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  • Writer's pictureNat Sharp

Unlocking the power of creativity on World Creativity and Innovation Day

Get inspired to unleash your own creativity

For all small business owners, creativity and innovation play an integral role in running a successful business. Word Creativity and Innovation Day is the perfect time to celebrate local businesses that have embraced new concepts and ideation to deliver powerful solutions. Innovative thinking has helped countless entrepreneurs get ahead in their respective industries and it doesn't take long to recognise the many ways creativity can fuel progress so let's explore some of the best examples of creative businesses locally.

I sit down with a talented artist, makeup artist, and jewellery designer to discuss what creativity and innovation mean to them. What inspires us all to be creative? And how can creativity enhance our lives? Let's learn the thoughts of these accomplished professionals.

Iaysha Art Studio, Angel & Abstract Artist

1. What is creativity to you?

To me, creativity is an expression of my soul. When I create, I feel a sense of freedom and authenticity that comes from expressing myself in a way that is unique to me. This connection to my inner self is what makes creativity so fulfilling and meaningful.

2. When do you find creativity most useful?

For me, creativity is a bit of a mystery - it's always present, but I never quite know when or how it will show up. When I'm feeling stressed or stuck in my head, I often turn to painting as a way to switch off my logical mind and connect with my emotions more intuitively. Engaging in a creative activity like painting helps me recharge my energy and find new inspiration, which leaves me feeling both invigorated and humbled by the mysterious power of creativity.

3. What inspires you to be creative?

As an artist, I find inspiration in so many things - from the beauty of nature to the power of music, meditation, and even my own vision. Sometimes, all it takes is seeing a single flower that takes my breath away or watching the wind dance through the trees to spark a burst of creative energy. For me, inspiration is all about being connected to the spirit within and allowing it to guide me towards new ideas and forms of expression.

4. Are there days when you don't feel creative but you need to paint? What do you do to get in the right frame of mind?

As an artist, there are definitely days when I don't feel like painting. Sometimes the creative energy just isn't there, and that's okay. When that happens, I like to take a little time to ground myself and find some stillness. Maybe I'll do a quick meditation, take a walk outside, or just sit quietly and breathe for a few minutes. I find that when I quiet my mind I can reconnect with the present moment and the inspiration I need to paint often comes back on its own. It's like a natural ebb and flow.

5. How do you think creativity can change the world?

Creativity is a powerful force that can inspire new ideas and solutions, help us connect with our emotions, and express ourselves in unique ways. When we engage in creative expression, we can bring people together and foster a sense of community.

Moreover, creativity can heal and transform individuals and society as a whole. Through art and other forms of creative expression, we can challenge societal norms and bring about positive change. The power of healing through creativity is immense, as it can help individuals process emotions, trauma, and experiences safely and healthily.

Additionally, creativity can promote empathy, understanding, and compassion towards others and can be a tool for *social justice and advocacy. Overall, creativity has the potential to bring about positive change and make the world a better place.

*Eg: a painting, sculpture, or photograph that highlights the struggles of refugees or the effects of climate change can evoke strong emotions and inspire action. Additionally, creative projects can be used to advocate for change, such as community murals that address local issues or public art installations that promote a message of unity and equality.

6. What is your favourite creative outlet other than painting?

My favourite creative outlet besides painting is drawing, although I tend to stick to 2D art. When I'm not painting or drawing, I enjoy baking and gardening as a way to express my creativity.

7. What are some of the most creative things you have seen?

That's a tough question! I've been fortunate enough to travel to many beautiful places and see incredible sights, like the rainforests in Malaysia, the Nullabor desert in Australia, and Machu Picchu in Peru. I've also seen amazing works of art in galleries, as well as costumes and performances in plays and theatres. But honestly, I find beauty and creativity in so many things, from the natural world to all forms of art.

8. What do you think are the benefits of being creative?

One of the most important things is that it allows us to access our right brain and bring balance to our lives. Creativity provides a great outlet for expressing our feelings and emotions in unique and personal ways. By engaging in creative activities, we can cultivate a deeper connection with ourselves and our intuition, leading to greater self-awareness and personal growth. Whether it's through painting, writing, dancing, or any other form of creative expression, being creative can bring joy, fulfilment, and a sense of purpose to our lives.

9. How do you encourage creativity in others?

To encourage creativity in others, it's important to create a non-judgmental and safe space where people feel free to express themselves without fear of criticism. Encourage people to try new things and explore different forms of creativity, whether it's drawing, writing, singing, or dancing. There's no right or wrong way to be creative and the process is just as important as the end result. Be open-minded. With patience, kindness, and a willingness to support and guide, you can help unlock the creative potential in others.

10. Do you think everyone can learn to be creative?

The truth is, that creativity is innate in all of us. We are born as creative beings, and it is manifested in our daily lives when we bring our thoughts and ideas into reality. While we can certainly learn new skills and techniques, the ability to be creative is already within us. It's just a matter of unlocking it and allowing it to flourish.

The Soldersmith, Jewellery Designer

1. What is creativity and innovation to you?

Creativity to me is just expressing yourself in another way. It's finding something you love to do, experimenting with it, and sometimes creating something from it. There aren’t any set parameters for being creative and I don’t believe that anyone is more creative than someone else. Some people just find creative expression easier than others. Typically we tend to think of ‘creative types’ as colourful extroverts with their heads in the clouds, but creativity is found in every industry. People often say “I could never be as creative as you”, but I think creativity applies to so many areas of normal life – how you furnish your house, how you dress, and the language you use.

