10 Ways To Be More Creative

Ever wondered how to improve your creativity and stay inspired? Why some designers have been a lot more successful than others? Well read on...

I recently wrote a post for the design life, which also featured here, titled, "The Most Important Word You Use Is Why!" The post was inspired by an incredibly motivating Design Indaba presentation by Sir John Hegarty, that I was lucky enough to attend back in 2013. Just the other day, I was reading through the design press and I stumbled upon a fantastic article at The Drum by Ishbel Macleod. The feature was based on Sir John Hegarty's 2014 book, 'Hegarty on Creativity' and lists his top 10 ways to be more creative. Check out number 8... 'Ask Why? A lot!' I have re blogged the list below as it makes for super reading:

1 Be fearless - be single minded in the face of opposition

2 Keep it simple - don't try to say or do too many things at once

3 Stop thinking, start feeling -creativity is driven by the heart, we respond more to emotions than logic

4 Get angry - channel the things that annoy/upset you into more creative tasks rather than getting stressed

5 Juxtaposition - don't be afraid to place two things next to one another that wouldn't normally sit together - even in your head

6 When the world zigs, zag - look in the opposite direction to everyone else

7 Avoid cynics - they drain your confidence - see number one

8 Ask Why? a lot - question everything like a child

9 Philosophy - always be looking, thinking, watching. Absorb everything around you

10 Remove your headphones! - don't cut yourself off from your environment.

You can read the whole article at The Drum by clicking here.

'Hegarty on Creativity' is Printed by Thames & Hudson Ltd and you can buy it here

Maclean writes that the book, "looks to guide readers through the process of creativity, from choosing your best ideas to dealing with fame when your product becomes successful."


Todd Anderson is an award winning British designer, currently based in Cape Town he has worked with some of the worlds largest retailers and hosehold brand names.


Feeling is very important.Feeling helps to understand the emotions better.And anger should not be suppressed for the sake of being emotionally intelligent.And philosophy helps to see what cannot be seen with visible eyes.

Unknown said...

I think stress is a strong enemy of creativity. For those of us who work under heavy amounts of stress is often difficult to develop ideas. So I would add: calm down and get rid of stress during the moments you need to generate solutions or new ideas.

Unknown said...

I think stress is a strong enemy of creativity. For those of us who work under heavy amounts of stress is often difficult to develop ideas. So I would add: calm down and get rid of stress during the moments you need to generate solutions or new ideas.

I couldn't agree more with this!

It really is true that stress can kill the creative process! It's also interesting as many large studios that I visit, all over the world, almost encourage their teams to work within a harsh stressful environment and it really does reflect on the creative process and the levels of productivity. In my own personal experience, some of my very best ideas have come to me whilst my mind is relaxed, like walking, leaving the shower or driving home from work. I have personally seen the difference it makes when you have a designer working in a 'safe' environment, without fear of intimidation or loosing their job etc.

This is a great note to any design leaders. Value and grow your team. Lets not forget that the best design comes from a good place. the enjoyment of actually designing the job can have a real effect on the final product and how the costumer views it on the shelf. I realise fully that great works of art or activist work comes from protest and emotion, but I strongly feel that some of the best results in design, come from an environment where designers can really think, and this thought process is definitely not encouraged by stress.

I am currently working on an article touching on this very issue and how we get the very best out of our design teams.

Thank you so much for your question and I hope to hear more form you!

Great words Santokh! Thank you! Again I agree! I have always encouraged any designer that works in a team that I have been lucky enough to manage to be individual in everything they do. It's all part of your style. I am so lucky to have a really diverse team from many different backgrounds. We all appreciate each other and we all realise that we all bring something to the party that is individual to us. I manage the team, but I always say that I am no different to any body in the studio, other than I have a little bit more experience. What's most important here is that experience can sometime stop you from taking risks or seeing things for the first time and that is why were all equally important. Respect everyones culture and their emotions!

Never suppress your emotion, but instead channel it into your work. I often get a rush when that idea hits me. Sometimes I want to scream and shout about something. Again, I get it down visually. These exercises all help to form a type of style and then enable you to be able to break it!

Philosophy is very important, but furthermore, I think filling your life with interests generally, including philosophy, history etc, will help to grow you as a designer.

Santokh, thank you so much for your thoughts and I really hope to hear from you again soon!