Many professions require a creative mindset to think outside of the box and respond with unique solutions or innovative ideas to stay ahead of the competition. BlackEnteprise.com has six steps to help you tap into your creativity from some of the best talents in the creative industry, including veteran actor, writer and director Robert Townsend, acclaimed choreographer Frank Gatson and New York Times bestselling author, Denene Millner and more:
Step 1: Define the creativity you want. As chairman of the Harlem Arts Alliance and founding member of New Heritage Theater Group, Voza Rivers suggests you first set a goal of identifying what you want to enhance by becoming more creative. “For some being more creative means changing the font of a business logo or it could be the way you interact with clients. The definition of creativity is broad,” he says. Take some time to decide where you need to utilize this skill to your advantage since that will determine the best strategy to become more creative.
Step 2: Free your mind. In the workforce there are handbooks filled with rules and regulations, which can stifle one’s creativity. Therefore, Frank Gatson, legendary choreographer to stars including Beyonce and Usher, recommends that professionals learn to free their minds of the constraints. “I believe when people let down inhibitions they are very creative. You have to get out of their heads and allow that creative honesty to come through,” he says. Following Gatson’s advice may mean challenging a few company protocols, but if the results are successful it may be worth the risk.
Step 3: Tap into child-like imagination. Childhood can represent a special time when you followed your curiosity. Singer-songwriter Kimberly Nichole recommends you remain in touch with your inner child. “During that [youthful] period of life you’re exploring, imagining and creating things,” she says. “Involve yourself in something that you loved to do then and it can open the door to your creative being.”
Step 4: Don’t forget to daydream. For those who drift off in the middle of the workday, don’t feel guilty. According to visual artist Beau McCall, those moments in the day when you take a mental vacation from deadlines and deliverables are the perfect opportunity to reflect and tap into your inner sense of creativity. “Daydreams are really fantastical thoughts that you can mold into reality, so allow those thoughts the space to grow so that you can act on your creative ability.” Just make sure not to get caught with your eyes closed.
Step 5: Find creative outlets and inspiration. Most workplaces aren’t designed to stimulate one’s creativity which is why veteran actor, director and writer, Robert Townsend says you should surround yourself with creativity in and out of the office. “Sometimes experiencing different art, I get creative ideas,” he notes. “It is about being around the highest level of creativity you have to feed your eyes to stimulate your creative process.” A quick way to start is by placing an attractive piece of your art in your office to serve as a daily source of inspiration.
Step 6: Stay dedicated. None of the above steps mean anything if you’re not disciplined to nurture creativity on a consistent basis. Denene Millner, author of the upcoming book, Sparkle, based on the screenplay, couldn’t agree more. “When you find that creative bone but don’t give it air or breathe life into it, you kill it,” she says. “Find some way to express yourself that falls outside of your regular work hours because you have to be dedicated to it like breathing air.”