To be creative is to break barriers and predefined ideas of what it is to be creative, and it will be here where I am going to demystify some of those ideas and to give some possible ways that I have found over my 44 years of living and 24 years of working.

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I am not creative!

Some people think they are not creative at all. Some are because they do not know how to draw, Others believe it is just not suited for them. But that is actually not true, all of us are the sum of experiences, inspirations and moments that makes us unexpected creative persons. Sometimes, a single sentence in a chat over a cup of coffee is the beginning of an activation or a concept for an event. And a lot of times we are happily surprised by that coworker that can make a good joke that, later, will serve as the basis for a concept. And why not? All we have to do is to be attentive and take notes of everything. Some day it will make sense, and one day it will be real.

I had a drawing teacher once that told me “everyone knows how to draw. Maybe it will not be in the first or the second line, but if we keep repeating, we will end up evolving”. I strongly believe in the idea and use it everyday in several areas of my life. Surely, my first drawings, or my first risotto weren’t that good, but it is all part of the process. To repeat, to fail and to repeat. I was involved in proposals that failed miserably, but that originate methods that brought me good outcomes. To fail leads to progress.

We can learn anything. But requires repetition, a predisposition to fail and repeat until we reach a satisfactory point. A lot of times we need to learn how to “edit” our ideas and to create a necessary distance to look again and, if needed be, erase and start over. It is not a mistake or a problem, it is a process. And to be Creative is not a state, is a process of constantly evolving.

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To be creative is enlightenment!

Another preconceived idea about the art people, that they are born with some sort of gift, of blessing. This idea could not be more wrong. Creativity is a training muscle and there are a lot of exercises to tone it up and get it ready for the different challenges ahead.

One of the most important and significant exercises is to learn how to disconnect the devices and from the deadline pressure. My mom used to tell me: “ It is more worth it to work one hour firmly than to try for 3 hours unsuccessfully”. If you feel you are at a dead end, turn back and redirect your journey. Find inspiration in other places, in the cinema, TV or in toys. A good thing about this area is that inspiration is everywhere. And in the last years, due to the circumstances, we were forced to disconnect and to look with a different look to the wide world we have inside our houses. We learnt with our children dealing with boredom and to accept that, when there is so little we can do to change things, the best we can do is to accept and use what is around us to build pillow houses, spaceships, piñatas, swings, bread, movie rooms, masquerade balls and beauty salons.

To understand the importance of disconnecting and how it is vital to charge our creative and personal batteries. To get some air, go hiking or run in the city. In a visit to a museum or to just wander in the city streets. I had a teacher once who challenged me to do a very simple exercise: to register all the things I have never seen before, on my way from home to the bus stop. To make it happen, I had to walk slowly, take pictures, raise my head, and look at the lamps, the tiles, the illuminated screens, etc…the outcome was overwhelming.  I could not believe that, in the 14 years living in that street and in those 100 meters, there were so many things that I had not noticed before that could be a source of inspiration and that were always right under my nose.

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To be creative is to find new problems everyday…

In every creative manual or guide, you can find the famous quote: “think outside the box”.

A lot of times, just to start a new project with the idea “today I will do something different”, challenges you to find more bold and risky solutions. And why not leave the computer and start to draw the first ideas in a notebook, without internet, pinterest, only pencil and eraser. A lot of times we tend to grab the first idea and then it is so difficult to leave it, even when we start seeing problems in that solution, we insist until the end. But it is important to learn to leave those ideas. If it is not meant to be, it is not meant to be, there is no point in forcing it.

So many times, even our creativity is challenged in areas we thought it was not possible to be creative. When I joined Multilem I had never presented a project until the day when I was told “Chico you will present this project!”… OK, let’s do this. It was that desire to explore the unknown and the challenge to do different things that gave me the necessary adrenaline to make it go well. And it is how it is, sometimes we need to change ways so we can be surprised and acknowledge a new creative ability in us.

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Be creative and have fun

Since 2018 (the year I started working at Multilem), I have watched this company evolving in an incredible way. Unavoidably, I feel this growth because, once you get into Multilem, you are part of a whole. And my growth has been escorted by Multilem’s growth, in a two-way process where I am challenged to overcome myself and where I have space to challenge the predefined ideas and, with that, to surprise our clients with innovative projects that often exceed my expectations.

To accept the creativity in our life is a blessing. And all these lessons I carry with me and use in every area of my life. At work, with family and in love. Nothing is disconnected and everything is part of a whole. To do something different, to follow your gut, to value all the people and to work hard. To get to the end of the day and say, today I am grateful, today I was creative.

By Francisco Bolila, Deputy Art Director. 

Read our last article – Vasco Santos: FOR A WORLD AND MULTILEM MORE SUSTAINABLES, here.