All truly creative endeavour needs a spark – a moment of clarity or a bright idea that inspires the project, gives the work impetus, and makes sure the results are worth the effort.

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Anyone can come up with run-of-the-mill work. It’s just a question of doing as the client says, going through the motions, and churning out some “creative” output. The media we consume would be inexorably dull if all creatives went for this no-brainer approach. The spark that turns bog-standard output into standard-bearing output is elusive – how do the creative industry’s top people ensure they’re on good terms with the inspiration fairy?
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“Usually a creative solution is born straight out of the brief and a little research with the client,” says Alec East, media director of Tomorrow London. “The finer details and visual identity can come from anywhere: conversations, books, walks, but rarely from sitting in front of a computer screen.”
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John McFaul, illustrator and co-founder of the Black Convoy design collective, agrees that hunching over a mouse and keyboard saps the mind. “Get away and throw some paint and ink around,” he advises.
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When you’re working in the digital creative arena, it’s essential to wear several hats at once, according to Dino Burbidge, creative director at Digital Outlook. “You have to be a designer, a psychologist, a programmer, a gamer, a consumer, a lawyer, and more often than not, a salesman,” he says. “You have to be constantly grazing the entire width of the industry, and outside it too.”
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