Ask DN: Can creativity be learned?

over 6 years ago from , Design by Marcus

Just wondered if you guys thought creativity can be learned or it's something some people have more than others? I've been learning design specifically to apply it designing web and app UI's. I feel most of my designs are very plain and when I look at back at them they show hardly any creativity (https://dribbble.com/mshanda) and look kind of template-y.

I've been looking at a few books to purchase and wondered if any of you have heard of them or could possibly recommend me some that might help me grow my skill-set and in turn teach me to be more creative.

I realise I can probably become more creative by practising a lot but maybe a more focused approach guided by some books could help accelerate my path to greater creativity?




  • Tom ReinertTom Reinert, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    Everyone is creative. You just have to make a habit out of it.

    It's a complex issue and I could write a lot on it. But others have put it perfectly already. Check these two out:

    James Victore's Burning Questions

    Look at James Victore's awesome work and then watch some of his videos, where he answers questions of designers and talks about creativity and how to make work that matters. Every single one is great and motivating: https://www.youtube.com/user/JamesVictore/videos

    This on basically covers your question – start here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZKZKBRJVzw

    This talk is also excellent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px4FCQcTgv0

    James Altucher

    This other James here has a more practical approach. His text on "How to become an idea machine" is genius: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2015/01/faq-on-how-to-become-an-idea-machine/

    After reading it, I couldn't wait to create something.

    Just start creating something, anything. Grab a brush and make 10 posters today. Limit yourself on one medium/technique/tool/material/etc at a time and just go. Make something that means the world to you. Most importantly: Have fun!

    2 points
    • , over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

      Thanks, those are some brilliant resources, I'm gonna find a way to download all James Victore's videos off Youtube :)

      I'll take your advice and try to design something everyday starting today!

      Also just noticed he has a short course on Skillshare so I'll be watching that too.

      0 points
  • Joe BarrettJoe Barrett, over 6 years ago

    I'm reminded about John Cleese's talk on How to be Creative: https://vimeo.com/89936101

    The keys are Space, Time, Time, Confidence, and Humor. It echoes some of the same sentiments said in the thread but delivered only in the way that Cleese can.

    0 points
  • Jon GoldJon Gold, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    I think you need to give yourself a break. From your previous posts you've been doing this for ~9 months - that's no time at all in the grand scheme of things.

    Dribbble & whatnot make it super easy to compare yourself to others; stop worrying about that and just keep working. Your work is pretty decent for <a year, lots of us have been at this for 5, 10, 20 years — the common thread is the more you work, the better you get.

    Stop posting threads on DN and do some more work, but also, chill out a bit - you're on the right path :)

    e: as far as 'fast tracking' your path to creativity, work with people better than you. seriously. freelancing is fun & gets you hella money, but you learn sooooo much faster being in a room with other people. you can always go back to freelancing, but at this stage of your career I think you'd benefit from being on a team with shit-hot people who have been doing this for a long time.

    hope that helps!

    0 points
    • , over 6 years ago

      Thanks for the advice I really appreciate it. As I didn't learn design at college or have had a full-time job working with creatives I think I can get a little too "in my head" at times.

      It would be great to get a day job doing this a be around people much better than me. Right now I'll carry on with the freelancing but hopefully in the future I can find a really cool job.

      I'm going to try and create something or at the very least learn something new everyday.

      0 points