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Knock Your Block Off

Knock Your Block Off

Posted on Apr 27, 2017 by Ian Wilson

Few things are more frightening to a creative than the blank page used to begin every project. It can be unnerving, and you may lock up. Then after jotting down a handful of ideas, you face a new challenge. This time your subconscious is trying to break your stride by sowing the seeds of fear, self-doubt, and temptation.

As I’ve long maintained: Creativity is kinetic. In other words, keep your pencil moving or you’ll end up stuck in the mud. If you do (and you will) find yourself at a standstill, being able to recognize what’s happening can help you to break yourself out of that unproductive mindset, which is the first step to getting back on track. For this reason, I’ve compiled a short list of a few common obstacles you’ll likely face.

  • Stop waiting for the winners

Think of your mind as a jar full of jelly beans, where the blue beans are the brilliant ideas you’re after. If you’re only allowing the blue beans to leave the jar, then your overall yield will suffer. A better plan would be to first pour everything out, then follow that up by sorting the great from mediocre. Getting the subpar ideas out of your head also has its benefits, because it frees up mental resources, clearing the way for fresh ideas to move in.

  • Don’t puppy-love your ideas

We get it, you’re clever. However, your role at this point is to catch as many of the ideas spilling out of you as you can. Just because you think you’ve hit pay dirt is no reason to jump the gun and begin refining. If you feel this way about a recent idea, chances are that you’re harboring a bias toward an idea that it is probably too cute or grandiose to make the final cut anyway. It may be that it only sparkles in contrast to the string of lackluster ideas that led up to it. Plus, creativity usually happens in bursts, so it would be a titanic mistake to stop upon reaching the tip of the iceberg.

  • Stick to the plan

Strategy is the anchor for your campaign. It’s purpose is to ensure that your work aligns with all other work in order to maintain a cohesive and uniform message. The further you try to stretch the leash that tethers you to your strategy, the more work your audience will have to do to make sense of what you are trying to get across. If you make them do too much work, they’ll likely give up and move on.

  • Safety third

Creativity occupies the shared space on the venn diagram between a problem’s solution and novelty. Just as you stick to the strategy, you must also find new ways to approach it. This is the time to take some risks and see what happens. Think of it as shoplifting from the candy store in your mind. When your ideas begin to feel robotic and manufactured, try pushing them to a frightening extreme. Then walk them back to find the breaking point.

  • Physical needs take mental energy

Whether you’re hungry, restless, tired or just plain hungover, your body is trying to get your attention. Working through these distractions can be tough, and your work will likely suffer due to divided focus. Conversely, the endorphin boost from taking a walk, or getting up every so often to stretch, can be great for productivity. Physical activity also doesn’t need to be exercise, it can be as simple as arranging your lunch in an eye-appealing way or giving yourself time to get enough sleep. Find out what works for you, and incorporate it into your process.

Ultimately the solution to getting stuck is always to get back to work. You could wax intellectual about process, or stall for time setting up your environment, but it’s never going to give you the same satisfaction as real progress. Instead, do what the pros do—roll up your sleeves and do the work. Taking a page from one of the United Kingdom’s most renowned prime ministers:

“When you’re going through hell, keep going.”—Winston Churchill

Now, don’t you have some work to do?

 

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Meet Alyssa, HMG’s Newest Social Media and Marketing Intern

Meet Alyssa, HMG’s Newest Social Media and Marketing Intern

Posted on Feb 07, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

Hello! My name is Alyssa Zucker and I am thrilled to join the HMG Creative team as the new Social Media and Marketing Intern! I am currently a Sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin, studying Public Relations with a minor in English. I am loving every aspect of being a Longhorn. Coming to Texas from my small town of Manhattan Beach, California, I am fully embracing all the amazing culture Austin has to offer. From learning what it means to “Keep Austin Weird,” to eating my way through the city, I am constantly entertained here. While I will miss being walking distance from the beach, I am excited to immerse myself in the Austin lifestyle, even the excruciating summer heat.

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HMG Creative—Moving on Up!

HMG Creative—Moving on Up!

Posted on Oct 27, 2016 by Kate Gothing

Ten days after HMG Creative’s fifth anniversary of moving into our Bee Caves Road location, we are moving on. From Rollingwood to the eclectic 78704 zip code of South Austin, HMG has found a new home at 706-A W. Ben White Blvd. Suite 248A, just off of South 1st Street. Continue Reading →

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Why Hire HMG Creative?

Why Hire HMG Creative?

Posted on Sep 08, 2016 by Kate Gothing

When it comes to developing and designing a website, there are two options. Hiring a professional agency to handle the coding and upkeep of the website, or doing it yourself with programs already online. It’s great that sites like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, etc. are around for those who need them but lack the funds for a web developer or time to learn to code. But unfortunately, the DIY websites aren’t the best choice for everyone. Yes, you will be paying more than $20 a month for your site, but if you were to hire a professional, you would have the freedom to create something that fits your company’s personality. Continue Reading →

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#TeamTuesday – Maxx Wright

#TeamTuesday – Maxx Wright

Posted on Aug 16, 2016 by Kate Gothing

He may only be here for a short amount of time, but we still consider him part of the team! HMG Creative would like to introduce our new intern Maxx Wright.

Maxx is entering his senior year of high school at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. Before leaving for college, hopefully at the University of Colorado Boulder, he came to HMG Creative to get a head start in his career path. Originally from Cuero, Texas, Maxx moved to Austin about six years ago and has loved it ever since. He loves having unlimited access to live music, great parks and trails for biking and hiking on nice days. Continue Reading →

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#TeamTuesday – Johnny Jeffers

#TeamTuesday – Johnny Jeffers

Posted on Aug 02, 2016 by Kate Gothing

He has been representing Burnt Orange Nation at HMG Creative longer than anyone else. While his quiet humor may catch some off guard, that’s the reason we love him. Meet our Creative Director and Managing Partner, Johnny Jeffers! Continue Reading →