How to Keep Your Creativity Flowing: Unexpected Tips from Top Industry Creatives


Have you ever experienced a creative block that leaves you feeling stuck and uninspired? Don't worry, you're not alone. Creativity is a fickle thing that requires nurturing and cultivation. But fear not, because we've gathered some unexpected tips from top industry creatives to help keep that creative flow going. So, let's unleash your creative mind and dive into these helpful insights. Get ready to be inspired!

Unleashing Your Creative Mind

Creativity is a powerful tool that can unlock new possibilities and open doors to innovation. Whether you're an artist, writer, musician, or simply someone seeking to tap into their creative side, finding ways to unleash your creative mind is essential. In this section, we will explore some unexpected tips from top industry creatives that will help you fuel your creativity and ignite your imagination.

Embrace Curiosity

One of the most common traits found in highly creative individuals is curiosity. Keeping an open mind and having a genuine interest in the world around you can spark new ideas and perspectives. Albert Einstein once said, "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." This curiosity-driven approach allows creative minds to explore new territories, ask questions, and challenge the status quo.

Create a Safe Space for Experimentation

Creating a safe and judgment-free space for yourself is crucial when nurturing your creative mind. Being able to take risks, make mistakes, and try new things without fear of criticism or failure allows you to push boundaries and explore new possibilities. As Adam Grant, author of "Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World"1 , advises, "The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most because they're the ones who try the most."

Practice Mindfulness

In a world filled with distractions, practicing mindfulness can help you cultivate focus and tap into your creativity. Mindfulness allows you to be fully present and attentive to your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. As John Kabat-Zinn, renowned mindfulness expert, once said, "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." By staying grounded and aware in the present moment, you can better engage with your creative process and bring forth your best ideas.

Break Free from Routine

Sometimes, breaking free from your daily routine can jumpstart your creativity. Routine can be comforting, but it can also lead to stagnation and creative blocks. Embrace the unexpected and seek out new experiences. Take a different route to work, try a new hobby, or explore a new genre of music. As Maya Angelou famously put it, "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."

Collaborate and Seek Inspiration

Creativity often flourishes in a collaborative environment. Engaging with like-minded individuals and seeking inspiration from others can provide new insights and perspectives. Surround yourself with diverse voices and ideas, and be open to collaboration. As Maya Lin, renowned artist and architect, once said, "In art, one idea is stolen from another, and it's the barest necessity of making art."

Unleashing your creative mind requires a combination of curiosity, experimentation, mindfulness, and breaking free from routine. By embracing these unexpected tips from top industry creatives, you can tap into your creative potential and ignite your imagination. As Salvador Dali famously said, "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." So dare to be bold, embrace your uniqueness, and let your creativity soar.

photo of bulb artwork
Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Creative Tips from Design Experts

Creativity is an essential aspect of design. It allows designers to come up with innovative and unique ideas that captivate their audience. But sometimes, even the most creative minds can hit a roadblock. If you're feeling stuck and need a boost of inspiration, here are some tips from design experts that can help you keep your creativity flowing:

1. Embrace Constraints

Design expert Emily Pilloton once said, "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." Constraints can actually fuel creativity by forcing you to think outside the box. Instead of seeing limitations as roadblocks, view them as opportunities to innovate. Whether it's a tight deadline, a limited budget, or a specific brand guideline to follow, use these constraints to push your creative boundaries and find new solutions.

2. Stay Curious

Never stop learning and exploring. Design expert Debbie Millman once remarked, "You cannot be as good as you could be without feeding your mind with ideas, and you cannot feed your mind with ideas without exposing yourself to new experiences." Stay curious about the world around you. Seek inspiration from various sources, such as books, art exhibitions, nature, or even conversations with people from different backgrounds2 .

3. Collaborate and Seek Feedback

Design is often a collaborative process, and working with others can spark a wealth of creative ideas. Design expert Don Norman said, "Great design is a multi-disciplinary effort." Surround yourself with diverse perspectives and seek feedback from others. A fresh pair of eyes can provide valuable insights and help you see your work from a different angle. Collaborating with others can also help you generate new ideas and expand your design horizons3 .

