How important is creativity? More than Da Vinci or Van Gogh could possibly have imagined.
According to the State of Create report released in 2012 by Adobe, creativity drives economic growth, adds value to society and sparks business innovation. What’s more, 60% of the 5,000-plus individuals polled said creativity is important to them.
There’s just one problem.
In reality, people and businesses don’t value creativity as much as they should.
Just 1 out of 4 report respondents feel they achieve their creative potential. 75% say their employers stress productivity not creativity. And only 1/3 of their time is spent being creative.
In fact, creativity happens less at work than outside it.
Professionals who rely on creativity, then, must protect and enhance creativity at all costs. That’s doubly true if you’re a 3D professional. Your job depends on sharp creative reflexes and strong creative muscles.
This post is the first in our creativity series for 3D professionals. You'll find processes, tools and tactics to enhance your creativity, improve idea generation and eliminate roadblocks to inspiration.
First, Understand How Creativity Works
Good creative habits rely on changing how you think about creativity. Creativity isn’t comprehensively defined. But we do know that it isn’t magic. Everyone has the potential to be creative. And creativity is a skill, not a gift.
Certain habits improve creativity. Hard work is required, not luck. That’s good news for 3D professionals. Creativity is improved the same way CAD skills are: through practice.
But what if you don’t have a new idea or feel particularly creative? This isn’t important. With the right habits, creativity happens more often—whether you feel particularly inspired or not.
Habit 1: Carve Time Out for Creativity
Lifestyle designer and blogger Leo Babauta polled creative professionals about their best creative habits. One common thread was solitude.
“Creativity flourishes in solitude. With quiet, you can hear your thoughts, you can reach deep within yourself, you can focus,” Babauta writes in The No. 1 Habit of Highly Creative People.
Time and focus are required. You must make time for creativity the same way you make time for professional, personal and social obligations. Here’s how:
- Do the thing you’re most likely to procrastinate on first, writes Fast Company’s Gina Trapani.
- Don’t check email first thing in the morning, Tumblr Founder David Karp told Inc. Magazine. Instead, accomplish something before you’re distracted.
- Schedule creativity retreats. “I make room for creativity. Intentionally,” pro photographer Chase Jarvis told Babauta. These trips aren’t normal vacations. They’re distraction-less escapes. The solitude, free time and lack of stimuli cause creativity to flow.
- Give up one unimportant thing. Engineer Anthony Fasano tried the experiment to create more time for the things that mattered. In this case, he gave up television and used the extra time to read. Whatever you give up, the point is this: There’s likely something unimportant eating up precious hours of your day. Test out giving things up until you find it, and use the time for creative pursuits.
How do you make time for what’s important? Discover how CAD professionals save time and work more efficiently here.
Habit 2: Collect Ideas Constantly
Great creative ideas aren’t rocket science or moonshots. They come from borrowing others’ ideas and combining them with our own, says Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From. The chance of good ideas striking, he says, “favors the connected mind.”
Like Einstein said, “Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” Start a log of all the ideas and inspirations you encounter. These tools (or a sturdy notebook!) improve idea retention and recombination:
- Evernote — Evernote is a set of digital notebooks that syncs across devices. Its handy web extension clips articles, pictures and digital material right to your notebooks from your browser.
- Pocket — Less permanent than Evernote, Pocket clips web links to a common online repository. View your clipped content, tag it, archive it or check it off when you’re done for a constant stream of creative juice.
- Trello — Described as a “whiteboard with superpowers,” Trello organizes your thoughts and ideas in one place and encourages your projects to cross-pollinate.
How do you brainstorm and inspire yourself? Let us know below.
Habit 3: Use a Two-Handed CAD Work Style
The above habits spark your creativity before you design. Now, enhance it while you work.
Focus, creative flow and the connection you have with your 3D model all improve when you use a 3D mouse's balanced and co-operative two-handed work-style.
Here’s how it works. The 3D mouse is used in your non dominant hand (left for most people), to smoothly and intuitively pan, zoom and rotate your 3D content or view. The standard mouse (in your dominant hand as usual), is no longer occupied with 3D navigation, and is therefore free to select, edit and create.
3D mouse users consistently affirm that this two-handed work style feels like holding the model in your hand and boosts creativity.
The idea is backed by scientific research. Divergent thinking is when both hemispheres of the brain are used to solve problems and complete tasks.
For example, musicians use two hands independently to play, and some scientists say this enhances divergent thinking. It’s strikingly similar to how CAD users who employ a two-handed work style operate.
Divergent thinkers are more creative, and musicians happen to be strong divergent thinkers.
Creativity Isn’t a Luxury
It’s a necessity for CAD users. Enhanced creativity leads to better designs and more exciting design work. Have you used any of the habits we mentioned? What was the result?
Leave us a comment with your experience. For more content on 3D software, creativity and productivity, subscribe to the 3Dconnexion Blog.
Improve Your Creativity Starting Today
Creativity isn’t a gift. It’s a skill. And you can improve it—beginning today. The Creativity Handbook for 3D Professionals is a manual packed with habits, tools and hacks that will make you more creative, more often.
This handbook has 25+ pages of information that will help you boost your design creativity and improve your career. Get started today.
Image Source: Opensource.com via Flickr