools.Pingdom.com, a popular site speed tester, and enter your website’s URL. What score did you get? Also, it’s recommended to test your website a few times in Pingdom, since the results will vary.

If your score was anything above 6 seconds, you’ve got some work to do. If it’s above 2 seconds, you still should try your best to get your load time quicker.

Here are some quick ways to speed up your site:

  • Enable caching – For WordPress sites, this can be as easy as installing a plugin. WP Total Cache is my top recommendation, but keep in mind it will take some configuring. For minimal configuration, Comet Cache is a really easy caching plugin to use.
  • Cloudflare – With the addition of improving site security and saving yourself from DDOS attacks, Cloudflare can also speed up your site through their global content delivery network. See here for how to set up a CDN.
  • Upgrade hosting – If you can afford it, upgrading your hosting plan is a great way to decrease the load time of your site. See here for a hosting deal with BlueHost.
  • Disable unnecessary plugins (WordPress users) – If you use WordPress, check how many plugins you’ve enabled. If you have 20+ (or even 10+) plugins enabled, there’s a good chance that’s responsible for your slow load time.

5.) If you’re selling anything, your website must be professional

Whether you only take donations, sell designs online, or simply blog, you need to come off as professional and trusting.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional web designer to create great looking sites anymore.

However, it’s still easier than ever to create a bad, unprofessional looking website.

A great way to achieve an astounding looking website without too much effort is to purchase a premium theme for WordPress. The most versatile website creation platforms – whether you’re using WordPress or Shopify – will have some sort of theming system where users can create and sell their custom-coded themes.

Buying a $50-$100 theme from a reputable developer can be a very wise investment that will instantly increase the trust your customers have with you when making a purchase.

4.) Remember that simplicity is the key in web design

Take a look at the JUST Creative homepage. It’s very simplistic – in a good way.

Call to action

When a user hits the homepage of JustCreative, there’s only two main places to focus on. Notice in the above graphic that the two places to focus on are 1.) the call-to-action (asking to view Jacob’s Portfolio) and 2.) the navigation, with ONLY the most important links a user should visit.

On the topic of navigations, this is where many people make a big error. A lot of people put so many different links in their navigation which makes the decision process harder for the end-user.

Still think your navigation menu is perfect even when having a ton of different links? Try this.

  1. Download the Google Page Analytics browser extension
  2. Go to your home page and enable the extension.
  3. Look at the percentage breakdown for your navigation

You will see something like in the image above.

Now the question is: “What navigation links of mine get zero clicks?”

Stats

3.) Make it easy for people to contact you and also follow you on social media

I run into situations a lot where I come across sites that are just impossible to contact. Sometimes the contact forms are even broken!

Make sure it is dead-easy for someone to contact you on your site. Usually, I like to put an email address contact form, my Twitter, and Facebook. This way, no matter what a user’s preferred communication platform is, you’ve got them covered.

Making it as easy as possible for someone to contact you is the difference between making a sale and missing one.

2.) Each page of your site must have ONE clear goal in mind

Going back to the idea of simplicity, you’re going to want each page of your site to have ONE clear goal in mind – not several.

If you’re working on a product page for selling an item, you’re not going to want to have other focus areas – such as promoting your social channels, displaying your most recent tweets, etc.

Keep it simple. Keep it focused.

1.) Build an email list of fans

Email is possibly the oldest online marketing channel out there.

However, still in 2017, the power of the email list is cherished by everyone from fortune 500 CEOs, to worldwide superstar musicians, to your friend that makes a few bucks in beer money every month from his t-shirt designs.

Think of an email list as the most stable form of communication you can have with your audience. With social media marketing – On Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or whatever pops up tomorrow – an algorithm can be released tomorrow that will cut your fan reach in half. This happened with Facebook a few years ago and many people who depended on their Facebook page to pay their bills, had their income cut in half overnight.

Meanwhile, an email list is much more predictable. With the innovative email marketing tools we have today, you’ll be able to easily segment (or categorize/label) your subscribers & customers and send them email that’s most relevant to them.

There’s three steps you can follow to start building an email list:

1. Sign up for an email marketing service

MailChimp has a free plan with a lot of features, so I recommend starting there. There’s also other options such as aWeber, Drip, ActiveCampaign, and ConvertKit that are worth exploring as well.

2. Create a signup form and put it on your website

Email marketing services such as MailChimp typically have form builders. However, there’s a plethora of other tools you could as well.

