Meet your deadlines, treat clients well, don’t use the Photoshop Lens Flare filter unless you want to be ostracised by the entire creative community. Yeah, yeah – we get it. And you’ve read about it. Tips for designers tend to follow a set formula – and they can be both practical and useful, but they don’t always provide much of an insight into the more hidden, intangible parts of the creative process.

For this feature, we turned to the best of the best, and the brightest up-and-comers, across the creative industries. We asked them to tell us a secret – a tip that they helps them do their best work, sparks ideas, or gets them through the day.

What we got is a glorious mix of practical information, instinctive and personal working methods, wise words, and amusing quips, and a hint that hula-hooping might cure the creative industry’s ills.

We hope you’ll find these glimpses into the innermost thoughts of the designers, illustrators and filmmakers we spoke to as exciting as we do. Whether it’s a Photoshop tip for making images sing, or a tea selection that’s guaranteed to inspire, there’s something in here that will help you work better and be more creative. Enjoy!

Tip 1
“Developing, building and stubbornly maintaining a successful visual style will ultimately kill your creativity – and your career. Change constantly or die.”

Bob Staake, illustrator, winner: Time Best Magazine Cover 2008