Art, doodling and making have always been a hobbies of mine. I go through waves of enthusiasm and troughs of inactivity. I get a huge amount of pleasure from them, but have neglected to step back and see how this could be part of a worthwhile everyday routine.
Recent adventures in design and content marketing highlighted a need for me to sharpen my skills; to understand more about the types of short-form creative that cuts-through and makes an impact. I’ve also been reluctant to share my personal creative work, so the imperative of shipping and sharing daily, irrespective of reactions from friends and my own personal comfort-levels and concerns about being seen as self-indulgent, has been transformative.
10 things I have learned…
A daily creative practice truly opens your mind and can change your perspective and behaviour in positive and surprising ways.
You have to work harder to show, not tell.
You can make time. It doesn’t take too much out of your day. No single piece of work took over 30 mins from thought to finish, most less than 10 mins.
Simple clear execution rules. The idea can be cool, but if it can’t be presented back easily and visually, then its impact is compromised.
I learned to get more out of Instagram, an app I have used only infrequently up to now and had written-off as a tool for selfie-taking narcissists.
The value of experimenting with different media: photography, making gifs, taking inspiration from nature, as well as playing with my trusty Sharpies and black and white ink.
Not everyone will like your stuff, or get your little jokes. But that’s ok.
You won’t always be in love with your own work, but there’s always something to be learned from each act of creation.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be done.
The most important one is that you start to really value the friends and strangers who support you and give signals that the same little sparks that inspire you, also touch them in some way.
I even managed to ‘sell’ two pieces of work, without resorting to pleading or bribery, on the trading challenge day. With one exception, every one of my 30 creations elicited a positive reaction from someone, somewhere. Not too bad. That, along with those positive lessons, is enough to keep you going. Plus, you feel noticeably more competent and assured at certain creative tasks, when you have a daily opportunity to practice and share the output.
Kate McGhee @kl.mcghee
Marketing Strategy Consultant, emBold