How do we get past creative blocks? How do you cultivate creativity? The answer is all around us. (Watch the video below)

Recently in May I was at my favourite design conference of the year rightly named - The Design Conference. It's a massive gathering that ignites connection among creatives through world class presentations from the best creatives around the world and real talk workshops where you can get face to face with your biggest inspirations and learn directly from them.


It was my third year at the conference and is always a lot of fun, but more than that I always walk away with a fresh perspective. This year I was excited to hone in and see if I could find any common threads among the wide variety of creatives that spoke or attended so that I could provide YOU with value... 


What I noticed surprised me. I started to see a common thread between successful creatives and their level of self awareness. The idea of 'Paying Attention' began ringing in my ears in just about every talk I heard or conversation I had. It was fascinating to see how many great ideas had come about by the simple process of paying attention due to a conscious level of self awareness.


I had the opportunity to meet and hang out with Jaymee Franchina. A (school teacher by day) DJ from Perth Western Australia who was flown over to rock the masses at the conference afterparty. You may not know Jaymee (great dude by the way), but you have probably heard him thanks to the B.I.G. x FLUME mixtape he dropped in February, 2013 which has eclipsed over 100 Million Plays worldwide!! Hot damn!!


I was super curious to find out how the idea came about to mix these 2 incredibly contrasting artists and had he been scheming to mix them all along and take over the world. When I asked him he shared that he'd 1) only been DJ'ing for about 4 months prior to the mixtape and 2) been mixing them together in his live performances because he's always loved Biggie Smalls and he personally knows Flume and digs his work. It sounds too simple to be true but only because of Jaymee's self awareness did he realise there was a huge parallel of mixing Biggie and Flume together and seeing the crowd lose it! So he decided to double down and figured 'why not make a mixtape and offer it to the world'?!


100 Million Plays later and an email list of over 100,000 people Jaymee has now set himself up with a solid foundation to release his very first EP (Coming soon - don't know if I can say that, but oh well). All because he was paying attention to his everyday life and what was going on around him. His self awareness enabled him to turn a simple idea into a great one! And most recently in February of this year (2017) he dropped the banging TUPAC x FLUME mixtape - highly recommend the free download. (Thanks for the beats brother!)


Now to the other side of the world and spectrum of creativity...


Lauren Hom is an all round boss lady, designer and letterer reigning between Los Angeles and New York City. She took everyone on a beautiful journey at the conference through some of her finest ideas that started out as simple passing thoughts before taking them to next level ideas simply by paying attention and executing on self awareness. Lauren has a knack of taking regular life experiences, ones that we've all been through at some point or another such as a break up and then selling 1000's of your Ex Boyfriends Tears for example. Or turning all the little lies we've told whether we like to admit it or not into her book Daily Dishonesty.


During her talk she highlighted that 'everybody has brilliant ideas on a daily basis, however we fail to grasp onto them' and that 'good ideas don't just come neatly packaged and presented to you ready to go' which couldn't be any truer. I once heard that on average we pass by two (not one but two), million dollar ideas every single day and we don't even notice them! IS THAT NOT THE CRAZIEST THOUGHT EVER!?


Don't worry, before you get yourself down in the dumps about how much we suck eggs, Lauren came to save the day by adding that 'if you actively train yourself to pay attention to everything and be aware of everything, you can train your brain to sniff out golden ideas.' 


Did you see the video? Watch and hear from Lauren and Jaymee HERE


So my question that I want to leave you with is this... Have you been paying attention? Or have you been stuck in tunnel vision mode too long to notice the wealth of inspiration and ideas that lie all around you? That, with a little injection of attention and self awareness could propel you into your next big adventure (job, customer, client, project... you fill in the blank) !


I encourage you to pay more attention to yourself and your surroundings. Self awareness is vital to your development and a topic I'd love to cover in another blog on another day completely on it's own, but for now - pay more attention, be more self aware and as always keep up the hustle!

Go well,

Ryan Bowles


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