Creativity hacks: Make inspiration work for you

Being creative is not just an asset, but a necessity for entrepreneurs seeking fresh ideas and new to connect with people.

But with busy schedules, personal commitments and never-ending deadlines, staying inspired as an entrepreneur is not always easy.

FEW’s creative minds share their best tactics to cultivate inspiration and turn bursts of creativity into professional payoffs. 

Ophelia Jacarini, Artist

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“A person can be creative without doing anything with her hands -- creativity is way of thinking. Contrary to what many people think, creativity isn’t something you either have or don’t have. Physical skills or talents that are an expression of creativity and are only a small element of it. In fact, what makes you creative is the way your ideas take shape.”

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“Being an artist means you have to believe in yourself -- otherwise no one will do it for you. An artist’s life is not 100% creativity and fun. I have to face the reality of life and work on the business side too. I believe, more than anything else, that it’s important to do what you love, this is what makes me wake up in the morning.”

“My inspiration comes from humans -- the shape of the body, the complexity of the brain and the beauty of movements. As a dancer and a yogi, I sometime use my practice to find inspiration.”

“I feel like it’s important not to be afraid or overwhelmed by the things that inspire you. When I want to start a new project, I experience a lot of different techniques until I find the perfect one. It can take me years to find it. This is why I always work on many projects on the same time.”

“Get out of your comfort zone, try things you have never done before. Creativity needs space, that’s for sure. Inspiration will come naturally if you don't think too much about it.”

Marta Grossi, Multidisciplinary Creative Director and Artist

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“Dealing with a creative soul, I find inspiration everywhere -- that is my blessing but also my curse."

"I can be inspired by stains on the table, rusty walls, tree roots, food, shapes and objects surrounding my daily routine. The biggest inspirations in my life come from people, music and travels. Some days I am so overwhelmed that I need to direct and organize all of these inspirations somehow.”

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“I learned how to transform inspiration into energy and use it for my work and profession. I have a foundation and background in marketing and advertising industry, and this helps me to be more efficient.”

“Don’t be scared to make mistakes, and if it's not working the first time try again and again. If you get stuck, go out, meet people, travel and surround yourself with inspiring souls."

"Study the market and learn what is the best way to present yourself and propose something different. Keep up with a positive attitude and great energy, it will always make the difference.”

“I am inspired by great minds and fascinated by strong personalities in all environments. I am currently reading Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls, a book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the lives of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world."

"Most of these women were entrepreneurs and created their life and business from zero, facing obstacles and prejudices. Incredibly inspiring!”

Queenie Rosita Law, Founder of Production Q

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“At Production Q, we mix an art element into everything we do. All the prints that we produce right now are hand painted using a paint on photography method."

"I create a print, I pitch it to a client and, if they love it, we will develop a product out of it. It's really a great example of how the commercial side can have elements of art in it as well.” 

“I find anybody that has the strength and mental capacity to be different, and to follow their dreams to be very inspiring. And from traveling too, the minute you are able to free you mind, a spark of inspiration will come through.”

“I would probably say research and looking at too many references can kill the creative process and the original concept.”

Siobhan Dumigan, Artistic Director at I AM Concepts

“We are allowing I AM Concepts to grow organically, so I have to be a really good multi-tasker. Setting up and organizing performances requires so many factors, from the venue, logistics, and budgeting to the choreography and performances at the show."

"I love what I do. It's different every day, so I am constantly learning and growing.”

“I find my inspiration from many different places. Nature, music, emotions, relationships, books, movies, people. Whatever ignites a fire in me.”

“Kate March (director of I Am) and I have a really good system where we bounce ideas off each other, which I think is very important for the development of an idea. Journaling and creating a mood board is usually how we would get an idea off the floor."

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"Then we will listen to music, allowing sounds to further guide us in the process. Music is one of my biggest inspirations for movement, so I'll get into the studio and see what movement comes out once we have a few tracks chosen.”

“Be fearless. Fear of failing kills creativity. Allow yourself time to be alone, for the ideas to settle. We are usually so busy running around, we don't allow ourselves time for our ideas to come to us."

"Meditation and journaling are so important. Keep being inspired. Go to shows, art exhibitions, talks, read books and talk to people who inspire you.”

“Teamwork is vital. More creative heads are always better than one. Integrity and treating the people that work for and with you with absolute love and trust is also important. Creativity thrives in a loving environment.”

Ishita Desai, Founder of Aanya

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“I find inspiration for Aanya (a lifestyle boutique that engages local Indian communities) in a lot of things, almost everything. When you're working on your own business, there is so much room for exploration that you are constantly brimming with ideas, thoughts and visions to execute!”

“I think my curiosity and constant need to learn pushes me to get creative. Just working outside of your comfort zone gets you thinking in a hundred different ways."

“Keep an open mind and listen to what others have to share. There is so much to learn from others if you are open to it -- a fresh conversation always leaves you with a new perspective.”

“A close friend introduced me to the Muzungu Sisters online store and I am in admiration of everything they do. From the way they conduct their work to their artisanal products, it's a traveller's (stylish) treasure chest!"

"I believe their practice is fair, sustainable and empowering on every tier. To me, that is creativity!”

Alix Farquhar, Lead Consultant at BRIDGE

“I’m a facilitator, trainer and change-management consultant, but I’m a philosopher and sociologist at heart. I’m interested in people and how we think, what we think we know, how we develop ourselves and each other within the organizations and communities we work in."

“I’m finding inspiration from more and more places these days -- and there are so many ‘alternative’ and post-conventional thinkers and doers out there! I go wherever my curiosity takes me -- I can spend hours getting lost on weird and wonderful internet sites and there are so many cool niche activities in Hong Kong, from 5 Rhythms Dancing or Gong Baths at Red Doors Studio to early morning raves at First Light."

"I went to a talk at the Kadoorie Farm by Satish Kumar, a man who walked from India to Moscow, Paris, London and New York in protest against nuclear arms where he shared lessons on trust and fear in a speech I’ll never forget. Despite the multitude of activities and workshops, I probably get most of my inspiration when I’m hiking in nature with my dog!”

“I’m at my most creative when I’m having fun, feeling free and without any attachment to an outcome. For this reason, I’ve really gotten into movement and sound… I have found that music and dancing give me energy, and I can be really creative with my voice or with my body when I dance."

"What I do is create a space where I can feel really free, an hour in my room where I can dance like no one’s watching or sing without anyone listening, with no expectation to produce anything. If I make that time for myself then the rest of my day is golden -- I see, feel, take in more as I walk around and new ideas pop into my head. I can’t be creative behind a laptop or sitting still: that’s the time for ordering my thoughts. Creativity comes with movement and music for me!”

“It seems strange to call it 'thinking outside the box,' when actually I think it should be more like 'be outside the box, don’t think it.' Being outside the box is balanced, free, going with your flow, energizing, fun."