Somewhere along the way you might have been categorized as either a right brainer or a left brainer. You were pegged as creative or not creative with no in-between. It’s human nature to want to categorize and label things so they stay in their “rightful” place. But when that happens, gifts get stifled or abandoned and that creative spark inside dims and sometimes even goes dark forever.
This is a spark to help you bring that light back and to stop saying, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.”
As humans, we are innately creative. We imagine and craft things daily through our own unique perspective and spirit. You are creative. Let’s say that again – YOU ARE CREATIVE. After all, there is only one of you in the entire universe!
Here are some insights that have helped some of the industry’s top creatives tap into who they are to bring ideas and inspiration to life.
Strategist. Digital Marketer. Entrepreneur.
“I carve out time to get away. It’s crucial for staying creative.”
David Nawrocki, Owner, Dimostra Digital Marketing
David Nawrocki, is the owner and founder of Dimostra digital marketing agency. His team specializes in digital marketing, lead generation, social media marketing, email marketing, web design, and business consulting.
“I get great ideas when I am not working. I carve out time to get away. It’s crucial for staying creative. I’ve made it a standard practice to turn off my phone during these times to prevent interruptions.
Having a clear mind with no distractions leaves me open for authentic influences to inspire my creative thinking. And if nothing else, getting away helps me to re-energize so I am focused and clearheaded when I’m trying to solve tough client challenges.”
Author. Writer. Content Strategist.
“Listen to people and their stories. The human spirit and the art of storytelling are so wonderful. There are metaphors, messages and deep learnings embedded in people’s stories. Who doesn’t love a great story? They are what make the world go round!”
Courtney Kotloski, Director of Content Strategy, Marie Daniel Group
Courtney Kotloski is Director of Content Strategy for Marie Daniel Group. She has more than 20 years of experience working with in-house and external agencies developing creative communication strategies and content for a multitude of businesses. She is an award-winning writer, published author, playwright and one of the founders of Chicago’s 2nd Story Series.
“I’m a sponge. I like to absorb all the thoughts, ideas, and problems and then hide away in the dark to hash out the words. Music is a big friend of mine. If you got ahold of my playlist, you might think I’m a depressive. Sad, melodic music with candles and a dark space is the best creative palette for my thoughts to flow unedited. Space and silence are a writer’s best friend (or at least mine).
In a brainstorm session, I’m usually silent, taking notes and listening. I like to fully absorb all the information and then have time to think of the right words and let the symphony start from silence and storytelling.”
LET GO AND PLAY
Artist. Illustrator. Mentor.
“So much of creativity is about letting go. Getting those things that were stuck to us unstuck, listening to that part of us that is innately creative and unleashing all those colors. ”
Natalie Sorrentino, Illustrator, Mentor and Therapeutic Art Specialist
Natalie Sorrentino is the owner of Sorrentino Studios and a Therapeutic Art Specialist at On Purpose Psyche. She graduated from Alverno College with a degree in Art Therapy. She has more than 15 years of experience in creating compelling curricula and art groups. Her passion has brought her into a variety of environments including classrooms, hospitals, senior facilities, psychiatric and community settings. She is the illustrator of the award-winning Gnat & Corky Series.
“Play! Get in the sand. Create a spontaneous doodle. Let go. So much of creativity is about letting go. Getting those things that were stuck to us unstuck, listening to that part of us that is innately creative and unleashing all those colors.
I feel like as adults, we are doing a lot of unlearning and going back to the essence of play where creativity lives. It’s connected to our hearts and our souls. They are inseparable.
For me, creativity is an essential part of my never-ending evolution and story. Our stories connect us and carry us onward.
Everything for me is heart led through that intuitive place we all know – a place of play and letting go.”
TRY SOMETHING NEW
Designer. Art Director. Brand Expert.
“Learn new things. This is probably my biggest one. When projects stop being challenging, I push out of my comfort zone and try something new.”
Emily Strozinsky, Art Director and Owner, Strozinsky Design
Emily Strozinsky is an art director and designer with more than 10 years of experience. Emily has worked at studios and agencies on projects ranging from visual identity design, web design, integrated campaign ideation, print/TV shoot art direction, packaging and environmental design. She launched Strozinsky Design to focus on what she’s most passionate about — design and branding.
“Take a walk, sketch it out, or lie awake at night and let your mind wander. Learn new things. This is probably my biggest one. When projects stop being challenging, I push out of my comfort zone and try something new.
Surround yourself with creative, ambitious people. Creativity comes in so many forms — I have friends in startups who are doing innovative things, I have friends who are turning side-hustles into careers, and friends who are designers but now deciding to pursue other paths. Hearing all of their stories keeps me going.
Whenever I’m stuck, or complete my first concept and think I’ve nailed it and don’t need to create others, I sleep on it and evaluate with fresh eyes. It’s usually the second concept or third concept that’s the winner.
Maintain other creative outlets. I decorate and re-decorate rooms. I follow lots of interior designers on Instagram, and the home decor wheels are always spinning in my head.”
PURGE ON THE PAGE
Creative Director. Manager. Communications Specialist.
“I’ve learned that after I get the noise out of the way, the good stuff has room to grow.”-
Judy Alberts, Creative Director and Internal Communications Specialist
Judy Alberts is a Creative Director who manages a team of 15 creatives. Her expertise is rooted in graphic design and brand initiatives. Her experience has included B2B agencies, conservation organizations and healthcare companies.
“I have found the most effective way to get the creative juices flowing is a blank sheet of paper. It feels limitless. I push all the ideas out as scribbles, doodles, meandering word connections. I call it my mental purge. I use a Sharpie so I can’t erase. And spelling never counts. I’ve learned that after I get the noise out of the way, the good stuff has room to grow. If the page is still blank after an hour, I cap the Sharpie and take a walk.
You may end up with 3-4 pages of ideation. And often 1-3 pages of crap. But, it really gets exciting when you see an average idea on the page, and with a little more thought it becomes something great. That’s the creative process at its best, allowing the white space to breathe.”
If you’re looking to ignite that creative light that was snuffed out, try finding a space and place that bring you the clarity and confidence to explore and unleash your creativity. It’s always been there, you just have to find it again.