How to keep your creativity flowing while working from home

Rachel Lemieux, Art Director
Posted on Dec 23, 2020

As 2020 comes to a close and we look forward to a new year filled with fewer challenges and obstacles, we all look for ways to maintain our creativity. How are you finding creativity for yourself, for your clients, for your coworkers?

During the New England winter months, where the days get shorter and the nights get longer, it can become a challenge to sustain creativity, especially when a majority of us are working from home. But have no fear. There’s no need to dull the creative spark during this time of the year. Our team encourages each other and you to charge up your creative battery and find inspiration.

Creativity comes in many forms. Maybe you like to paint a portrait of your furry friend, cook a new recipe, test filters on your phone’s camera app, or write in your spare time. There’s always a way to be creative no matter what your speed or comfort level.

As a designer, I am frequently expected to be creative on the spot, so how do I maintain my creativity, especially during this crazy trip of a year? I remember these simple tips:

Tips on how to stay creative

  1. Take a break and a breath. Remove yourself from your daily routine to take that breath. Get outside and breathe some fresh air, take in the warmth of the sun on your face, and reset. Make yourself a cup of your favorite drink and relax, even for just 5-10 minutes. This will help relax your mind and reset your focus. Creativity cannot be sustainable for long periods of time without these much needed daily breaks.

  2. Do something fun and new. New activities force us to think outside the box and break out of our normal routine. Not only will you free yourself from the monotony of a daily routine, but you’ll start using your brain to think differently. Now you can tap into the creativity that you may not have focused on or noticed before. New activities will also help you think of challenges differently and get creative with solutions.

  3. Take time to pamper yourself and, in turn, pamper your creativity. Do something for you, and just for you. When we take the time to take care of ourselves and focus, our mind opens up and our muscles relax. Pampering can be anything from a nice long bath to a yoga class, a Saturday morning at the spa, or a meal from your favorite local take-out restaurant. Remember that pampering isn’t something you earn, but something that everyone deserves. It will help you reset your mental and physical health. Do it for yourself, do it for your creativity.

  4. Utilize others. Creativity doesn't need to be a solo task. Because everyone thinks differently, bouncing ideas off one another can be the best way to view a problem from a different perspective. Creativity can thrive among a group of people, so the next time you’re feeling stumped, send a quick message to your team and let the ideas start flowing.

  5. Don’t force it. Putting pressure on yourself to be creative at the drop of a hat can extinguish your creative flow. For most, creativity does not come on-demand 24/7, nor is it something that you can flip on like a light switch. It needs nurturing. It needs enrichment. And it needs time. We have all been under tight timelines where we need to create the next great idea in the next five minutes. As difficult as that can be, utilizing these tips will better equip you for the next time that happens. Do the best you can, and remember to strengthen your creativity so you don’t feel like you’re forcing yourself to be creative. Next time it’ll just come naturally.

Exploring creativity from the design team

Our very own creative team is sharing their insightful tips for enhancing creativity. Check them out:

Jared Laham, Creative Director

“Accessing creativity throughout the day while home changes moment to moment. What really sparks the most creativity for me is having a dedicated space that lets me turn off all stimuli so my mind can wander, think more deeply on everything that I have observed, and begin to make some wild forced connections. At night, when everyone else in my house is asleep, my creativity shines the brightest.”

Paul Kelley, Senior Art Director

“I find that listening to others talk about creativity and design helps rejuvenate me. My days are routinely packed with getting work done or taking care of my family, making it hard to find large chunks of free time, so I squeeze it in where I can. I’ll watch YouTube videos while eating lunch or listen to a podcast before falling asleep to make sure my creative well doesn’t run dry. “

Christian Keyes, Senior Art Director

“Although it may sound counterintuitive, sometimes I’ll try to nail one of my feet to the floor metaphorically and let the ideas flow around that one grounding element. Similarly, I try to avoid falling into the trap of overwhelming myself with other ‘creative’ feeds and galleries. I’d rather pull the best and unique ideas from other avenues like real items around me as opposed to an infinite stream of other people's work. I feel better about my output when I know that my ideas didn’t closely originate so directly from an ‘inspiration’ source.”

Kelly Freitas, Art Director

"To stay inspired and recharge, I take time away from social media. There’s nothing more detrimental to creativity than constantly comparing yourself to other artists or focusing more on ‘input’ rather than your own ‘output’. Focus on doing. Get hands-on again. Harness your creativity in other, more tangible ways. I find that through cooking and experimenting in the kitchen!"

Arielle Tiner, Designer

"Changing up my surroundings has been key to keeping my creativity flowing. I make a point to take screen breaks and get outside. Even if it's just a short walk in the neighborhood, being in nature helps inspire me."

Kelly Moynihan, Copywriter

When I get stuck in a creative rut, I like to walk away and try something completely new for a bit. Whether it’s going for a walk, calling a friend, or tidying the house, I do something that takes my mind away from the task I’m stuck on. Once I get back to it, I have a new perspective.”

Create your own inspiration

Inspiration can come in a number of forms, and it's up to you and your process to find what works best for you. Have ideas of your own? We’d love to hear them! Tag us @imarcagency on Instagram.

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