To make being on your email list more enticing than simply “Sign up to stay connected with me”, you could offer a free download. Some example headlines you can use on your form are:

  • Download Three Of My XX For Free!
  • Get 10 Awesome XX You Can Use In Your Videos
  • Receive Exclusive Deals On My XX

Final Notes

Remember: Simplicity is often the best answer in web design. Keep simple goals in mind when designing pages on your website.

And don’t forget to get feedback from a second pair of eyes! There are many little details in your design that you don’t notice – or think are a big deal – that might turn off your visitors.

Source: http://justcreative.com

New Stockio Free Assets Site Unveiled

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A new stock resource website, Stockio.com has just launched, and all the resources are absolutely free to download. This is one to add to your bookmarks!

They have an amazing collection of photos, videos, vectors, icons, and even fonts, designed to inspire and stock the toolboxes of the web design industry.

» Check out Stockio

And the best news is that you can use Stockio’s free resources for both personal and commercial projects! They also have some powerful features:

  • Intuitive search options to make browsing easy
  • Search by color for that perfect match
  • Tons of choice (4500+ icons, 11,000 professional free fonts!)

Enjoy!

Free Stock Pic

Free Stockio Icons Free Photos  Free Fonts

» Check out Stockio

Source: http://justcreative.com

7 Incredible Ways 3D Printing Is Transforming Our World

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This article was contributed by Heather Redding.

As it continues to make enormous strides, 3D printing is revolutionizing the way we do things.

By the end of this decade, 3D printing may actually be considered one of the most important technologies of the day. Not since the Internet have we seen an invention hold the potential for creating so many positive changes in the world.

Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing can be explained in simple terms as a layer-by-layer printing of any three-dimensional object based on a digital file. This tremendous technology allows for the creation of very complex structures of mixed materials. Here are 7 ways 3D printing is transforming our world.

Can you imagine living in a house that came out of a printer?

3D Printing Inspiring Example

The path to normalization of 3D-printed architecture includes some fascinating experiments. Architecture is known to adapt its aesthetics to new technologies and 3D printing is already transforming the way we use our imagination with regard to architectural designs. Thanks to 3D printing, architects and designers can now create low-cost, high precision architectural models.

There is a San Francisco-based 3D-printing startup that has shown the ability to 3D-print concrete walls suitable for a small house in less than 24 hours. The ability to produce houses so quickly allows for more convenient re-housing of people affected by natural disasters. However, it is highly likely that the near future scenario for 3D printing is the printing of specific building components, not the whole building itself.

Now picture tasting a 3D-printed pizza

3D Printing Inspiring Example
Is it really possible to print food? You may ask. The answer is yes, and it’s done in the same general way as a regular 3D-printer but with food material as the printing medium instead of melted plastic. You can say that food has become 3D printing’s delicious new frontier.

With the global population expected to grow to an estimated 9.6 billion people by 2050, sustainability is becoming more of a necessity. Some analysts predict that food production will need to be increased by 50 percent to maintain current levels. 3D food printing can contribute to the solution of the issue. You can already find bakeries, restaurants, and confectionaries using 3D food printers to save time and increase efficiency.

What if you could mend a “broken” heart?

3D Printing Inspiring Example

The medical world is seeing some of the most incredible uses for 3D printers. One such example is the possibility of artificial heart transplants in the future. There’s also the current use of 3D-printed prosthetics, which are cheaper and a lot easier to make.

Thanks to 3D printing, students, doctors, and other medical staff members can have a hands-on learning experience in any part of the human anatomy through the use of 3D medical models. Surgical efforts have experienced innovation as well, and now CT, MRI, or other scanning data can be converted into a unique three-dimensional print that serves as a model for the organ that will be worked on.

A new spin on manufacturing

3D Printing Inspiring Example

The manufacturing industry is seeing greater capabilities as 3D printing can potentially make the manufacturing process extremely precise with infinite options. In subtractive manufacturing, which is the exact opposite of 3D printing, manufacturers utilize a CNC machine for making parts by removing materials. By employing a 3D printer for production, manufacturers can essentially eliminate any excess materials and ultimately produce less waste.

Even with all of the potential, the implications of this emerging technology are hotly debated. Some manufacturing industry experts feel that the 3D printing technology will be highly disruptive, but others believe it is decades away from viability.

Envision driving a 3D-printed car

3D Printing Inspiring Example

According to a report published by SmarTech Publishing, the 3D printing automotive market will hit $2.3 billion in revenue by 2021. There are still naysayers that feel that 3D printing in the automotive industry is all hype. One of the issues these doubters point to is speed in manufacturing. Speed is very critical in the building of cars and 3D printing is not known for speed. However, there are processes in development that could address this problem.

