Why playing music makes me a better designer

I strongly believe that what we do outside of our professional, creative domain changes the way we work inside it.

For as long as I can remember I have loved music. Perhaps I love it more than any other form of creativity. Maybe this is exactly why I don’t do it professionally.

I have found over the last few years, that exercising creativity in one way, influences your ability to make and imagine in pretty much every other way.

Playing music is a completely different experience to visual design. I’ve never been able to read music and whenever I’m playing I just go with what I feel. No plan, no rules (than can’t be broken). It is completely spontaneous.

This differs completely from my entire outlook on design, which is exactly why I always work best when I’m dedicating time to both. One without the other starts to take over my creative outlook, it starts to mould what I make in one single direction. I work best when I have both freedom and structure. You can never have too many creative outlets. After all:

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

~ Maya Angelou

Balance in music is exactly the same as in design. It’s about more than hanging elements together. It’s a reminder of whats been and a forecast, a prediction of what is to come.

Writing this blog is yet another creative outlet. So is photography, cooking, playing music and many other things.

I write, I make things, I play music, because my creativity demands it. Not because I simply feel like it.

Pursuing multiple creative outlets allows a growth of creativity that would not have come from one, closely held creative style.

Do you what to expand on your creative capacity? Start doing something creative that has absolutely nothing in common with your profession or favourite creative vocation. You may be surprised with the outcome.

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