Dos and Don'ts of Tapping Into Your Creativity

All drawings by James Benard.
Post-it note by my dear friend Jonah Lyon.


Do: Go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and walk the hallways. There are thousands of years of creativity there - layer upon layer. 

Don’t: Watch TV - Your TV has a great quantity of entertainment but the quality is poor. I never would have had the time to draw everything in this blog post if I owned a television. 

Maltese 5.jpg


Do: Go for a walk in the park. 

Study nature.  Leonard Da Vinci once said, “Those who are inspired by a model other than Nature, a mistress above all masters, are laboring in vain.”

Don’t: Eat at lousy restaurants or stay in cheap hotels. Inspiration tends to happen through osmosis. Your design standards will align with your life standards.



Do: Talk to children. 

Try to get into their minds and absorb their points of view. They are flexible thinkers with wild imaginations - emulate their thought patterns.

Don’t: Commiserate with creative people who are not passionate about their lives and work. If you believe that the world is bountiful you will create that reality.



Do: Watch an old movie. For example - a classic film noir like "The Maltese Falcon" or “Double Indemnity." Try to understand the black and white world. Think about the limitations they had when working in-studio with big, clunky cameras and lights, un-synchronized sound, and no color.

Don’t: Look at trend sensitive materials, like magazines, for inspiration. Anything on the newsstand today is already old news.



Do: Draw a Tree. Have you ever noticed that trees repeat themselves? It’s a busy world, slow down and pay attention. By looking at a single object for a long time you sharpen your perceptions.

Don’t: Don’t rely on substances or alcohol for inspiration. There are no short cuts to perseverance.

Leaf 2.jpg