Are you ready for 3D-printed clothes?

3D Printing Inspiring Example

A whole new wave of fashion is being unleashed through 3D printing. Now that complex geometries and patterns can be realized with ease, designers can accessorize outfits with jewelry and prototype and print new ideas. Designers can create the shapes they have in mind and create with extravagance while experimenting with forms. Nowadays, it isn’t hard to come across 3D printed jewelry either.

A Canberra designer named Charne Esterhuizen has created an entire dress with 3D printing technology. The dress stands at 175 cm tall and is made entirely out of rubber printed butterflies. This dress equates to about 800 hours of printing, and Esterhuizen estimates the cost of the dress to be about $90,000.

3D printing to inspire young minds

3D Printing Inspiring Example

The education system in its current state is largely producing students who are consumers and not producers, and 3D printing can potentially change that. The technology has been redefining how education is administered. The biggest contribution so far has been how students now have the ability to bring their learning and ideas to fruition through design and production of 3D models.

With a hands-on approach using such tools as 3D printers, students will learn through trial and error with practical application. This opens the process of idea development and problem-solving, thus building key skills that will help in the future.

Final Thoughts

3D printing is transforming our world as it disrupts whole industries while creating new capabilities. Our food, housing, cars, and healthcare are being affected in fascinating ways and experiencing new beneficial solutions. Concepts that once seemed like sci-fi or things of the imagination are unfolding before our eyes.

Heather Redding is a tech enthusiast and freelance writer based in Aurora, Illinois. You can reach Heather via Twitter.

Source: http://justcreative.com

15 Habits You Need to Unlock Creativity (+7 Habits to Forget)

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This article was contributed by Lesley Vos.

Creativity is the new black. Again. While some research insists you can’t be creative if you don’t have a particular cluster of genes and characteristics of brains, others believe it’s possible to unlock and develop creativity. To do that, consider your lifestyle, mindset, and… habits.

“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not. ”

― Pablo Picasso

Tons of articles live online, telling about the habits of highly creative people. Psychologists agree on the direct linking between daily routine and its influence on our minds. So, it seems those willing to become ingenious should rethink their customs, develop a positive lifestyle, and forget about habits preventing the awakening of their creative genius.

But what habits actually help to unlock creativity? And how to know if your present lifestyle leaves creativity to be desired?

Good news first:

Make sure to develop these fifteen habits that influence the right brain, responsible for imagination, colors, and creativity in your life. (Well, at least some believe so.)

Habits of Creativity - Brain

Image source: Power of Positivity

15 Habits That Help to Unlock Your Creativity

Some also believe that creative people are complex and paradoxical. Long live the stereotypes! Yet, the research suggests that creativity involves many social influences and traits in a person.

These behaviors help to develop creativity and turn it into a daily routine.

So why not give it a try?

1) Wake Up Early

Benefits of early rising speak volumes:

It’s the time when a frontal cortex aka a creativity center of your brain has its peak activity, and that is why many creative thinkers are so productive on mornings.

Benjamin Franklin woke up early to plan out his day. Ernest Hemingway wrote on mornings because it was the time when no one could disturb him. So did Toni Morrison before her children woke up, and Howard Schultz used early mornings to send motivational letters to employees.

How can you develop this habit?

Wake up early every day and don’t take naps, even if tired. It will make you go to bed earlier, and, eventually, you’ll adjust to the schedule and join the team of creative early risers.

2) Go In For Sports

The Stanford study has it: 90% of people are more creative after they physical training. And that’s the reason why many creatives have made sports their daily routine.

Physical exercises stimulate endorphins secretion, giving you the right mood to disconnect for a while and focus on creative tasks afterward. They help to reflect on what you do, avoid stresses, and stimulate positive thinking which is crucial for a creative approach to work.

It doesn’t mean you should run to a gym once you decide to become creative. Yes, push-ups and sit-ups worked for Kurt Vonnegut, but long distance walks could be a worthy alternative to hard cyclic exercises: research proves they increase a brain volume.

Dickens, Beethoven, Muir… They all walked daily to stimulate thinking. Richard Branson moves beyond: he runs on mornings.

3) Read

Books help brains function better: they broaden imagination, enhance empathy, inspire, and even decrease chances to have Alzheimer’s disease! When people read, they train brain muscles and memory for learning out-of-the-box solutions.

Develop a habit of reading daily. It can be fiction books or business literature, whatever. You might also want to check books teaching to unlock creativity and practice the techniques their authors suggest.