You have to fully engage with creativity to innovate. Innovation is about solving a problem in a different and new way, so it crosses into every industry.

2. When do you find creativity most useful?

When things get too much I love to find something creative to do and lose myself. It helps me unwind, relax and take control back.

3. What inspires you to be creative?

Primarily it's chatting with other people. My husband and I are always talking about things we could create or do - things in the garden, house renovation ideas, and how to improve my jewellery exhibition stand. And conversations with friends and family often turn to creative ideas too.

4. How do you think creativity can change the world?

Creativity can give you a different kind of focus and 'free' up your brain to find new ideas. I'm a member of a local gallery and it's wonderful to be able to chat about creativity. Sharing creativity with others can help you to see things from a different perspective and to realise that there are other ways of thinking and doing.

5. What is your favourite creative outlet other than your work?

I’ve tried so many things – primarily craft-based, like chandlery, sewing, felting, painting, drawing, pottery, calligraphy, knitting, poetry, interior design, and writing a novel (still not finished after 25 years!) – all with varying degrees of success. One of my favourite outlets though is creating something for my wedding anniversary each year. My husband and I like to make something for each other around a theme – this year is light (instead of the traditional tin, paper, lace, etc), so we try and outdo each other on the most amazing handmade interpretation of that word. The thought process takes around 6 months, but we both love doing it for each other and his are usually pretty spectacular!

6. What are some of the most creative things you have seen?

Other jewellers' work (e.g. Jill Herlands, AngeB, Gem Lettuce Jewellery, Lorenzo Pepe), the inside of La Sagrada Familia, sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy, Shakespeare’s plays, the Marvel Universe, Candy Anthony’s wedding dresses…the list is truly endless. That’s what’s so great about creativity – it’s all around us, all the time.

7. What do you think are the benefits of being creative?

Engaging with another part of your brain and thinking in a slightly different way has to be good for us. If you find something creative that you love to do, you can get truly lost in that, which is incredibly freeing.

8. How do you encourage creativity in others?

I run beginner’s jewellery-making workshops from my studio and get people coming along who say “I’m not creative”, but they all end up with something unique and truly brilliant that they’ve made themselves. Giving people the space and encouragement to try something new and helping them to bring their design ideas to life, makes them feel more confident in their own creativity. I would encourage anyone to think about something creative they’d like to try and go for it. It doesn’t have to be a complete career/life change – just give yourself permission to try it and have fun.

9. Do you think everyone can learn to be creative?

Absolutely! Sometimes you just have to be brave and take the first step. Whether it's learning something new or approaching things differently, I think we all can and should embrace our creativity.

Natalie Piacun – Professional make-up artist and beauty writer

1. What inspires you to be creative?

I find inspiration everywhere, in nature with the vast variety of colours, textures, and patterns to art, fashion, culture, and even through personal experiences like emotions and memories.

2. How do you think creativity can change the world?

Creativity can change the world in many ways, such as innovation to create solutions to global problems from poverty to inequality. Artistic expression in the arts has the power to inspire and move people emotionally. It can bring attention to important social issues and promote understanding and empathy. Also, creativity effects technological advancements, business development, education, and social change – to name a few.

3. Other than makeup, what is your favourite creative outlet?

Art, music, cooking, and creating with my young daughter – her imagination is endless which I love.

4. What are some of the most creative things you have seen?

Having been a regular visitor to Burning Man Festival in the Nevada Desert which includes 80,000 participants – all create and contribute in many ways, it is a feast for the senses. From art sculptures and installations to performance art, music, camp builds, fancy dress, and amazing hair and make-up. The event is organised around ten principles that foster a culture of creativity and collaboration. It is one of the most unique and inspiring creative scenes in the world.

5. What do you think are the benefits of being creative?

There are so many benefits of being creative, from stress relief to improved mental health and personal growth and being present in yourself, it can put you in touch with your thoughts and emotions which is so important in the fast-paced society we live in today. Creativity can increase confidence, improve problem-solving skills and help you express yourself.

6. How do you encourage creativity in others, particularly from a business/work perspective?

By allowing openness and free discussion in a safe and supportive environment, art and media visits and events and celebrating success, and encouraging collaboration.

7. Do you think everyone can learn to be creative?

Yes, absolutely. It's all about taking time for yourself and doing things you enjoy – creativity can be applied to all areas of your life. Engage in activities and new experiences and challenge your assumptions.

8. What is the most creative project you're delivered and why?

I'm currently working on a very creative project and combining it with the latest technology within the beauty industry – that's as much as I can say right now but watch this space. My most recent creative project was the refurbishment of my partner and I's Grade II listed building on The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells – a one-stop beauty hub and event space with an expert hair and make-up team and a new bar launching in May.

Unleash your own creativity

Creativity is a powerful tool for small business owners and it can truly help entrepreneurs open the door to new opportunities. We have heard from three incredibly inspiring and creative professionals who have shared what creativity means to them, how they find the motivation they need, and how it helps enhance their lives.

It’s hard not to be motivated by their words and stories, so go ahead and support their work – check out their websites, follow them on social media, or even buy one of their incredible products if you are inspired! Overall, celebrating creativity and innovation is essential for keeping the drive of progress alive in our society. We must remember to dedicate time for finding innovative solutions in many aspects of our lives so that we can achieve greatness. Don’t just wait until Word Creativity & Innovation Day to do something special – every day can be an opportunity!

Read 4 easy ways to improve your creative writing and how to find time to innovate as a business owner.

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