4. Take Breaks and Embrace Failure

Don't be afraid to take breaks and step away from your work. Design expert Stefan Sagmeister once said, "Taking time off allows us to solve harder problems and the quality of the work gets better." Sometimes, the best ideas come when you least expect them. Allow yourself time to rest, recharge, and gain a new perspective. And remember, failure is a part of the creative process. Learn from your mistakes, iterate, and keep pushing forward4 .

5. Trust Your Intuition

Design is a blend of art and science, and sometimes, it's necessary to trust your intuition. Design expert Paula Scher once said, "Intuition is based on accumulated knowledge." Your instincts are shaped by your experiences and expertise. So, listen to that inner voice and have confidence in your design decisions. Trust that your creative instincts will guide you in the right direction5 .

Remember, creativity is a journey, and it requires constant nurturing and exploration. These tips from design experts can help you unlock your full creative potential. Embrace constraints, stay curious, collaborate with others, take breaks, and trust your intuition. By incorporating these practices into your creative process, you'll be well on your way to creating truly remarkable designs.

Out-of-the-box Thoughts from Writers

Aspiring writers often find themselves staring at a blank page, struggling to summon the creative inspiration needed to craft a compelling story. But sometimes, all it takes is a fresh perspective or an unexpected approach to reignite the creative fire within. So, we reached out to seasoned writers from various genres to gather their out-of-the-box thoughts and unconventional tips on nurturing creativity.

Embrace the Imperfections

Author Neil Gaiman once said, "The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before." And that's a sentiment shared by many writers who believe in the power of embracing imperfections in their creative process. Rather than obsessing over every word or sentence, allow yourself to write freely, unburdened by the pursuit of perfection. As writer Elizabeth Gilbert suggests, "Give yourself permission to be a beginner. Craft is learned by doing."

Unconventional Writing Spaces

Finding the right environment to foster creativity is essential for writers. While some prefer the quiet solitude of a study, others thrive in unconventional writing spaces. Take, for example, J.K. Rowling, who famously wrote the early drafts of the Harry Potter series in a coffee shop. By breaking away from the traditional notion of a writing space, Rowling found inspiration in the bustling energy of her surroundings.

Collaborate and Cross-Pollinate Ideas

Writing doesn't have to be a solitary pursuit. In fact, many writers find that collaboration can be incredibly stimulating and transformative. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison once stated, "If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." By collaborating with other creatives, such as illustrators, musicians, or filmmakers, you can cross-pollinate ideas, bringing fresh perspectives and new dimensions to your work.

Experiment with Alternative Storytelling Techniques

Dare to explore unconventional storytelling techniques to keep your creativity flowing. Novelist and screenwriter Chuck Palahniuk suggests, "If you want to write, you have to do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot." Push the boundaries of your writing by experimenting with different narrative styles, such as nonlinear storytelling, multiple perspectives, or even unconventional formats like epistolary novels or graphic novels.

Embrace Constraints as Catalysts for Creativity

Sometimes, limitations can be the driving force behind innovative and imaginative writing. Renowned poet Robert Frost once famously quipped, "Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down." By setting constraints for yourself, such as word count limits, time restrictions, or even writing prompts, you challenge your creativity to find new and unexpected solutions. As writer Austin Kleon wisely advises, "Creativity thrives under intelligent constraints."

In conclusion, writers can find inspiration in the most unexpected places. By embracing imperfections, exploring unconventional spaces, collaborating with others, experimenting with alternative storytelling techniques, and turning constraints into catalysts, you can unlock a wealth of creativity. As the famous saying goes, "The sky's the limit." So go forth, unleash your imagination, and let your words soar.

"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." - Anaïs Nin

black Fayorit typewriter with printer paper
Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

Inspiring Words from Musicians

When it comes to tapping into our creativity, musicians have a unique way of inspiring us. Whether it's through their lyrics, melodies, or performances, they have the power to evoke emotions and ignite our imagination. Here are some inspiring words from musicians that can help you keep your creativity flowing:

1. "Music is the strongest form of magic." - Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson, known for his provocative music and stage persona, reminds us of the incredible power that music holds. It has the ability to transport us to different worlds, evoke strong emotions, and inspire us to create. Just like magic, music has the capacity to captivate and enchant.

