Lessons learnt from creative entrepreneurs

This past year has confirmed that creativity is a super-power within us. Navigating through the pandemic has helped us find new ways to thrive.

The word created painted on a turquoise background with a paint pallet, pencil, rocket ship, and large lightbulb.

In this moment, the power of creativity and the ability for it to have a global impact has never been more relevant. Creativity is being used to speak out, to show support, and as a means to create change.

We have seen creativity used in the fight against racism, with artists such as Aurelia Durand using bold colours to talk about an important topic in ‘This Book is Anti-Racist’. We have seen it used to make the world a more inclusive place, with Izzy Wheels giving wheelchair users a chance to express themselves with bold, colourful wheel designs that show off their personalities. And campaigns such as ‘Create Not Hate’ from Quiet Storm exist to harness creativity, and to use it to build a more diverse society.

The events of the past year have confirmed that creativity is a super-power within each and every one of us. Navigating our own way through the pandemic has helped us find new ways to thrive, getting creative through work, as well as in how we look out for our physical and mental health. It has been a privilege to have spoken to some of the real creative game-changers during the pandemic, many of whom have reinforced this message.

One of those assertions came from Woodkid, who rounded off last year’s Adobe MAX. His words on working with constraints and why they can be a positive thing really resonated with me at the time. We are, after all, at our most creative when needing to overcome any restrictions — time, monetary, or physical — that are placed upon us.

And that sentiment was backed up by Noel Mack, Chief brand officer at Gymshark. He communicated the importance of ‘never giving up’ — and how especially the brand applied that mentality to the pandemic. When gyms shut, Gymshark quickly adapted its content to encourage their community to continue looking after their physical and mental health and keep moving with workouts they could do at home.

“You have to get creative in those situations instead. Working out is important to good physical and mental health — and we didn’t want our fans to struggle if they couldn’t access gyms. We pivoted our content to telling people what they could instead do at home to keep fit — producing videos with stay-at-home workout suggestions that didn’t require gym machinery.”

Noel Mack, Gymshark

Another inspiration has been Jamal Edwards. I learnt from him what a great leveller creativity can — and should — be. Jamal is a brilliant advocate for the creative power we all have inside of us. He is extremely passionate about helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds to use their creativity and explore different career paths.

“The creative potential from the untapped generation is huge. Delve, my youth initiative with Adobe, gives me a chance to help these kids explore their creative skills and see where they could apply them to a career. We all have creativity inside of us, and it’s an enabler to think big and try different things. Everyone deserves the same opportunities. Creativity, when properly explored, is a power that means all young people, regardless of background, can achieve whatever they want to.”

Jamal Edwards, JE Delve

And lastly, Joe Wicks has been such a role model for me personally over the past year. Just last week, Adobe welcomed Joe to do a live workout with our employees and their families. It was slightly surreal given he was dressed as Buzz Lightyear and I, his best mate Woody, but it is fair to say we were all left ‘Buzz-ing’ (sorry) with appreciation afterwards.

Joe is a brilliant proponent of creativity being a superpower. He embodies creativity through #PEwithJoe and is a big advocate of the role that exercise, nutrition, mindfulness, and even sleep can play in your mental and physical wellbeing. His Lean in 15 videos and recipe books, show what creativity can achieve. I know I’m not alone in seeing him as an inspiration. It is why so many have turned to him on a daily basis to help us through various lockdowns.

But there is one thing Joe said that has really stuck with me, “Don’t give up on your dreams. Success isn’t overnight.” Openness and vulnerability are an important part of being human and helping ourselves and each other. Yes, Joe is about physical transformation, but he is also about staying positive — and we have all needed motivation to do that in recent times.

Positive attitude and mindset help us adapt and recalibrate. It has been an odd year in so many ways, but I have learnt a lot. I have had the privilege of speaking to some amazing, inspirational people who have reinforced how creativity can be such a force for good — the company I have been lucky enough to keep in the last 12 months, the creative journeys I have witnessed, have really given way to some growth-inducing life lessons: never give up, try new things, and follow your dreams.

Adobe seeks to inspire, motivate, and encourage #Creativityforall. Learn more by visiting our CC discover page.