Our Creative Director recently gave a lecture at Sheffield Hallam University about a few things we've learned over the years.
What problem are we trying to solve? Make your work into questions.
That's a good thing. If we did, we wouldn't be growing and life would be boring. Currently, we're learning how to run events and hackathons for social good.
Empathy is a designer's best friend. On projects like Elefriends, it has been amazing to meet people who use the platform every day and to hear their experiences. They know what they need more than we do.
We designed and built a game recently about a Dragon who lives in an attic. The concept was from young people and it fun to see their crazy ideas turn into reality.
Move around. Be flexible in how you work. We were not made to sit down at a desk all day.
As a general rule we ban screens in our co-creation workshops, and just stick to pen and paper. It seems to work well. Conversations and ideas are so much better when we're all present.
I make space to work on side projects every day. They give me ideas and energy for my other work. And they've opened up lots of doors as I've shared things online. I currently enjoy making collages, not for any reason, just because I like it.
Break things down into chunks. Stop, come back and make better. Show things to people and learn. Fail quicker.
It's not hard to learn basic HTML. Code Academy is a good place to start. You can already draw—stop saying you can't. Draw something every day and you'll be surprised at how quickly you improve. It's not about being perfect, it's about having fun, helping you view the world differently and communicate ideas better. It also might help you get a job. I think it helped me.
You don't have to have a paid job in the creative industries to enjoy being creative. Start now. Do the things you love to do. Learn stuff and share your work. Forget your career, you need a calling.
I have this thought most days, and I think a lot of other people do to. Just get on with it. Your best work is ahead of you.