Creativity with Constraints

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First off, I’d like to mention that one of my best friends and co-founder, Chris Capehart, has recently launched his new blog appropriately titled “The Different Ink.” Chris is one of the most passionate people that I know with a genuine care for relationships and appetite for success. I highly recommend that you check out his blog…I know that I’m looking forward to some more posts (Chris…*hint, hint*). And now we’ll be moving along to what’s been on my mind…

Stuck…ever been there? Ever felt it? Well if you’re human like the rest of us, then the chances are that you have been. But breaking through mental barriers and life’s challenges can be accomplished easier with some tools at hand. So when it comes to being creative, I generally like to try 2 different approaches. The 1st of which is to ask the BIG question of…”What if?” Simple…you bet, but powerful when uttered with intent. I’m actually not going to dive into this direction as Chris has actually just written about the subject here.

Now this next approach seems to be neglected and underutilized a little more often than not.

It’s what my good friend Jeremy recently said to me as “Creativity with Constraints.” It’s the ability to look at the limitations of a situation and use them to your advantage. When it comes to the creative element, the “What If” method does have its place…but sometimes it can really help to look at a challenge as an opportunity. So you don’t have a million dollar marketing budget…big whoop! How about enough manpower…big whoop! Or what about a superstar endorsement…big whoop!

These *constraints* force you to think outside of the box….or should I say “inside” of it. Don’t get down about “what you can’t do with what you don’t have”…but rather ask “what it is that you can do to maximize what you do have.”

Sometimes less can be more. Think about it for a second…if you had what everybody else had then you wouldn’t be forced to create what others have yet to create. Hmmm, a blessing in disguise perhaps. This approach has helped me several times in coming up with a great solution…one that has been innovative and key to a certain success. So next time you’re stuck and need to get those creative juices flowing…embrace the constraints and seek out new ways of reaching your goal…you just might be surprised by what you come up with.

By Micah Davis

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2 Responses

  1. […] Constraints can drive creativity, and when it comes to creative adaptation, it is a key element. […]

  2. Micah, nice post. I am a big advocate of creativity. More often than not it is within constraints and therefore breeds — as you so rightly wrote — more creativity. My encouragement to most creative teams is to use the resources and talents they have within the time they’ve been given. Keep up the good work.

    -Eric
    (a.k.a. WeirdGuy)

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