Don’t ignore writing practices as well. Freewriting, paraphrase, unsent letters, or long lists — all they work for catching your Muse and generating creative ideas.

4) Travel

Habits of Creativity - Globe

Image source: Unsplash

Want to be creative? Travel. A lot. (See Jacob’s travel blog here)

It’s an efficient way to broaden perspectives and have a positive impact on your creativity. But to make it work, don’t simply visit countries but explore them. Make it a habit to learn about their cultures, understand differences in customs and traditions, and make connections to your personal world view.

According to studies, travels enhance flexibility and cognitive complexity. No surprise why so many creatives enjoy it: Ernest Hemingway drew inspiration from Spain and France, Mark Twain sailed around the Mediterranean, and Benedict Cumberbatch had spent a year at a Tibetan monastery and taught English there.

“New sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations, and sights spark different synapses in the brain,”

Brent Crane writes in The Atlantic. A clear correlation exists between travels and creative output, so open your heart to spending time abroad and exploring everything there.

5) Keep the Schedule

Most creatives schedule their daily routines, debunking the myth about wild and unstructured lives all genius supposed to have. Psychologist William James explains how scheduling impacts creativity: as he says, it

“frees our mind to interesting fields of action.”

Bestselling authors Stephen King and Haruki Murakami support this habit by sticking to a strict writing routine: King doesn’t allow himself to leave the table until he finishes writing 1, 000 words, and Murakami writes from 4 until 9 a.m.

No one says you should plan your every minute. Instead, set 15-20 minutes per day on creative thinking: it’s a good start for newbies.

6) Daydream

Habits of Creativity - Out at Sea

Image source: Unsplash

Though some see daydreaming as a negative thing influencing our bad mood and associated with a lack of productivity, neuroscience points to it as a great solution for finding creative approaches to problems.

The 2012 study suggests that daydreaming can help us consolidate memories and enhance long-term decision making, which is more about patience than impulsivity. And the 2013 meta-analysis concludes that it helps to “connect our past and future selves together,” providing with creative inspiration.

So, allow yourself to wander for a few moments during a day, as it can boost creativity faster than your waste efforts to focus.

7) Observe

“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.”

Steve Jobs

Creative people are observers. They watch people around, notice the tiniest details, and take that information for creative expression.

English novelist Thomas Hardy kept a journal to write down everything he saw or heard. So did Joan Didion who noted her observations about people and events. Maybe it’s time to join them and become more attentive to what happens around? Your notes have big chances to turn into creative insights later.

Develop a habit of observing the world and people around it: this is an unlimited source of inspiration and creative decisions.

8) Work From Coffee Shops

Habits of Creativity - Coffee

Image source: Unsplash

Many of us work in one place, believing it’s close to impossible to stay productive in different environments. However, studies show it’s beneficial to creativity.

Did you know that Joanne Rowling wrote the ideas for Harry Potter on a napkin in a train? And what about working from coffee shops, which background noise is proven to help you focus and make you perform better on creative tasks?

Changing the environment brings stimulation that will flourish your creativity. More than that, coffee itself stimulates memory and helps to think positive, increasing a serotonin level in our brains.

So, drink coffee (green tea is great, too) and develop a habit of working in different environments for better creativity.

9) Meditate

The 2012 study says that people practicing open-monitoring meditation are better at generating ideas.

So, little wonder that director David Lynch advocates meditation this much! In his interview with The Talks, Lynch shared his experience, saying that meditation increased the enjoyment of working and “the enjoyment of everything.”

This mental practice also helps to set intentions, become diligent, and expand your awareness. It enables people to tap into what Lynch calls the “ocean of pure vibrant consciousness inside each one of us” by synchronizing remote regions of our brains, so critical for the creative process.

Yoga and mindfulness techniques do the same. So you can try to develop a habit of practicing these mental exercises, too.

10) Procrastinate

Do you know procrastination can have a positive impact on your productivity?

Copywriter Joseph Sugarman suggests that procrastination helps us boost imagination: when you delay a task, it allows to find the best solution later. Also, it improves memory and enhances our ability to think creatively by providing more time for free thinking. Besides, it teaches to find a balance between work and rest.

But to make procrastination work for you, know how to use it to your benefit:

  • Interrupt work in the middle
  • Find time for deep work
  • Work in small sprints

11) Risk

Habits of Creativity - Quote

Image source: AZ Quotes

Part of doing creative work is taking risks. Getting out of your comfort zone is a part of it, too.