2. "Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity." - Ray Charles

Ray Charles, a legendary musician and composer, highlights the importance of not letting our thoughts hinder our creative process. Overthinking can paralyze our creativity, causing us to second-guess ourselves and stifle our ideas. Embrace spontaneity and allow your creativity to flow freely, without the constraints of overthinking.

3. "You don't make mistakes. You take happy accidents and turn them into assets." - Bob Ross

Although primarily known as a painter, Bob Ross's words resonate with musicians as well. Mistakes and accidents happen during the creative process, and instead of seeing them as failures, we can choose to view them as opportunities for growth and innovation. Embrace the unexpected and find the beauty in the happy accidents that arise along the way.

4. "I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring." - David Bowie

David Bowie, an iconic musician and artist, reminds us to embrace the unknown and the unpredictable nature of the creative journey. Creativity thrives when we step outside of our comfort zones and explore new territories. Embrace the excitement and uncertainty of the creative process, knowing that it will lead to something extraordinary.

5. "Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo, a renowned French writer, poet, and playwright, beautifully captures the essence of music. Sometimes, words alone are not enough to express our emotions or convey our ideas. Music has the power to speak to our souls and communicate the inexpressible. Let the language of music be your guide in unlocking the depths of your creativity.

Incorporating these inspiring words from musicians into your creative process can help keep your imagination alive and your ideas flowing. Remember, creativity knows no boundaries, and by embracing the wisdom of those who have found success in their artistic journeys, you can find new inspiration and take your creativity to new heights.

Unique Ideas from Visual Artists

Visual artists are known for their ability to think outside the box and bring their imagination to life through their work. Here are some unique ideas from top visual artists that can help keep your creativity flowing:

Experiment with Different Mediums

Many visual artists find inspiration by exploring different mediums and materials. This allows them to break free from their comfort zone and discover new ways to express their creativity.

As renowned artist Pablo Picasso once said:

"Every act of creation is first an act of destruction."

Don't be afraid to experiment with unconventional materials like found objects, textiles, or even food. Let your imagination run wild and see what new possibilities unfold.

Collaborate with Other Artists

Collaboration is a great way to spark fresh ideas and tap into different perspectives. Partnering with other artists can lead to unexpected results and push you to think beyond your own limitations.

As artist and activist Ai Weiwei put it:

"Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected."

Reach out to artists from different disciplines and work on joint projects. The exchange of ideas and the blending of different artistic styles can lead to unique and groundbreaking creations.

Find Inspiration in Nature

Nature has long been a source of inspiration for visual artists. The beauty and diversity of the natural world can provide endless ideas and motifs.

As painter Georgia O'Keeffe stated:

"Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time."

Take the time to observe the intricate details of plants, animals, or even landscapes. Use nature as a starting point for your own visual interpretation, incorporating elements of organic shapes, colors, and textures into your artwork.

Embrace Mistakes and Imperfections

Visual artists understand that mistakes and imperfections can often lead to the most interesting and unexpected outcomes. Instead of striving for perfection, embrace the unique qualities that arise from the creative process.

As artist Salvador Dalí famously said:

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."

Allow yourself to make "happy accidents" and see where they take you. Sometimes, the most captivating artworks emerge from the spontaneous and unplanned moments.

Seek Inspiration Beyond the Visual Realm

Broaden your horizons by seeking inspiration from sources outside the realm of visual art. Literature, music, film, and philosophy can all provide fresh perspectives and new ideas.

As poet Maya Angelou advised:

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."

Read books, listen to music, watch films, and engage in discussions that challenge your thinking. Let the ideas from other disciplines seep into your creative process and enrich your visual artworks.

Remember, creativity is a personal journey, and there are no definitive rules or formulas. These unique ideas from visual artists are meant to inspire and encourage you to explore new paths, break boundaries, and keep your creativity flowing.

