Imagine being able to eat your way to improve creativity. Its probably only a matter of time until KFC runs out of chicken, again.
Being in the creative industry heavily relies on your ability to constantly create attractive content. This concept applies to anyone and everyone from designers to illustrators and writers to photographers. One question that remains evergreen is what is your creative inspiration?
To the outside world, it may seem like the light bulb moment arrives from long walks at the beach or while you find yourself blankly staring at the glittering skyline. Once and for all, let’s get it straight for the record. This is probably the biggest misinterpretation on the light bulb moment. Heck, is there even one? Perhaps, perhaps not.
We here at 123RF are constantly on the lookout for creative inspiration. Unfortunately, we do not stare at the sky or take long walks on the beach. Why? We would much rather slouch with a bowl of Doritos and a bottle of wine, while tuning in to Netflix. But what we do practice is, eating out. Putting our disastrous cooking skills aside, we dine out because believe it or not, this is where some of our best ideas were born!
Started from the bottom now we here
Think about it, almost every dish begins from the same set of ingredients. For most cuisines, almost everything starts with the sauteing of onions, garlic and chili. From that base, spices like turmeric and fennel are added, followed by the seasoning of salt and pepper. Next, a protein and a carb is chosen, along with a liquid base like chicken stock, olive oil, white wine, coconut milk or plain water, to bind everything together. For the cooking procedure, just leave it to simmer, boil, broil, grill or bake. Finally, garnish with some coriander, and you have anything from a delightful pasta dish to a fiery curry.
Similarly, most creatives are provided with the same set of tools to begin with. A detailed brief for copywriters, a designated location for photographers, or a specific template for designers. From then on, creatives are hired to do what they do best. They are entrusted to apply their vision to breathe life to a rather bland concept. How did a simple ‘m’ and ‘f’ become the most iconic symbols of today’s world? How did Nike’s ‘just do it’ go from Seattle to Singapore? It all began from a simple concept, before evolving into a product the entire world is now familiar with.
Stop taking your mom’s advice
Experimentation is key to the development of new flavors. If every chef duly obliged to their mother’s advise of “stop playing with your food”, the world would be starved of mind-boggling pairings of ingredients that yields incredible flavors. Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck is arguably the epitome of creative inspiration and pushing the boundaries when it boils down to flavor pairings. We have all probably sinned for eating ice creams with fries, however Heston does not do ordinary.
Hence, welcome the bacon and egg ice cream, to satisfy your breakfast and dirty desert desires. Or how about the world famous meat fruit? What looks like a typical mandarin orange is actually a liver parfait wrapped around a mandarin orange jelly. Once you are done, wash it down with the hot and cold iced tea, and you would have probably succeeded in sending your brain in a carousel of sensory experience. Make no mistake, chefs are also just as much part of the creative industry as they are in the food and beverage scene. Just as the food industry, the creative world heavily rests on risk taking and being bold.
Individuality is a prized possession. Writers are encouraged to never lose their voice when writing in different fields. Photographers are pushed to get out there and shoot the most amazing sights in some of the most remote locations. Fashion designers are hailed for their bold attempts to push the boundaries of avant garde dressing. The Wes Andersons and Quentin Tarantinos are praised and distinguished from the rest of Hollywood. In today’s saturated creative industry, it pays to be different. It pays to be the liver parfait among mandarins.
Tell me what you want, what you really really want
Two words, market research. As much as being different is important, there are always exceptions. You don’t go to New York and serve deep dish pizza. And you don’t go to Chicago and serve NYC’s thin crusted guilty pleasures. In Sicily, never cook one of those viral one pot pastas. Unless of course you want to be sliced and diced by the Italian mafias. Sometimes it is best to respect local taste buds and feed diners what they crave.
Similarly, on occasions, it is best to work with the provided restrictions in the creative industry. Of course, do not completely limit yourself. However, it is essential to work with what you have. Boundaries are not always a bad thing. In turn, these boundaries can bring out the best creative inspiration in you.
Tattoo artists are often left to work with what the customer wants, before adding in their take on the design. Filmmakers usually have to factor in the culture of their main target audience when deciding on a film’s direction. Illustrators often depict their artworks which fits well with the lifestyle of the local people. In short, knowing your target audience ensures your work and effort is given the right amount of appreciation and respect.
There you have it, our take on why your creative inspiration is just a bite away. Plus, who does not like to fill their bellies with some hearty delights! So if you would please excuse us, we would like to head out for our extended lunch break ‘meetings’. Until then, check out these 10 techniques on how you can stay creative and techniques to step out of your comfort zone and exercise creativity.