Everything looks like a nail.
To be creative is to think sideways, look at something upside down, find a solution instead of more questions. We sometimes refer to the end result as creativity, but that’s not accurate at all. The result of creativity can merely be made visible with graphite or paint or a digital device or words, but those are tools for construction, they are not necessary for creativity to occur. Introducing any tool too early can completely shut off the part of your brain that is open to everything. You will end up looking past good solutions because you are just looking for nails.

The soup de jour? Mm, that sounds good.
I hear technology touted by creative people as a way to access inspiration, and it’s true, it’s so easy to find and be inspired by a vast array of people and their talents and ideas. Creativity can feed off of inspiration, but it can also leech off of it. Just because it’s “trending” doesn’t mean you should follow it, and leave your brain at the door.

Done right or done right now?
Tom Gauld writes that once the computer is involved, “things are on the inevitable path to being finished,” and I have absolutely found that to be true, especially in our field. Sketches can become “comps.” Storyboards can become “animatics.” An idea about music can become a composition. On our digital devices, the urge to polish and craft and “perfect” the FIRST idea we have can suck up all of the time we should be spending on MORE ideas. Sometimes a good creative idea comes early in a flash of inspiration, but it’s more likely found after a lot of searching.

Come on feel the noise.
In our business, creativity is effective when it has an element of commentary to it, meaning it is inspired by, and adds to, current events and culture. But the secret to the sauce is not derived from other sources, the secret to the sauce is truth. It’s why great music can come from heartache, and great literature can come from a cabin way out in the woods. Use technology to surf the web, not drown in it. And spend some time listening to the voices in your own head.