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Preparing to be Creative – is that a REAL Thing?

February 28, 2020
Posted by Dovetail

Dovetail Branding Matt Steward


What do you say to people that consider themselves non-creative? How can they find their inner-creativity?

I believe creativity translates beyond traditional creative roles. It’s all about perception. I believe the key to tapping into creativity is questioning everything. Once you abandon preconceived notions within your own head, you are able to look at any detail with a fresh perspective. That’s creativity. We all have it. It doesn’t always have to be a pretty picture.

Do you have to prepare to be creative? Or do you just sit down and it flows?

I think there is a bit of muscle memory that lives within every designer. That being said, it’s all about process. To me, it’s putting the hours in and having confidence in yourself that you’ll be able to solve the problem. In return, the Creative Fairy will fly down from Creativeland and sprinkle some creative breadcrumbs for you. As designers, I think we’re all trying to find ways for the Creative Fairy to show her face a little more often.

How much of creativity is about being prepared versus talent and inspiration?

I believe all of those elements play a role in creativity. What separates good designers from great ones, is being prepared. I think artists naturally have feelers out there when it comes to inspiration, so sometimes you are gifted something special. But I don’t advise waiting for the next idea to come to you. A lot of the time you need to fully vet an idea to find the best iteration of it. Sometimes you have a lot of bad ideas. But that’s fine. It means you aren’t settling for what’s easy. You’re prepared.

Hypothetically, you’ve just been assigned a new design project – designing a new brand look for the state of Missouri. What’s your first move?

Typically, I like to audit the current brand. What’s working? What seems to be falling flat? How are other states presenting themselves? It’s always good to get the lay of the land first. Branding goes way beyond a mark or a photograph, so it’s crucial that you are getting a bird’s eye view of the system you are creating. Brand building is complex, so it’s our job as designers to simplify the message visually. If someone goes to your website and can’t immediately understand what it is you do and why it’s important, then you’ve missed the mark (pun intended).

Is there a time limit when preparing to be creative?

Just get started. It’s more about putting yourself in the right mindset and trusting your process. The sooner you start exploring your ideas, the sooner you start to gain momentum.

Anything else?

The process of creating something that didn’t exist before is an amazing thing. It’s a gift we all have, you just can’t be afraid to tap into it.


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