As Steven Kotler wrote in Forbes, the connection between risk taking and creativity is “deep and meaningful, and it’s one that’s often overlooked.” He tells about Albert Einstein who was an avid sailor though didn’t know how to swim: taking risks equipped Einstein’s brain with ideas for innovations by making long-distance connections, so beneficial to creativity.

And what about the idea of Twitter? Jack Dorsey and his team took the risk to live it out, and they won.

Don’t be afraid of taking risks in various aspects of your life. Still, it stands to reason to avoid jumping off the deep end.

12) Take Naps

It doesn’t mean you should sleep for the whole day to become creative, but make sure to carve out some time for relaxation:

Research has it, naps enhance right brain function (as far as you remember, it’s responsible for creative activity) and improve alertness. So, follow the example of artist Joan Miró who took five-minute naps after lunch; or, gain inspiration from Vladimir Nabokov who included a two-hour nap in his daily schedule — and unlock your creativity.

After all, such a habit is not that difficult to develop, is it?

13) Stop Multitasking

Multitasking is the worst enemy of your creativity and the awful strategy to get more done. In fact, it can damage your brains: you lose focus, lower the quality of work, and can’t hit goals.

If you have a habit of multitasking, give it up as soon as you can. Also, try to avoid interruptions at work: you should be mentally focused to complete tasks, and workplace interruptions take 23 minutes from you each time when appear.

Develop a habit of completing one thing at a time to help your creativity breathe.

14) Spend Some Time Alone

Habits of Creativity - Sitting on Car

Image source: Unsplash

People who are creative feel comfortable in solitude. If it’s not about you, then it’s time to develop a habit of spending some time alone and experience all benefits of such environment.

Being alone means having the mental space to reflect on yourself and your ideas, which is necessary to the creative process. As psychologist Rollo May writes, one should “overcome the fear of being alone” and have the capacity for “constructive use of solitude” to become creative.

“It’s hard to find that inner creative voice if you’re … not getting in touch with yourself and reflecting on yourself,” Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., adds.

15) Have Fun

The proven fact is, having fun increases optimism, improves concentration, and engages the creative brain. It boosts motivation and decreases stress levels, either. That is why a majority of employers give particular emphasis to company cultures and teambuilding activities.

So, don’t be so serious. Make it a habit to fun from time to time.

Also, don’t be afraid of acting like a kid: studies have found it’s a perfect way to unleash creativity, especially if you work in a guideline-ridden workplace. Behave like everything is new to you, and you will come up with creative ideas and unexpected insights.

And now, for the bad news:

Many consider creativity an inherent gift, but it isn’t so. Creative genius snoozes inside of you, and now you know the habits to encourage its awakening. In the meanwhile, other customs might block and kill it! So it happens you struggle for creativity, while some habits of yours struggle against it.

Oops, isn’t it unfair?

What are those habits? What can you do to avoid them?

7 Habits to Forget For Better Creativity

  • Waiting for the right time. If you wait for the right moment to voice opinions or ideas, here goes the news for you: this moment is now. While you’re waiting, others express your ideas right here.
  • Perfectionism. If you want to be creative, forget about perfection. Creative ideas can’t be perfect. You can strive to improve them, but perfection is nothing but an illusion preventing you from actions.
  • Taking everything too seriously. Yes, life is demanding and challenging, but you shouldn’t let those challenges affect you in a negative way. Face them and consider them a chance to get creative with solutions.
  • Comparing yourself to others. Just accept the fact you are different from others, so comparing your ideas to those of colleagues or friends would be silly. You need own standards of creativity and success.
  • Fear of mistakes. They are an inevitable and integral part of a creative process. Make assessing your mistake a habit, get to the root, and start acting differently to find creative solutions.
  • Choosing the first solution. This habit doesn’t motivate you to play with alternatives, therefore killing your creative bones. For creatives, finding one solution is just a beginning of the process.
  • Considering yourself noncreative. Even if your ideas differ from others’, that doesn’t mean others are creative and you aren’t. Don’t be a pessimist, and don’t think negatively about yourself. Don’t kill your creativity in its germ.

Once you identify habits that influence your creativity, it’s time to work with them and change a lifestyle so that your habits could boost spirits and unleash that positive energy for more creative ideas.

After all, we all live once. So let’s make the most of it!

Lesley Vos is a professional web writer and guest blogger. Contributing articles on writing, productivity, and self-development, in words she trusts. A passionate reader and traveler, Lesley shares her works on Twitter; so feel free to follow her there.

Source: http://justcreative.com

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Source: http://justcreative.com