‘’Wow, it is beautiful! Well done. Great job. But can you be a little more creative? We will review it again next week’’
And with that, the meeting was over.
How would Da Vinci feel if someone had said, ‘’The Mona Lisa is a beautiful piece of work, but can you be a little more creative?’’
Yes. we can all be more creative and yes, there is always room for improvement. If this were not the case, then we would never see Apple bringing in new models of the iPhone every year. The shiny cars that we drove would always remain the same shape with the same ol’ boring design.
But it’s about creating something that is just perfect in that moment. For artists, it is about knowing what is right, and when, it’s right. It’s instinctive.
Steve Jobs once said:
‘’Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.’’
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always believed that creativity is the purest form of common sense.
Oh, my God. So much of creativity!
What is creativity?
Let me (try to) explain:
When you create something, it can be anything.
A design on paper, a blog post, an artwork, an email, or an aeroplane.
There is one factor that will always connect with the user / reader / viewer / observer.
Whatever you create, if it’s simple enough for anyone in the world to use it, they love it. Period. Well done. You have done something creative!
2. Don’t be Pushy
If you are over-doing something and expecting to be creative or considered as creative, then let me tell you something…
It’s not gonna happen.
How many McDonald’s or KFC ads do you remember? Any? No, you don’t.
But when I say ‘’Red bull gives you wings’’… you will remember at least one Red Bull ad that you saw on television. It’s simple: They are the simplest and they tell a story.
Their ads usually revolve around a ‘weak’ subject, who after gulping down a can of Red Bull develops wings! Nothing sappy, not a happy scene of people sitting at a table eating to their heart’s content, but something creative, something unique.
Red Bull is not selling you their product in these adverts. They’re not rambling on and on about their latest offers, no. They’re merely telling you that drinking Red Bull gives you wings!
3. Don’t be creative just for the sake of being creative. Be natural.
In October 2008. Motorola released a phone. It was called Motorola Aura. It was probably released in an attempt to beat Sirocco and other luxury phones such as Vertu.
In terms of its design, it was a killer. Beautifully designed phone; cutting edge and with a lot of suspense; so much that you wouldn’t know how to open it to see the dialpad! It was a washout. It didn’t work. Such a beautiful phone, cutting edge. But it didn’t work.
Reason: When you create something without realizing that it won’t connect with your target audience, more often than not, you fail.
4. Tell a story
In today’s world, content is king. It’s all about storytelling . No matter what you do, tell a story. In your creation, use a story to create an impression.
Take a look at this artwork. We grew up watching Alladin and his legendary Genie. In this artwork, we have smartly used the character of the legendary cartoon series to promote web development services. That’s what storytelling is all about.
5. Attention to Detail
Simplicity is awesome. But being simple without details is like jumping off a tall building without a parachute and expecting not to die.
I am not saying that you have to take a magnifying glass to audit what you have done. Just pay attention to the details and make sure everything works (if it is a website or software). Make sure everything is aligned properly (now this can be applied to life.) Alignments are so important that the impact is almost unbelievable.
When you park your car and if it is not aligned properly … then I am pretty sure you know the implications, right?
It is not hard. Pay attention to alignments in your work and creations just the way that you pay attention to them when you are not working.
Pay attention to every comma, every dot, every question mark and underline and you will do just fine! (Hey, that actually rhymed.)
Introspection is key.
Creating art requires enthusiasm, a deep knowledge of the subject you’re working with, and lots of common sense. Not to mention, a deep understanding of your audience and their likes and dislikes.
So keep exploring, and remember:
1) Keep it Simple
2) Don’t be Pushy
3) Be Natural
4) Tell a Story and connect with your audience
5) Attention to Detail.
I will keep exploring and come back with a second installment of this article. Until then, be a wanderer and keep being creative!
Ammar Akhtar is a technology-loving artist residing in Dubai. Founder of 1CallGroup, a web development company, Ammar loves technology and always finds ways to blend it with art. An artist at heart and technologist by mind. Feel free to connect.