March's image – 'Fresh Ideas'

This month’s image is titled ‘Fresh Ideas’ and is all about the joy (and challenge) of living a creative life – a life whereby one must constantly find new and engaging ways to answer a brief, express a concept and ultimately, stand out.

We’ve spoken to three of our Art-Work Agency creative collaborators – a graphic/digital designer, stylist/designer and a photographer  – to share some tips on generating fresh ideas in a world where it can sometimes feel like everything has already been done.


Sarah Huston – Art-Work collaborator and graphic/digital designer

Developing fresh ideas starts with a creative mindset. I find a routine helps, so when I’ve got a big day ahead I usually do the following.

  1. Start with a coffee
    A morning ritual that helps set the tone for my day.
  2. Clear my space
    I don’t buy into the myth that creative people work better with clutter. A clear workspace means a clear mind; and with a clear mind ideas can flow more freely.
  3. Hit play on Spotify
    If I’m working with words, either designing or writing, I’ll play instrumental music.

When I hit a creative roadblock and fresh ideas seem hard to find, I remind myself that creativity is all about solving problems by perceiving the world in a new way. Looking for hidden patterns or connections between seemingly unrelated topics helps open my mind. I’ll read a book that wouldn’t normally interest me, or spark a conversation with a stranger. Challenging your mind is a great way to stay open and expand on ideas.

Creativity is all about solving problems by perceiving the world in a new way.

Further on the topic of having an open mind, I don’t think you can beat traveling. Being in a new place surrounded by different sights, smells and sounds seems to flip some sort of mental switch – I go from being on ‘autopilot’ to hyper-aware. We can’t all travel all the time, so training yourself to see your everyday surrounding in a new light is integral to having an open mind and free-flowing ideas.

Emma van Zaane – Art-Work collaborator and designer/stylist

New ideas? Everything old becomes new again. Many things have been done before, but that same thing has not yet been done by you – your history, your emotions and experiences shape the way you execute an idea, transforming it from something old to something new. Having the ability to draw from these experiences sets ideas apart and gives them life.

For me, new ideas come from various and often unrelated things.

My fashion background has influenced my love for textures – shine, metallics, colour. I find these things hugely inspiring and keep a store of textural images in my design arsenal – ready to whip out when I need some creative ammunition.

Following people that inspire me also helps me develop fresh ideas. Tim Burton reminds me to be brave and a little twisted, Yoshitaka Amano embodies the idea of turning dreams into realities and Alexander McQueen continually blurred the lines between life and theatre. With so much richness surrounding me, it’s easy to be inspired and find new ideas.

Tamika Keioskie – Art-Work collaborator and photographer

Everything starts with an idea...obvious right? But for me, the starting point to finding this fresh idea is always different. It could be a new location, a new collection or a new face. Once I have this, the idea starts to build and evolve, either through piecing together unrelated things that have been in my mind or researching the idea further.

I love fashion, and as a result I’m often inspired by anything fashion-related. To get into a creative mindset I usually explore anything from past Vogue or Russh magazines to online editorial, new designers or simply Pinterest. I enjoy finding concepts and building them into my own idea or interpretation that can form the base of a shoot.

When styling a shoot I find juxtaposition really helps in developing a new idea. I love it when things are out of place and as a result draw the viewer in and have them questioning the image or story.

Rules are meant to be broken, and unique, undiscovered combinations are waiting to happen – you just have to challenge yourself to see them.

One way to challenge yourself is to learn something new. For me, this really helps the generation of ideas. Experimenting with new equipment, post production or lighting techniques brings a different perspective to my work and helps me be more innovative in what I produce.

In summary, I think Tim Burton said it best by saying ‘It’s good as an artist to always remember to see things in a new, weird way.’ I absolutely relate to his view and I believe that fresh ideas come from taking something existing and looking at it differently – doing it your way!