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Old Mar 21, 2013, 07:18 PM   #1
hulk2012
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Help getting creative!

Hi everyone. I'm finding quite difficult in my middle 30's to get creative. Especially being back in Uni studying graphics surrounded by 18's, 19's old guys fresh of collage. I know once younger creativity wasn't a problem however now it's just doesn't come as easy or at all. I know graphics is something I want to do and something I enjoy. I do sketch but not as often as I should. I am beginner in photoshop, in design and illustrator as well. Wonder what the problem is. Whether it could be my age and gap I've had from designing (primary and college school - 15yrs ago lol) or its lack of skills in mention above graphic softwares. Any advise will be really appreciated.
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 08:14 PM   #2
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Whether it could be my age and gap I've had from designing (primary and college school - 15yrs ago lol) or its lack of skills in mention above graphic softwares. Any advise will be really appreciated.
Internet tutorials will help you get up to speed.

There is a lot of help out there.

And you are always welcome to ask questions or share your work here.
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 08:55 PM   #3
chrono1081
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You have to find what helps you get creative. Here's what I do:

If I know for example I want to paint/3d model a fantasy scene I'll put on music that fits that theme and waft through countless images of landscapes, forests, castles, waterfalls, etc. Everything I think will help contribute to that scene. I collect those images into an "inspiration" folder.

I then will google something like "fantasy scene" and see what others have done. This helps the ideas flow by seeing bits and pieces of things I like that I can incorporate into my own scene. The music helps make a movie trailer of my scene in my head during this time.

I then break my scene down into chunks and hack away at it.

Everyone gets inspired differently so this may not work for you, but I bet something out there will.
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 11:04 PM   #4
12dylan34
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This always helps me.

On a more serious note, use the Internet to your advantage. I work at a motion design shop, and before starting any larger project, we take the better part of a day to comb the internet for inspiration for designs and animations, throwing images and videos into a folder, then we meet about it and discuss our direction from there.
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 08:37 PM   #5
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@hulk2012. Don't be discouraged by your age. As far as I know, being creative is not related to age. I know some guys at their 50s and are able to produce nice creative materials. I just noticed they are sensitive to their surroundings, trends and cultures. It helps them trigger something new. Try to visit websites that showcase creative designs for some inspirations.
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Old May 24, 2013, 01:00 AM   #6
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I usually look at a bunch of design similar to what I'm doing on the internet or in books like this and that usually gets things going. I'm not a design student but I've done a short internship as a designer and I'm currently working on a small project that will be going to the LA Film Festival. Another thing that inexplicably helps is getting 75% finished with a design and abandoning it and starting over. My second attempts are usually way better than the first, and usually entirely different.

tl;dr look at as many designs and pictures as you possibly can.
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Old May 24, 2013, 07:10 AM   #7
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Honestly?

For myself a 1/2 bottle of Canadian Club late at night gives me some uber ideas that usually gets the pitch across the line.

I am serious here, I've worked with an ECD before who drank like a fish and had some ripping ideas and creative. I'm not condoning alcohol but go with what works.

Drunk ideas are awesome, you just need to be sober to get the work done
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Old May 24, 2013, 07:27 AM   #8
Macsonic
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Other people may also get their creative inspirations from their surroundings, trends.
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Old May 24, 2013, 07:32 AM   #9
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Creativity can't be taught but the internet is a wonderful resource that will help you with all of the graphic design programs you could ever need. I also recommend heading over to some sites dedicated to art. Are there designers that inspire you?
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Old May 24, 2013, 07:44 AM   #10
willcapellaro
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Originally Posted by hulk2012 View Post
Hi everyone. I'm finding quite difficult in my middle 30's to get creative. Especially being back in Uni studying graphics surrounded by 18's, 19's old guys fresh of collage. I know once younger creativity wasn't a problem however now it's just doesn't come as easy or at all. I know graphics is something I want to do and something I enjoy. I do sketch but not as often as I should. I am beginner in photoshop, in design and illustrator as well. Wonder what the problem is. Whether it could be my age and gap I've had from designing (primary and college school - 15yrs ago lol) or its lack of skills in mention above graphic softwares. Any advise will be really appreciated.
Ignore that other people exist, or don't let it be a distraction or detraction. Younger people are fueled by something different than you are now and though that is fascinating, you need to engage with your experience. And you are the adult in the room, that's pretty cool, don't let their insecurity fuel your own. Connecting with people at your level (or older/higher) would be a good idea... your own friends may be able to relate.

