I actively consume lots of creative stuff to keep me inspired. From looking at labels in shops to surfing creative websites, visiting exhibitions, listening to lectures, reading print media, attending festivals, communicating with friends etc. Diverse research means that I do not become overly influenced by just one artist or ideology.
I am particularly influenced by biomimicry and design inspired by nature. Termites mounds are far more advanced than our buildings with their precise zoned air conditioning which requires no external energy source (other than the elements) and produces no pollutants. Spider silk is more advanced in strength and elasticity than any equivalent man-made substance, and it is made at a normal temperatures from natural materials.
My approach to websites vastly changed once I started thinking about the internet in terms of natural ecosystems. I now look at websites in terms of interconnected communities, growth cycles and seasonal transformations rather than technical implementations of some software.
I am also inspired to react against the extreme greed and violence in our world. The human race is so advanced but we cannot claim intelligence as a spieces until we stop killing each other and begin to share freely. There are much better ways to live on this planet and we need to work together to create this change.
How are you doing things differently to everyone else?
I may be doing some things outside the mainstream but am not doing things “differently to everyone else”. My direction and innovation are rooted in the communities that are forming locally and internationally to do things differently. By working together and sharing openly we are forming an international movement that is creating change, simplifying our lives, and reducing our environmental impact.
A lot of new innovation and ways of working together may seem different at first but are actually built from a framework built collectively. We are re-learning lessons and skills of our fore-mothers and fathers as well as indigenious peoples. We are also beginning to learn from nature’s grand masterpieces and creating innovations that may seem new, but are based on ancient designs and processes.
Some things I am doing now may put me in the minority however in the long term (for various reasons), these will become mainstream. For example, I was using open-source software to build websites for many years when using proprietary systems was the norm. Now, open -source is increasingly being adopted by the mainstream business community with the recent announcement that the American White House website is now using open-source software.
What are your Top Tips for Creative Success?
Listen – sometimes the most valuable insights comes from the most unlikely of places.
Question – the questions you ask can sometimes be more important that the answers you receive.
Actively learn and research – don’t rely on your past work and current skills.
Attempt things you can’t do – regular mistakes are essential for innovation.
Do not censor yourself – follow your heart, not the opinions of others.
Work hard – as in athletics, the top 10% of performance takes 90% of the work.
Work strategically – working hard does not in itself create major results.
Understand others may not “get” what your doing – I am happy for people to say it can’t be done, but please get out of the way of the people doing it.
Do what you love – you may be dead tomorrow.