The occupation of multidisciplinary creative problem solver is a strange one.
When we bring our minds to bear on a problem we bring the culmination of all of our experiences. This makes professional development a bit of a tricky thing. Pursuing development requires us to reach beyond practicing the craft directly. We need to:
- Gather input: Draw in new inspiration and expressions that can come from unlikely places
- Strengthen: Harden our brains to the experience of stress and mental duress while we work out the complexities of how to communicate in given media/mediums
- Prepare for output: Recharge our mind to be ready to produce creative output
We’ve noticed long walks are an invaluable tool for creative professional development. This Sunday morning we went on a 20km team building walk over a 4–5 hour period in preparation for the coming week. We thought we’d quickly share why we think they’re wonderful.
- Isolation: While walking, you’re unable to undertake other work or produce output. The walk is a contract with your subconscious allowing it to confidently let go of the anxious feeling of needing to output anything creative (or otherwise). It ain’t gonna happen when you’re putting distance under your feet.
- Absurdity: Long walks encourage us to experience hardship that doesn’t come directly from work. This diminishes the negative impact of work stress by comparison, making it more manageable. It’s a fun way to get perspective.
- Physical capability: A sense of control over your environment or ability to move through it can lower baseline stress allowing us to invest more into work before hitting our limits.
- Opportunities to be surprised: Keep your eyes up an open. Take in the details around you to observe what is convention, where has design succeeded, where has it failed, etc. Observe colour, shape, light, and behaviour. The world is your teacher.
We hope this inspires you to get out and enjoy the world around you.
(Photo by Julianna Funk)