Better Input = Better Creative Output

Professional designers know that creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum: It requires input equal to—make that, greater than—output. When you land on a good idea, it doesn’t just appear; it synthesizes out of all the sketches and research and brainstorming and daydreaming and looking at the world that you’ve done to that point.

Maintaining and refreshing your sources of input takes effort. Why, then, do we fail to make that creative rejuvenation a professional priority?

image from Getty | Yagi Studio

“Our cars don’t magically keep full tanks, they run out and we have to refill. We get that,” observes veteran HOW Design Live speaker and author Stefan Mumaw in a article on creative inputs. “Our pantries aren’t perpetually stocked, we have to go to the store and refill it as we take things out. Our creativity is just as finite. It’s where the term ‘burned out’ comes from. When our creative well is dry, we burn.”

So what can we do? Daily design projects like drawing, painting or hand-lettering are popular ways to keep the creative juices muscles in shape. Personal, self-directed projects like gig posters, stationery design, screen printing and more are not just creative exercises; they can turn into real businesses as well.

Connecting with fellow designers is a must, lest we get stuck in our cubicles, noses to computer screens, devoid of any kind of stimulation. These connections happen online, sure, but they happen more powerfully in person—like the connections among “HOWies” at HOW Design Live.

Of course, seeing inspiring work, learning new design skills and expanding your areas of business expertise are all essential to keeping creativity alive. At HOW Design Live, a full track of Design + Creativity sessions is devoted to restocking your idea-generating machine. At this year’s Boston event, those sessions include:

Critique + the Design Process—Capital One creative leader Aaron Irizarry will share smart strategies for gathering the right kind of input and feedback to elevate creative work.

A Complete Look at the Upcoming Year in Logo Trends—creative research depends on knowing what’s new and fresh in the design field; Bill Gardner of LogoLounge will show you what’s catching his eye.

Creativity experts Sam Harrison, Terri Trespicio, Stefan Mumaw and others will share practial ways to refresh your creative energy.

“Without that refuel,” Mumaw says, “without paying attention to our levels of input, our work becomes just that. Work.”

Keep the passion in what you do—make it more than work. Use HOW Design Live as your creative springboard to ideas, inspiration and personal connections.

Register before February 1 to score $600 off your Big Ticket package—that’s the best pricing of 2018. Bonus: Upgrade your Big Ticket or Big Ticket Plus to include HOW Marketing Live for just $99 more.