Where do you get your ideas? 5 tips for creativity this Christmas

By Stephanie Bradshaw

Where do you get your ideas?

It’s a question I’m often asked and it’s the hardest one to answer. Ideas can come from anywhere. That’s both the beauty and the frustration I suffer in my daily life as Creative Director.

Every year at Christmas I suffer the most. I’m used to coming up with creative ways to transform a client’s communications but coming up with what to buy for 14 nieces and nephews, now that is hard work!

What I do is use the skills I’ve learnt professionally to benefit an excited and diverse audience (my family) with well thought out and appropriate presents (hopefully).

  1. Frame up the state of play
    1. Who – list with information about each recipient
    2. When – deadline for mailing if needed
    3. Lessons learnt – past experiences and observations
  1. Start early
    1. Gather intelligence early
    2. Listen carefully
    3. Note everything down – I have Apple Notes pages going all year that help with client creative and presents alike
    4. Research where to purchase
    5. Purchase early when possible – except if the item is time sensitive (small animals don’t last long hiding in the garage!)
  1. Curate
    1. You’re almost there. You’ve got a series of ideas noted, you’ve got your target market nailed; now all you have to do is bring it all together. This is key to client creative work, but also works well with present buying
    2. Put all your information in the one place and then move it all about until a logical structure forms. If you’re left-brained you’ll probably prefer to do this in an Excel style document, but I’m right-brained so I like to sketch it all out in bubbles and mix it all up on a sketch pad.
  1. Revisit
    1. Go back to your original framework/list and your notes and make sure everyone and everything is captured
    2. Check in to make sure you can get everything and mail everything within your timeline.
  1. Bring it home
    1. Purchase everything
    2. Wrap everything (a whole other creative exercise)
    3. Mail/deliver everything

What’s your creative method this Christmas?