Your creativity in the fashion industry is your net worth. It helps you stand out from your peers. And it opens doors for new opportunities. So it is imperative that you keep those juices flowing! In this article, I am going to teach you ten easy ways to jumpstart your creativity even win you are feeling burnt out.
We couldn’t cover every possible angle for how to get your creative juices flowing in the fashion industry in just one post! This article is part of a 5 part Fashionable Creativity Series. If you want to learn how to keep coming up with creative new ideas and not get stuck then check out the other articles in this series at the bottom of this page. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook group called PickGlass Fashionable Careers. See you there!
It is easy to get a little too comfortable in your job. You know the routine; the everyday housekeeping. This even happens in the fashion industry among the creative crowd. You go through the same process every season to come up with your latest product, collection, or marketing projects.
Here are ten tips on breaking out of the rut and getting your creativity into overdrive!
1. Do A Brain Dump
Before you start your next season, or project, set aside time (maybe one hour) to just write down every idea you can think of. Don’t give yourself rules. The ideas can be for anything. Once you have drained the well, go back and see if any of those nuggets of gold are relevant to your current projects or can be implemented right away.
You may need to further refine the idea. Once you pick one idea from the original brain dumping session set aside another chunk of time to brainstorm this specific idea. Let your creativity flow!
2. Keep A Folder Of New Ideas
It is important to hang onto those half-baked ideas and save them for a later time. Some ideas take more nurturing before they are ready to be presented. But we don’t want to forget about them completely.
Whether you use Pinterest to collect images of your ideas, or some other form of physical tear sheets, keep a folder or board with your ideas together. For people in the fashion industry, images are our tool of choice. Create Pinterest boards for each possible idea. You can even invite other team members to collaborate on your boards!
The more you can segment the better. This way the concepts are easily accessible when the time is right. You might have a few different fashion folders/ boards. Then you might have a marketing ideas folder. And perhaps even a business ideas folder. However, you like to store these concepts make it a place where you can easily pull from to skim through the next time you are at a creativity block.
3. Ask Yourself Better Questions
Some of the best ideas are not brand new ideas at all. They are an improvement to something that already exists. This is how we now have cushioned orthotic insoles.
I read an article once that explained that your brain is wired to give you answers. Asking a better question is key. Asking a question like “How can I improve this product?” is a good question. However, asking “What can I do to this product that will make the customer have a great experience?” is a much better question that will give you a narrow focus.
Did you create a product or collection last year that was just ok? Think how you can improve upon it and make it new and fresh again.
4. Break Down The Barriers
Sometimes we put up barricades in our creative minds without even realizing it. We rely on past data to give us information that we use to create or design new products. This information is great, but it can cause us to always go back to the well and do things the same way.
When you are brains storming try to ask yourself questions without borders. It might sound something like “If I did know how to do this what would I do?” Or maybe, “If I could design anything that my customer needed what would it be?”
Collaboration is so vital to anyone working in a creative field. You cannot afford to assume you have the brightest idea. Even if you do have a brilliant idea, I promise you that there is room for improvement. And the only way to do that is by sharing your concept with others and getting their feedback. I promise you that 9 times out of 10 your idea will get even better by tweaking it with other peoples help. Learn why collaborations are the new currency in the fashion industry.
Bonus: The act of regularly including your team or colleagues and getting their feedback also fosters trust within your team. Ding, ding! Leadership!
6. Go For A Walk
There is a lot of good that comes from a regular workout routine. When you workout you are getting your heart rate up, you get all those yucky stress toxins out of your body, and you clear your head. For me, I get my best ideas when I am on the Elliptical machine. All those cool endorphins start filling my mind with new ideas!
Now I know it is hard to find the time to regularly do this. But at the very least, when you are feeling stuck on an idea go for a walk. Leaving the office for at least 15 minutes to take a walk around the block will start to shake off that rut. Breath in the fresh air. Walk around on some blocks that you are unfamiliar with. Admire a shop window or two. Putting yourself in a new environment is a great way to break down those walls and spark your creativity.
7. Read About Great Works
Make a regular date with your couch to read up on people or companies that you find fascinating. Read business magazines, trade journals, or biographies. Listen to a podcast or a TED Talk.
Some of the worlds best ideas in business came from other persons work in a totally different field. No, I am not talking about stealing other peoples ideas, or doing what someone else is doing. I am talking about reading up on what other people or other companies (not necessarily ones related to yours) have been doing. Sometimes you are able to parlay that concept or structure into your own field to create a whole new idea!
8. Clean Your Desk!
This may sound ridiculous, but having a clear work environment is key to feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world. When your space is cluttered you can easily feel overwhelmed. I recommend making a regular habit to clean your desk every Friday before you leave for the weekend. This sets you up for success come Monday when you can start your week off right!
9. Recharge Your Batteries
There is not enough caffeine in the world to make up for lack of sleep. To get your creative juices flowing you really need to get a good nights sleep. That means, turning off the TV and all electronic devices an hour before you hit the sheets. Don’t drink caffeine after 6 pm. Your brain needs to be in shut down mode.
10. Learn Something New
It can be scary to embark on a project where you are not the expert in that field. But you need to push the envelope for extraordinary results. One should constantly be learning new things. Don’t be afraid to present a new idea that is out in left field if you have the research to back it up. Think 3D printing or smart fabric technology!
To find these out of the box creative concepts you need to be constantly learning new things unrelated to your day job. This could mean taking a class in totally different areas. (Learn to build an iPhone app!) It could be informal lectures, networking event, or meet-ups. Or just grab a cup of coffee with a friend or colleague who works in a different department to pick their brain. Try to learn one new thing every month! One place to start is read about the latest technologies being used in the fashion industry.
- Do a brain dump of all your ideas with no judgment.
- Mole over your idea with a friend or coworker.
- Learn something new this week.
Fashionable Creativity Series
As a creative person, we could all use some help from time to time to reenergize and get those creative juices flowing. If you, or someone you know, is interested in staying at the top of your game, then please read this entire series. Learn how to stand out and stay motivated and inspired!
- Why Fashion Professionals Should Have A Personal Brand
- How The Most Creative Fashion Professionals Stay Innovative
- 10 Ways To Jumpstart Your Creativity
- What Fashion Professionals Can Learn From Improvisation