So go ahead, unleash your imagination, experiment fearlessly, collaborate with others, find inspiration in nature, embrace imperfections, and seek inspiration beyond the visual realm. The world is waiting for your artistic vision.

red blue yellow and red paint
Photo by Andres Perez on Unsplash

Fresh Perspectives from Filmmakers

As filmmakers, we have the unique task of bringing stories to life through the power of visual storytelling. We understand the challenges and rewards that come with harnessing creativity in this medium. In this section, we will explore fresh perspectives from filmmakers that can help keep your creative juices flowing.

1. Stay Open to Collaboration

Filmmaking is a collaborative art form, and many filmmakers believe that collaboration is the key to unlocking creativity. Edgar Wright, the famed director of "Baby Driver" and "Shaun of the Dead," emphasizes the importance of collaboration in the creative process:

"Collaboration is key, and not just with your actors, but with your entire crew. When you allow other people to contribute their unique ideas and expertise, you'll be surprised at how it elevates your own creativity."

So, don't be afraid to bounce ideas off others, seek feedback, and work together to create something extraordinary.

2. Embrace Constraints

Filmmaking often comes with its fair share of budget and time constraints. However, some filmmakers believe that working within limitations can actually ignite creativity. Christopher Nolan, the mastermind behind films such as "Inception" and "The Dark Knight," spoke about the benefits of constraints in an interview:

"I think the most exciting work comes from working within a structure of financial constraints. It forces you to be inventive and think outside the box."

Instead of viewing limitations as obstacles, see them as opportunities to think creatively and find innovative solutions. Remember, great ideas can often come from unexpected places when you're forced to work with what you have.

3. Be a Keen Observer

Filmmakers are natural storytellers, and being observant is a critical skill in capturing captivating narratives on screen. Paul Greengrass, known for his work on films like "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "Captain Phillips," stresses the importance of observing the world around you:

"As filmmakers, we have the privilege of telling stories, but we must also be keen observers of the world. Pay attention to the little details, notice the way people interact, and draw inspiration from the beauty and complexity of life itself."

By being present and curious about the world, you'll find inspiration in the most unexpected places.

4. Take Risks and Experiment

Filmmaking is an art form that thrives on experimentation and taking risks. Darren Aronofsky, known for his bold and thought-provoking films like "Black Swan" and "Requiem for a Dream," encourages filmmakers to push boundaries and explore new territory:

"The best way to tap into your creativity is to take risks. Experiment with different storytelling techniques, explore unconventional narratives, and challenge the norm. Don't be afraid to fail because that's often where the most valuable lessons and breakthroughs lie."

So, don't hold back. Embrace the unknown, venture into uncharted waters, and let your imagination run wild.

Filmmaking is a dynamic and ever-evolving art form that requires constant creativity. By staying open to collaboration, embracing constraints, being a keen observer, and taking risks, you can keep your creative juices flowing. Remember, as Edgar Wright said, "Collaboration is key" and as Darren Aronofsky reminds us, "The best way to tap into your creativity is to take risks." So go out there, and create something extraordinary.

Applying Industry Tips to Your Creative Process

While it's always inspiring to hear about the creative journeys of top industry professionals, sometimes it can feel overwhelming to figure out how to apply their tips to your own creative process. After all, they have years of experience and success under their belts, while you may just be starting out on your creative path.

But fear not! There are always ways to translate industry advice into actionable steps that can help you unleash your own creativity. Here are a few tips on how to apply the wisdom of industry professionals to your own creative endeavors:

1. Embrace experimentation and playfulness

One thing that many industry creatives emphasize is the importance of experimentation and playfulness in the creative process. As acclaimed author Elizabeth Gilbert once said:

"In order to be creative, we have to risk looking foolish."

So, don't be afraid to try new things, take risks, and explore different ideas. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. Remember, creativity thrives when you give yourself the freedom to play and experiment.

2. Emphasize discipline and routine

While creativity may seem like a spontaneous and chaotic process, having a disciplined approach can actually do wonders for your creative output. Take it from the legendary artist Pablo Picasso, who famously said:

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."

