By Juliette Nicholls
It’s said that we check our phones over 100 times a day. It’s so tempting to know what’s going on and to be available all the time; it’s the first thing we look at in the morning, and we’re even messaging during dinner and conversations with friends. It’s been said that we spend over 3 hours a day on our phones. In a generation so seemingly time-poor, that’s a lot of wasted hours scouring Facebook. A lot of wasted hours that we could be using to hone our creativity.
Our first step, as ‘Now Go Create’ founder Claire Bridges claims, is to look up. Just look up! Whether that’s on the journey to work, instead of checking Instagram. Or in a meeting, as opposed to replying to emails. Or over dinner with friends – when real people are right in front of us. Creativity is all about collaboration and connection and we need to see and experience new things in order to achieve it.
On that journey to work you might notice someone’s style, which inspires a piece you design later. You might look at someone and think, how would they write this piece, how would they design it? You might hear some music that you use in production. That meeting might be when you build rapport with a colleague who you can connect with and bounce ideas off. That friend-of-a-friend at dinner might be the inspiration you need for your writing. Even if they’re not, they’re a start.
So the first step is to go out and really see the world. Londoners are incredibly lucky – we have a treasure trove of inspiration at our fingertips. I love wandering Soho. There are constantly new restaurants, shops and people to see. It’s an incredible mix of cultures in one small area. Equally, St James’ park can be peaceful and inspiring. But the act of going somewhere new, and walking, can be inspiring in itself. You might see something you haven’t noticed before and get a new perspective. It’s a little time out of your day for deliberate, creative thought.
And then you just need the confidence to see your creative idea through. People are so often categorized as ‘creative’ or ‘not’ – they might think of themselves as purely ‘practical’ or ‘logical’. But, as I claimed in my previous article [Creative Thinking – September 2015 RAP], creativity can be learnt. It can be honed. It’s uncomfortable for those of us who have considered ourselves non-creative, to accept that we can create. We can conquer that fear of what others will think of our ideas. We might surprise ourselves; and we might surprise others.
Juliette is the Imaging and S&P Producer for The Heart Network – Global Radio in London. Follow her at @JulesNicholls. She welcomes your correspondence at