Creatives have a lot of tricks up their sleeves, but not all of these are "magic," despite what we like to tell you. Most of them are tools that we use and little tricks that put a "chef’s kiss" on everything. And while a lot of the stuff we do comes from having an "eye" for it, that doesn’t mean that only we can be creative. So let's talk about the things that help us be creative and how we use them.
One of the best tools for creatives is a way to design. Programs like Illustrator and Lightroom help to provide a vision or create a feeling for our target audience. For any self-proclaimed noncreators out there, Illustrator is a design software from Adobe that allows you to create and manipulate different things, such as text and shapes. With Illustrator, you can create fonts, logos, magazines, shirts, and more. It all comes down to knowing how to use the program to push your vision, or how to navigate YouTube how-to videos. Lightroom also allows us to create some amazing things through photo editing. We know what you’re thinking, "All your photos don’t automatically come out warm and with the perfect amount of contrast and highlights." and the answer is no. Often times, the photos need to be edited to fit the feel of the company or the project that is being done. You don’t want a cool picture for a summer catalog? One of the most important things to keep in mind is the company's purpose and personality; find that and match what you design to it!
If you don’t feel like you are a natural creative, or you are just struggling to get Illustrator to do what you want it to do, YouTube is a great place to visit! You can watch other designers go through their workflow and see what things they do that help them access what's cooking in their brain. As a creative, one of the most important things you can do is create a consistent workflow, which not only allows you to focus more on your vision but also allows you to stay consistent while creating. A great thing to do is to put images of what you’re using for inspiration or pull colors from it. It allows you to pull colors easily and keep a consistent feel. "Social is another great tool to use. It allows you to see what is currently successful on the channels you’re using. If you like what someone is doing, make it your own. There's also something to be said for using physical media as a tool; tangible creations have a different type of influence on us, and it's amazing how different something can feel in its physical form.Seeing a painting in a museum gives a whole new perspective on it compared to viewing it on your computer. This is why it's great to find books on media that influence or inspire us. Inspiration is our ultimate tool!
What's in Our Tool Belt?
YouTube: Adobe Creative Cloud, Joe Greer, Grainy Days
Physical: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, photo books, art museums
If you’re a creative and use tools we didn’t list, get in touch and tell us what you use!