Being Creative

My notes on @imhugo's talk on the subject of creativity and our great design profession

Hugo's talk today at ESAD kicked of our Web Talks season and it was just great. We we're supposed to have started a few weeks ago with another speaker that had to cancel but I'm glad that Hugo got the first one because it was just so damn inspiring for our fresh students.

These are my notes so forgive me if I didn't took the time to write a proper post. But this is what I diggested out of the his speech. Part are Hugo's ideas, part is my interpretation and thoughts. Still, all credit on the line of thinking goes out to him.

Hello Ideas!
Skill + Creative Thinking + Motivation = Creativity

Do you consider yourself creative?

Most people don't… And the talk started off mentioning how being creative is something that most people can't understand as a job. Most people stop being creative during their teen years because they start thinking they are not good enough when compared to those they consider to trully be different.

We’re creative when were kids because its natural to us, mostly because we’re not afraid of it (and not aware of it). And during our teen years some of us remain creatives as a way of being different.
But as an adult, we’re taught to not be creative but to behave as everyone else. Conformity is whats’s important.

There's two sides to question. How much should we preach conformity as important and how much should we let our children to grow without these mental boundaries (and see how it goes)?


The teaching system demands people to memorize other’s ideas and formulas so that everyone achieves the same results, but by diminishing creative topics such as the arts or music. Why is that the creative topics are less important than the analytic ones?

Not everyone learns the same way and the problems start when someone doesn't fit this method. Are those people handicapped or wrong? Of course not!
Don't they have the passion it takes to learn something but maybe not what's being taught and how it's being taught? That's not it either.
Instead of understanding "the why", we make students to memorize "the what". And that's not how it should work. It's not natural for everyone to know the same things or even to think the same way.


The essence of being creative is not being afraid to fail. There is no such thing as failure. And if you ask something because you don't know the answers that's not wrong. You just need to know!

Through association and experience we learn how to solve problems by looking at existing patterns that we know can solve them. But that's not being creative. Side-thinking is a designer’s best tool. Instead of going with the flow and accepting common sense, it's a designer’s mission to go around the problem. To find what the source of the problem is and what works and what not.

It's not until we break conformity that we are able to find different solutions from those that everyone else delivers. The environment that surrounds us is a great influencer on how we think. And it's not until we take the time to evaluate it and pounder all variables, influences and constraints to our problem that we are able to be creative and to break the patterns.

The final line to retain for someone that understands all of this and that really wants to be creative is this: you cannot be the best at what you do until you decide what you really want to do.
And you need to want it as harder as wanting to breathe.

I'm looking forward to have Hugo here again. Too bad he's from Lisbon otherwise I would love to extend him with a proper teaching invitation.

(Note: video will be posted as soon as possible)