World Creativity and Innovation Day is celebrated internationally each year on April 21st. This day was established by the United Nations to value the creative and innovative activities of people around the world. The international feast raises awareness around the importance of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development and encourages people to let go creative thinking to make the world a better place.
We asked our team how they nourish their creativity:
Sarah: When I was little, I used to drive my parent nuts because I always asked "Why?" Why was my favourite word, and I just wanted to know 'why' about everything...how things worked, why something looked the way it did, why something made something else...on and on I went! It's only now when I look back that I can see I have taken that annoying question and turned it into something useful. I approach all my creative projects (professional and personal) asking that question: Why? Being creative for me means answering that question and doing it really well. I read up on what I am working on and use that information to deliver my creative project. That is why I love brand strategy so much and why it's the centre point of my creative passion. On top of that, every waking minute for me is a way to enhance my creativity, to push my ideas further. I take inspiration from the world around me; from the way the light bounces off an office window to the pattern a worm makes in the soil when I am looking at them with my daughter. My children are also a huge source for creativity for me too. They have some amazing ideas that I would never think of on my own. Some are really crazy, but I can still learn and grow from them.
Sian: As a conceptual designer I’m constantly soaking up inspiration from the environments I find myself in, whether that be on a weekend stroll exploring local haunts or stepping further afield to other exciting places, both home and abroad. I’ve explored my creative streak while dabbling in a mix of hobbies, from screen printing, embroidery, painting and pottery – some more successfully than others. Whatever you’re up to, and whatever you enjoy I find there is always opportunity to nurture a little creativity and see the world through a different lens.
Thiago: I don't think I ever thought about all the different ways I nourish creativity - but the more I reflect on it, over time I systematically built windows of opportunity that allow me that space, from short daily spurs to longer sessions.The pandemic had undeniable devastating effects but, if I allow one positive thing lockdown has enabled, was starting and keeping a running practice. Now we're back to the office 3 times per week, I alternate between runs and the walk in my commute. My morning run is the daily vitamin that fuels my creativity. As I breathe, I disconnect - and that headspace helps me build connections where they didn't exist before. Alternatively when I walk, I ponder about the day ahead and organise my schedule.Visiting different places also gives me input to expand my knowledge and it helps me to think outside the box. Museums and art fairs are where I am most likely to be found.
Karen: Going out to take pictures is a great way for me to nourish my creativity. I like the process of something interesting catching my eye, framing the shot, setting the dials and waiting for the best moment to press click. Walking about and taking pictures isn’t just a creative hobby for me, I find it a helpful tool for improving my mental wellbeing. I enjoy doing all manner of crafty and creative things because it simply makes me feel happy.
Jessica: I find that my best opportunity to nourish creativity comes through journaling. Sitting down at a table and putting words on paper helps me open my mind to new ideas and think outside the box and it encourages me to create for the sake of creating and not for a deliverable item. Whenever I feel overwhelmed I love going for a walk as it makes me feel refreshed. Giving myself time for my ideas to simmer and for my batteries to recharge is definitely non-negotiable for me!
Will: To nourish my creativity, I need variety. It could be taking a quick stroll, either to clear my thoughts or to get inspired by my surroundings. I could also be inspired by visiting new exhibitions on topics that could lead to new creative ideas that I can utilise in my design process, or I can simply look through other creative projects and draw inspiration from there.
Sam: Being a developer a lot of my daily life is spent problem solving, and trying to do it a cleanly and creatively as possible! I’m always on the lookout for how other people solve problems, what approaches they take and what the pro’s and con’s of that approach are. I can then draw from all these experiences to craft my own solutions to problems.I love undertaking new challenges and figuring out the best approach for everyone involved. This trickles through to my personal life too where my current nemesis is the Rubik’s Cube!
Tara: I grew up in a culture of storytellers and have always been drawn to the imaginary tales of the people I observe around me. This interest in the motivations and passions of everyday people (ok yes, nosiness) has inspired me hugely and has fed my interests in illustration, animation and film. This passion for stories and storytelling has fed all aspects of my professional life as a designer but most especially it affords huge benefits when working organisations on their brand story, where empathy and understanding of who you are talking to is key in framing a strategy for brand growth. I feed this interest through books, films, doodling, wandering and daydreaming and am desperately seeking a sponsor to fund my lifestyle so I no longer need the distraction of work 😇.
Charlie: Creativity fulfils many aspects of my life, from my love for theatre, intrigue in the craft of film, passion for aerial hoop and of course love and appreciation for all things design. Outside of the working day you will find me enjoying a podcast on my walk home, training in aerial arts, catching up on the latest blog on It’s Nice That or creating prints for my Etsy shop; Charrleighcreative – many of which start out as gifts for family and friends.
Tim: I find that my best opportunities to provoke creativity and be inspired, generally come when I’m able to step away from the pressures and day to day running of the business. I’m an avid reader, not just about design and business, but also plenty of fiction. Stepping into new worlds through works of fiction, is a brilliant way to nourish some creative thinking. I also play the piano. This helps me to relax and free my thoughts, giving me the perfect mindset to be more creative as an individual. Failing that, a good old walk in the park with Molly, our red fox Labrador, is always good for the soul.
Dominika: Being a creative isn't limited to 9 – 5, it is a way we see the world and interact with it. Visiting exhibitions, interacting with art or attending design festivals is just one of the many ways to stay inspired as a creative in London. One of my favourite ways to stay connected is by listening to podcasts like Meet the Creatives and Design Matters along with other non design related series like Overheard at Nat Geo and Dirtbag Diaries. I also do personal projects in my spare time, specialising in branding for sustainability and the Design for Change sector, as well as mentoring high school students who want to pursue creative careers. Growing up in Poland I was surrounded by our rich design activism culture and have been using my craft to support causes I believe in, creating protest posters and graphics. As with every part of our life, balance is very important so I try to charge my energy with day hikes whenever I feel too overwhelmed.