How to Break away from limited exposure

Break Away From Limited Exposure

As creative people, we all want to ‘create’ for a living and have fun doing so. However, there are times when we hit a block and question our place in our particular field. I know I did 6 years ago.

After the company I was working for closed down its India office, for a while I worked for an Indian company. The work culture there was far from what I’d enjoyed before. But sadly that wasn’t my biggest problem. My biggest problem was (I realized soon after I joined) the company was completely focused on code and shockingly did’t really give a damn about design. So the only – that too mediocre – design work I could get my hands on was making tabs, buttons, tables and..well that’s it.

A month into the job and I quit because the thought of designing wasn’t exciting me anymore. This was when I realized ‘Limited exposure limits your creativity’. If people around you are doing uninspiring, boring work it’s difficult for you to hold on to your own creativity. So you constantly need to try and expose yourself to high quality work or experiences and if possible, the people behind it. This does not have to be restricted to a specific field. Creativity can come from anywhere – could be a memorable adventure, an interesting conversation, a magazine or even an important life event. You need to learn to draw ideas from these experiences – and if you’re like me, even when you’re sad or feeling low, you’ll learn to channel it into good work.

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have it.”
– Maya Angelou

This discovery that ‘Limited exposure limits your creativity’ led me to starting my own design & development company. I wanted to control what kind of work I do and what kind of work I’m exposed to.

How I spark My Creativity Every Day

In the morning when I get to work, the first thing I do is hop on to Pinterest. It’s such an amazing source of ideas and inspiration. This not only gives me an insight into the latest design trends from all over the world but also puts me in a great mood to start working. Most of the times I feel like there’s just not enough time in a day to design all that I want to!

Additionally, I have a Chrome app called ‘Benchwarmer’ that fetches latest works from people on Dribble. So every time I open a new Chrome tab, I see beautiful work done by others.

What do you do keep your creativity alive?