Every so often a student will lament “I’m just not creative.”

I hate that. And more and more I’ve come to believe that what they really mean is “I’m not motivated” or “I’m really not that interested.”

Students (now) want to be told what to do. They are, by and large, pretty good at doing what they’re told. But ask them to define the scope of a solution themselves and then decide on the best course of action and they’re stumped. Furthermore the response they’ll give is “I’m not creative.”

Creativity is a learned outcome from years of practice figuring shit out. Not a blast of inspiration from the heavens. It happens when you get to work. It happens out of work.

It’s by doing stuff that your mind opens to new possibilities. Maybe you’ll make a mistake. Good! Mistakes always lead to learning. Sometimes they can be happy accidents.

And stop looking for the perfect workspace too. It’s an excuse not to work. What are you afraid of? Failure? You cannot fail. This is process. This is experimentation. Work hard and “creativity”, great work and success will come.



Rob is a graphic design instructor and practicing designer/illustrator. He likes monsters.

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