Your next spark of creative brilliance could come from your daily routine. When you look at the world’s most iconic entrepreneurs, you’ll soon notice the quirks or triggers that propelled them into a rhythm of creating. In almost all cases, they were masters of establishing a creative routine and mindfully using their time. We spoke with Camille Davis, Lisa Q. Fetterman and Jesse Syswerda to discover the unique rituals behind their creative process and got their tips for breaking through creative blocks.
What Are Your Tips For Smashing Through Creative Blocks?
Camille Davis, Jewelry Designer of Camille Davis
1. Live your life and enjoy time with friends, new food, and go outside. If you’re faced with a creative block, stop thinking and worrying about it. Trust in your creativity and your ability to produce beautiful work. Keeping an open mind will help those ideas flow.
2. Take better care of your health. When I started my business, I realized that I wanted to start taking better care of myself so that I could have enough energy to keep it running. I started doing yoga and meditating each morning (try the Headspace App). Feeling more relaxed definitely allows more room for creativity and makes running a business much more fun and less stressful!”
Lisa Q. Fetterman, Founder & CEO of Nomiku
1. Talk to a mentor. Behind every amazing leader is an equally amazing and inspiring mentor. Coaches and role models who’ve faced similar challenges are great outlets for education and advice.
2. Look to other entrepreneurs or leaders. It’s very helpful to learn from successful entrepreneurs like Ben Horowitz, Steve Jobs, and Erica Gruen. They paved the way for innovation and all of their trials are very well documented. Pinterest is very helpful for creating inspirational mood boards, but the platform can get very distracting.
3. Read a book
Jesse Syswerda, Designer of Eenvoud
1. Spend an hour every day on Pinterest. Pin anything and everything that gives you that pull inside. This will really help to visually display the moods, places, things, people and styles for inspiration. From this point, it’s pretty easy to design.
2. Allow yourself time to play with no end goal. Spend a weekday afternoon doing something completely different. Read an inspiring book in the park, paint, or go to a movie in the middle of the afternoon. It’s these sparks of spontaneity that inspire you to create.
3. Write down an idea the second it comes to you. Keep a list of these ideas to refer back to when you’re stuck in a rut.
4. Make yourself a daily work schedule and stick to it. Make sure you schedule an hour for lunch and an hour to break in the afternoon. Focus when you’re working and allow yourself to relax when you’re not. Free time is not a luxury; it’s something that you create for yourself and will ultimately make you a better creative person.
via Invision App
What is your Creative Routine?
Camille Davis: I don’t really have a creative process, it’s just part of my life. I know this might sound like a cliche response, but I’m not sure of how else to describe it. While cooking dinner or reading Afar (such a great magazine!) an idea will pop into my head for a new technique I want to try, or a color combination that would look amazing, or necklace shape I want to create.
Then I imagine the necklace and think about it for a while before sketching out my vision. Of course, it will go through many iterations as I create it; new ideas will pop up throughout the process as I see how materials work together. The vision for my Loulou necklace came to me while I was walking to the East Village to meet my friend for burgers at Whitman’s. I immediately sketched it out on a paper napkin at the restaurant.
Lisa Q. Fetterman: As a routine, I like to go somewhere as quiet as possible and focus on a blank piece of paper. I’ve really tried to experiment with music while I work, but I realized I needed total silence to gather my thoughts without distraction. If I need silence at the office, I wear earbuds that don’t actually play any music; this hack just signals everyone that I’m focusing!
Jesse Syswerda: I don’t really have a creative routine. When I’m ready to design, I already know exactly what I want. My designs come from what I personally want to have in my wardrobe, but can’t find. They’re inspired by the culmination of everything I’m inspired by online and on the streets. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest.
How Has Having a Creative Routine Helped?
Jesse Syswerda: My creative routine has shaped the entire ethos of my company. I truly believe in working hard, but not working too much. I believe in allowing yourself the time to enjoy the little things in life. Every business decision and design that I create is based on this mentality.
via Invision App
How Do You Find Your Ideas?
Camille Davis: The ideas just come to me. I don’t think there is anything worse for creativity and new ideas than sitting down with a pen and paper and telling yourself ‘make something!’. I also don’t think there is anything more boring than looking to other brands or to the past – do your own thing! A unique design is a good design.
Jesse Syswerda: I don’t really use a method for sourcing inspiration. I’m constantly looking at the world around me, spending time getting lost online, and jotting down ideas the second that I have them. I have a list on my computer of new pieces that I want to create. My designs are mainly fabric driven as I source and use only the most sustainably conscious fabrics that I can find, like cupro and hemp/silk blends. When I’m ready, I draw rough sketches of what I want and then draw technical sketches in Illustrator. I admire certain business strategies that other companies use and I seek ways to incorporate pieces of what works for me into my business.
via Invision App
Where Do You Go To Learn More About Creativity?
Lisa Q. Fetterman: Y Combinator, which provides seed funding for startups, has been very helpful and invigorating. Their whole concept involves talking to other entrepreneurs and getting advice self-made business owners. Beyond iconic leaders, it’s a good idea to talk to extremely successful contemporaries and reach out to them for support.
Camille Davis: I love reading autobiographies about creative people. They always inspire me to keep going.
What’s Your Creative Routine? Tweet @MakersRow to share your creativity hacks, challenges or favorite creativity quotes.
Feature image photographed by Bryan Derballa.