Some people were not born creative. It is sad to say, but I must admit, I was born to be creative, but somewhere along the way, I stopped nurturing that creativity, and it wasn’t until recently that I began to reintegrate my creative side back into my life. When I stopped and noted that it was so much easier as a kid to be creative, I asked myself, “Why was this so much easier when I was younger?” The answer that kept pinging my mind was, “because you weren’t afraid”. “Afraid? Afraid of what?”
What is creativity?
One might think that for Creative Web Design, creativity is important. To understand what creativity is, we might want to get the definition.
Creativity is defined by the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (2015) as having the ability to make new things or think of new things. Well, that was a pretty lame definition if you ask me. It surely did not inspire creativity in me. Don’t you think after reading the definition of creativity, one should be slightly more creative? I thought you would agree. So, I took a stab at defining the word myself:
Creativity (singular, a noun) – the state of mind that sits between what is, what is not, and what is possible, and from which unique and amazing, awe-inspiring works are created by ordinary instruments, which have the power to evoke emotions and affect change within one’s soul.
There, that was slightly better. So, having defined the word, my thoughts led me to the next question…
Where did my creativity go?
Our western culture sadly does not value creativity like it used to. When was the last time you saw actors in a movie or TV show telling their make-believe kid that “being an artist…(include creative web designers) won’t pay the bills”? We harp on math and science lacking in the skill sets of today’s graduates and I wonder why. Yes, am a member of the Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) …generation. I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME in front of the television watching what was not, was was possible, and what might actually be. I remember trying to figure out how to make those stupid little tricorders (in the Star Trek world, they were simply scanning devices that anyone could use to find out literally anything in their surroundings. I real life, it was just a box with flashy lights that didn’t make noise and only helped the show’s writers progress the plot further) to really work. Yep, I built star ship models, played with action figures, and designed tricorders out of cardboard. (Now play the song, I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross)
I also used to draw. I used to draw a lot. I think for me, drawing was a way to visually recreate that which was already in my head. It gave my mind peace when the world that I had imagined was captured on paper. I might not have been as gifted as my brother-in-law, John Moran (a gifted artist who specializes in glass-blowing), but I was drawing for myself and no one else. I loved it and it didn’t matter if anyone else agreed with me or not.
Then, I found a new passion; a more cerebral passion: Game Development and PIC Microcontroller Programming. Yeah, talk about nerdy! By the time that this discipline entered my life, so did adulthood. So, it was off to the Navy to learn foreign languages and life’s distractions continued to bombard me with excuses to not be more creative.
Getting my creative design mojo back?
In one word: FAIL. That’s right, I said, “fail”! Being creative is a way of life. It is a philosophy. It is a way to look at the world and take note of one’s surroundings, which challenge yesterday’s perspective. Remember when I said that I was “afraid of failure”? Well, the key to regaining my creativity is failing towards my success.
“Well-seasoned designers understand that resilience in the face of repeated failure is the only path to success. Improving as a designer requires us to consciously choose to explore novel territory as a part of our daily work. David Kelley from IDEO calls this ‘enlightened trial and error,’ and it is the best way to seek out a great result that fulfills your client’s business needs” (David Sherwin, Creative Workshop: 80 challenges to sharpen your design skills).
Drawing Conclusions for Creative Web Design
The real key to being more creative is to take risks daily. To be a more creative web designer, a creative web developer, or a more creative person in general, you have to put yourself out there and fail. Fail often! Fail and own that failure. Learn from the failure. Learn what you don’t like. Learn what you love. Mimic what you love. Think outside the box and figure out how to build upon what you love to give your take on a design. Refuse not to succeed. Refuse not to be creative. Refuse not to try. You will succeed.