It’s the end of the year and if you’re like me, you’re ready for a break. I find it difficult to be creative when I’m tired, and lately it’s been hard to find the inspiration to get words on paper. I’ve asked my colleagues at Lush what they do when faced with a creativity block and discovered a lot of useful tips. For our last post of 2016, I wanted to share what our wildly talented bunch does to keep cranking out amazing work, week after week.
Chief of Staff Alex Lush laces up running shoes and pounds the pavement.
“It gives me the opportunity to clear my mind of the mundane but necessary domestic juggling and logistics that can so dominate life and gives me headspace to go beyond that,” says Alex.
“I’ll set myself a goal before I go and I have to focus on that while I run. Getting away from my normal environment and getting the blood going somehow allows the creative juices to flow. It’s almost meditative. I can sometimes end up somewhere and think ‘Blimey how did I end up here?’”
Managing Editor Dan Hatch also finds physical activity and fresh air beneficial.
“If I possibly can, I like to hit restart on my body entirely. I go for a walk or go to the gym – anything to get some oxygen into the blood and wake myself up.”
But Dan also finds checking out can be a boon.
“Even just doing something entirely uncreative – like the dishes – can be enough to restart things for me,” says Dan. “I guess it’s really about forgetting about the thing you need to write about for ten minutes and then letting your mind wander back to it afresh once you’re out walking, or scrubbing the pots, or whatever. Often the copy comes flooding into my head, word perfect, once I’ve removed myself from my computer completely.”
“Stepping away from the computer can be a great investment in both creativity and productivity.”
Davide “The Wizard” Boscolo spends time every day browsing through Behance for ideas and inspiration, making lists of things he likes for future reference. Iconfinder is another site he finds useful for current projects as well as for those he’ll do at a later date.
Filmmaker Jesse Bartlett uses Ableton Live to put himself in a creative frame of mind. All it takes is about 10 minutes of experimentation with musical ideas and he’s ready to tackle any project.
Senior Producer Ian Bignell browses through Vimeo and YouTube watching a variety of things from different genres to get his brain moving in new directions.
Founder and CEO James Lush gravitates towards people. He says TED Talks are a great way to be inspired, but good conversation and old-fashioned people watching also fill the bill.
Creative Director Gavin Carroll recommends indulging in an art form that’s not part of your industry or a regular part of your professional life. Gavin turns to music to find inspiration.
Marketing Strategist Carla Young takes a swim in the Indian Ocean on her lunch hour, a guaranteed way to get her brain firing on all cylinders for the rest of the afternoon.
Luke Stevenson, Lush’s Head of Production, watches music videos when he’s feeling stuck. Often, he amalgamates ideas from several different videos to create an original idea of his own.
Chief Operating Officer Brendan Lobo looks for a different space to work in. A change of scenery works wonders and he’s the first to suggest a meeting at an outdoor café or a place close to the Indian Ocean.
Marketing Coordinator Leah Fogliani attributes leaving thoughts to ‘marinate’ overnight as one of the most effective ways to ensure she’s injected a good dose of creative spark into each project. She also gets an early start on her workday so she has time for a long walk at lunchtime.
Animator Rhys Waywood listens to music, preferring calming tunes with no lyrics to get him in the mood to see things in a different way.
It’s fascinating to speak with a diverse group of people and realise there’s little overlap in what they do to kickstart their creativity. For me, a good night’s sleep is the first step. Like Brendan, a change of scenery works like a tonic for me. I find the days I walk the dog on the beach before work put me in the best frame of mind to get words on paper. Unlike my Lush colleagues, I prefer complete silence to deliver the best possible outcome.
Talking to my fellow creatives at Lush has already put me in a different frame of mind. I look forward to recharging my creative batteries over the holiday period so I can hit the ground running in 2017. If you have a tip or hack on how you stay inspired, tweet me at @lush_digital or @SarahMitchellOz and we’ll share it around. I’d love to hear what you do.