8 Ways To Unlock Your Inner Creativity

Sometimes creativity needs coaxing. Advice from photographers, designers, musicians, and entrepreneurs on how to get in the groove.

In a world where only 25% of people think they’re living up to their creative potential, the big question is: How do you unlock your inner creativity?

Last week I had the pleasure of catching up with photographer and creative entrepreneur Nick Onken who’s built a career capturing everyone from Nike to Justin Bieber to Condé Nast Traveler to nonprofit organization Pencils of Promise.

“We as humans were born to create,” Onken said. “Creativity feeds the soul. How I feed mine is through inspiring conversations with successful and inspiring people. It leads to new ideas and breakthroughs.”

With that in mind, and as part of inspiring others to tap into their creative potential and learn what it takes to create success, Onken recently launched a podcast. Here he gets into the minds and hearts of successful creative leaders like music mogul Scooter Braun, celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart, eyewear designers Coco and Breezy, TV personality Quddus Phillippe, former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur Lewis Howes, and singer and songwriter Tori Kelly.

Here are some of the biggest insights that have supported his creative path, and may inspire you to unlock your creativity too:

1. Inspire yourself first.

"If you want to inspire the world, first inspire yourself,” Scooter Braun said. Learn the habits and rituals that fill your well and enable you to show up as your best.

2. Create a habit of getting uncomfortable.

“You’re only growing when you’re playing out of your comfort zone,” Nick said. “To close the gap between where you are and what you envision requires discomfort.”

3. Put away the digital devices.

Creativity doesn’t emerge from staring at your digital device. “Put the iPhone down,” said Jeremy Cowart. Look out the window and pay attention to the moment.

4. Observe what works.

“Observations are key in connecting dots,” Lewis Howes said. Ask yourself, "Why do people like certain other businesses?" and “Why does that message inspire someone to act?”

5. Change up your creative routine.

“Look outside of your industry and genre of art,” said Jeremy Cowart. “Take a break and get in a new space. Change your browser bookmarks and seek out new blogs, sites, inspiration.”

6. Turn negatives into positives.

Identical twin sisters Coco and Breezy turned the negative effect of bullying into a successful eyeglass business worn by celebrities like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. “If you’re different, don’t be afraid to step outside of box,” they said.

7. Think long term.

Quddus Phillipe said, "In 60 years, what is going to be on your tombstone? What are people at your funeral going to say about you?" Think long term about the creative impact and message you’re living for.

8. Be here now.

“Find happiness in the moment you're in right now,”Tori Kelly said. Learn to be happy in the present moment instead of wishing you were somewhere else.

Add New Comment

3 Comments

  • Joshua Barton

    A lot of my successful clients go through the "Create a Habit of Being Uncomfortable" step... this is a key process in expanding you self into places where you wouldn't find yourself normally. . . We apply this is the web design process, as well as the branding process. -Joshua Barton, Creative Director • http://www.bay-area-web-designer.com