Getting creative, getting productive, and building skills are separate things: break them down. Here are some random tips:

Getting creative - loosen up, make a space/environment that works for you, work with others, work alone, find inspiration, work as though no one is watching, have others critique your work, generate a lot of ideas and then pick a few to refine to another level, sketch and thumbnail out projects and make notes, journal/blog your experience
Getting productive - stay organized, try to finish _something_ in a given session--don't leave yourself a mess of unfinished work for the next time you pick something up (try to finish your thoughts and leave good notes, you obviously don't need to finish everything), find your energy levels (do you like a slow burn on a project, do you like to cram, do you like to finish things as soon as they are assigned). Do small projects that can represent bigger ones or can be expanded later (these work in the portfolio as well as with client work).
Skills - build up automatically as you do the work. you can do tutorials and exercises too, but repeating a skill is the best way. A lot of design and art is really basic technique, repeated. Don't worry about knowing everything. Build your own workflows and steal liberally from others.

Also, don't think about it so much. Do what you love (and find it if you don't know): work hard, play hard, try to combine the two.

Source: design instructor, person who likes to teach myself things, but also enjoys having great mentors and teachers.
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Old May 24, 2013, 09:03 AM   #11
JGowan
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I was in EXACTLY the same boat as you are in 1995. I was 30 and wanted to get started in graphic design with only my love of traditional design and drawing as a background. I never owned a computer, knew nothing about a Mac or any any programs. But I was determined to learn. So, I bought a book on every subject I needed help on... Mac OS 7, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. I devoured them so that I know HOW to use everything. Then I started giving myself projects. Logos, posters, etc. and I would massage those into pieces I would be proud to show someone.

I would advise to dream up interesting projects. "What would a good burger joint be called? How would that translate into a logo?" Also, look around your city and you'll see plenty of terrible design and signs. Take a photo of them when you think you see potential (such as a good name) and then go home and redo the logo but do it well. Who knows... you might come up with something so good that you feel complelled to go and share with the owner. He might be willing to buy your work. He probably knows his signage isn't that great too.

All the best!
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Old May 24, 2013, 03:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JGowan View Post
I would advise to dream up interesting projects. "What would a good burger joint be called? How would that translate into a logo?" Also, look around your city and you'll see plenty of terrible design and signs. Take a photo of them when you think you see potential (such as a good name) and then go home and redo the logo but do it well. Who knows... you might come up with something so good that you feel complelled to go and share with the owner. He might be willing to buy your work. He probably knows his signage isn't that great too.

All the best!
This.

I do this when I feel like I could use some practice or between projects. I feel that I should add that I just jumped into this work. One of my supervisors at my work study job asked me to quickly throw together some posters for an event so I did. A week later another professor approached me to do some work for her and that turned into a semester-long internship with the her department making posters and flyers and such. I had zero experience going into this, sometimes the pressure helps. When you need to make a poster by the end of the week you'll learn it fast. I spent a lot of time googling around finding design that I liked and some I didn't. The difference between the two can teach you a lot about the rules. As far as pure creativity, I usually just shut my brain off and the first image that comes to mind gets made. It's not always the best, but it's a start, and like I said, I usually abandon the first stuff later on.

If any of that doesn't work, may I suggest chemical inspiration. It worked for Steve Jobs and I like to think it worked for me too. I have a profound appreciation for color now.
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Old May 24, 2013, 04:19 PM   #13
NutsNGum
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For inspiration, I would thoroughly recommend having a look at Dribbble. It's a really inspiring resource and pretty much all the creative types that I know are on it every day. Whether posting themselves, or just having a look around for a bit of inspiration.

Last edited by NutsNGum; May 24, 2013 at 04:29 PM. Reason: EDIT: I don't know if I said inspiration or inspiring enough in that post :)
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