Lesson 4 - Objectives 9-10 (Thursday)
B04-09 Creativity - some thoughts
To be a graphic designer you have to be a creative person! As a human being, you were born to be creative. Sometimes that gets driven out of us by school, jobs, or life itself. So, what can you do to get those creative thoughts and attitudes going again?
When I'm trying to be creative, and drawing a blank in my mind (or staring at a blank document on the screen), I find the following ideas usually get me going again...
1. Doodle or do a mind map. Sometimes my fingers come up with ideas when my brain can't. I'll often start with something (anything), and then just mess with it for awhile. Often, I start an image without any idea how it's going to end up. As I work on it, ideas to try will come into my head. I often save multiple copies throughout this process, so I can return to an earlier idea if I run into a dead end along the way.
2. Look for inspiration. See what other people have done - books, magazines, internet, etc. Pinterest.com is one of my favorite visual inspiration spots. Use an idea you come across as a springboard into something new, and better. Here's a website that links to many design inspiration sites.
IMPORTANT!!! When you look for inspiration, and you find something - don't copy it and call it yours. That's plagiarism. From our syllabus, (and USU policy) - "Plagiarism: "Plagiarism includes knowingly "representing, by paraphrase or direct quotation, the published or unpublished work of another person as one's own in any academic exercise or activity without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged used of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials." The penalties for plagiarism are severe. They include warning or reprimand, grade adjustment, probation, suspension, expulsion, withholding of transcripts, denial or revocation of degrees, and referral to psychological counseling." Ouch! Rather, use the idea as a base to add to - to redesign it - make it your own. When somebody looks at it, they shouldn't think, "Oh - you just copied that design." Use the idea to create something totally new - totally yours!
3. I was reading a recent research paper on creativity, and they found that - in general - people got their best creative ideas when they were bored. They were doing things like mowing the lawn, or other menial tasks that didn't require much thinking to do - and their mind could wander over ideas. The idea of relaxing, taking a walk, taking a break, etc., often works well.
One of my all time favorite cartoons was Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson. The cartoon at right leads me to the next point I want to make with you. One thing not to do is wait until the last minute before an assignment is due. Your mind needs time to mull things over subconsciously - and that can take time. Avoid last-minute panic in classes that require creativity, such as this one.
In this course, the lesson online, and the assignment and grading rubric will be finalized the day before the face-to-face class on campus will be taught. So, on the day of class, face-to-face students should scan through the lesson, and look at the assignment given for the week. Online students, just start working your way through the online material. However, I would look at the assignment first of all, so that's in your mind as you go through the content of the lesson.
Then, use the ideas for creativity I've shared with you above. Jacob Cass, a graphic designer, shared his own ideas on how to get the creative juices flowing.
I keep several Pinterest boards on art, design, and creativity. You'll need a free Pinterest account to look at them, but I think you may find them to be helpful.
Also, take a look at 101+ Places To Get Design Inspiration.
B04-10 Skill: Creating a contact sheet in Photoshop
If you ever need a contact sheet of a group of images, Photoshop has a tool to do that. Follow these directions...
Would you like to see an example where I've used a contact sheet in my online portfolio? Have a look here...