This means that even when you don't feel particularly inspired, showing up and putting in the work can lead to breakthroughs and new ideas. Establish a routine that allows you to consistently engage with your creative pursuits, whether it's writing, painting, or any other form of artistic expression.

3. Seek inspiration from diverse sources

Another valuable tip from industry creatives is to seek inspiration from a wide range of sources. Don't limit yourself to just one medium or genre. As filmmaker Ava DuVernay advises:

"Read everything, watch everything, and listen to everything. Know your craft inside out and be inspired by stories from different perspectives."

Exploring different art forms, reading books from various genres, and immersing yourself in different cultures can greatly enrich your creative process. It allows you to draw inspiration from unexpected places and infuse your work with fresh ideas.

4. Collaborate and seek feedback

Collaboration and feedback are essential aspects of the creative process. Don't be afraid to reach out to other creatives, whether they're in the same industry or from different disciplines. As renowned designer Milton Glaser once said:

"Collaboration is the essence of creativity. The most creative ideas come from the team."

Working with others can bring new perspectives, challenge your assumptions, and provide valuable feedback that can push your work to new heights. Remember, creativity flourishes when you're open to collaboration and willing to learn from others.

5. Take care of your well-being

Finally, don't forget to take care of yourself. Your creativity is closely tied to your overall well-being. As designer and author Debbie Millman wisely said:

"Creativity is a result of our personal self-care."

Engage in activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul, whether it's exercise, spending time in nature, or practicing mindfulness. Taking care of yourself ensures that you have the energy and mental clarity to fully engage with your creative process and produce your best work.

By incorporating these industry tips into your creative process, you can tap into your own unique potential and keep your creative juices flowing. Remember, creativity is a journey, and each step you take is an opportunity to grow and express your authentic self. So go ahead, embrace experimentation, discipline, collaboration, and self-care, and watch your creativity soar!


As the world becomes increasingly saturated with information and ideas, it is crucial for creatives to find unique ways to stand out. By implementing the creative tips from design experts, writers, musicians, visual artists, and filmmakers, we can find fresh perspectives and original ideas that will captivate our audiences. Just as filmmaker Ava DuVernay said, "When you are able to really find the sweet spot where your authentic self is matched to the creative that you are trying to make, that's when you have something that is original."

So, let us embrace these unexpected tips and apply them to our own creative processes. Let us unlock our creativity, break free from conventions, and bring something truly original into the world. As Pablo Picasso famously said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." With these insights from industry experts, we can keep our creativity alive and flourishing.

1Adam Grant, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World (2016)
2Emily Pilloton, Design Revolution: 100 Products That Empower People (2010)
3Debbie Millman, How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer (2007)
4Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things (1988)
5Stefan Sagmeister, Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far (2008)
6Paula Scher, Make It Bigger (2002)
7Neil Gaiman, "The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction"
8Elizabeth Gilbert, "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear"
9J.K. Rowling, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"
10Toni Morrison, "Beloved"
11Chuck Palahniuk, "Fight Club"
12Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken"
13Austin Kleon, "Steal Like an Artist"
14Anaïs Nin, "The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934"
15Marilyn Manson, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell (1998)
16Ray Charles, Ray Charles: Man and Music (1998)
17Bob Ross, Happy Accidents: The Wit and Wisdom of Bob Ross (2017)
18David Bowie, David Bowie: Starman (2012)
19Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (1862)
20Pablo Picasso, "Picasso: His Life and Work" (2010)
21Ai Weiwei, "Ai Weiwei: Dropping the Urn" (2014)
22Georgia O'Keeffe, "Georgia O'Keeffe: Art and Letters" (1987)
23Salvador Dalí, "The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí" (1942)
24Maya Angelou, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (1969)
25Robert Rodriguez, Rebel Without a Crew (1995)
26Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (2015)
27Pablo Picasso, Picasso: His Life and Work (1991)
28Ava DuVernay, Variety, 2015
29Milton Glaser, Art Is Work: Graphic Design, Interiors, Objects, and Illustration (2000)
30Debbie Millman, How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer (2007)