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How to reclaim your Creative Confidence and claim your place in the Creative Economy as a designer

Illustration of Human Head with Mechanical Gears and Light Bulb inside it.

Confidence is so underrated nowadays as we almost forgot how to be confident enough to create or introduce something new in the world. Though new innovations are sprouting daily, there is only so much so-called crazy ideas that pop up into reality and that’s where creative confidence peeks in.

4 steps of how a commodity is turned into an experience, taking example of coffee beans as commodity and a branded coffe mug as the depiction of experience

Creative Confidence is about building your belief on the ability to create change in the world around you and, is a conviction that everyone is creative and creativity isn't just a skill for creating music, art, or drawings, but rather an approach to life.

It is like a muscle - it can be strengthened and nurtured through effort and experience, can be obtained when you try something you've never done and learn something new about yourself from the fresh experiences you indulge in. And as a professional designer, don’t you think that you need this skill the most?

Design experts like David M. Kelly went further and wrote a book on Creative Confidence along with his brother Tom - Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential within us all. You should check it out if you really want to boost your potential and the creative economy that is built as a result.

The connection between Creative Confidence

and Creative Economy

Oh, do you begin to think whether you have innate creative confidence within you?

As said, creative confidence is like a habit that we keep on practicing in little of the tasks we do on a daily basis and a designer should breathe it.

Here are a few ways you can wake your

creative confidence up:

1. Growth mindset

With a creative leap, design thinking facilitates breakthrough innovation. It is built on maintaining a growth mindset despite the unknown nature of the results and effects. The first stage of creative purpose is confronting and overcoming fear, shame, and failure, whether with bold objectives or little actions.

While most innovative approach focuses on technological and commercial viability, design thinking prioritises people-centric factors. Human behaviour, motivation, wants, goals, and beliefs are included in design thinking's observation and empathy-based approach.

2. Constant learning

Self-efficacy, or confidence in your inherent capacity to effect change, can empower you to take on more difficult problems in the future, endure longer, and bounce back from setbacks. The Wright brothers and Thomas Edison are two inventors who survived thousands of unsuccessful efforts before finding success.

Fear of doing poorly also extends to solitary endeavours like public speaking and drawing, which are crucial in the discussion and demo stages of invention. The foremost part of overcoming your fear of failing is to constantly push yourself. Practice builds a knowledge base of experience and a tenacious mental attitude.

3. Creative insights

Curiosity, optimism, persistence, and a propensity for action and experimenting are the fuel that propels innovation. It is driven by the spark of creativity, which may be honed through methods like relaxed attention, constructive daydreaming, field observation, reframing settings, and asking "five whys" (deeper questions).

Office design can be changed at the organisational level to facilitate writing down practical ideas using chalkboards. Travel opens up the generation of novel concepts and comparisons to different sectors.

4. Do something - literally

Planning and quick prototyping are balanced with an emphasis on action. It is preferable to fiddle with something than to sit back and think about it. Keeping track of issues or trends is a fine place to start, but it's crucial to close the "knowing-doing" gap that has paralysed many businesses (such as Kodak).

It is preferable to get numbers and energy going when developing MVPs rather than obsessing on quality in the early stages. Instead of waiting for a complete budget or the perfect moment, creative limits might actually inspire greater ideas. Francis Ford Coppola, the director, quips, "the smaller the budget for my movie, the more chances I can take."

5. Building a team culture

A leap of faith (through coaching and practice), the quest for confidence (search for validation), and comprehensive integration are Mauro Porcini of 3M's descriptions of the five design phases in a company's journey (DNA of design thinking).

Jet Blue employed a diverse group of participants to create better preparations for handling disasters, and P&G employs a large number of facilitators who have undergone training in order to foster an environment where feedback is shared and prototypes are discussed. Not just your creative confidence, try to also build it within your team's scope and see the magic happen, and that’s how you step into a creative economy successfully.

Now, what is a creative economy?

A creative economy is based and depends on people's use of their creative imagination to increase an idea's value. In regard to design, the product’s design is so extraordinary in the most important dimension that it inspires positive emotions in your customers.

In the nine economies that were analysed, the creative economy employs close to 20 million people.

Take Instagram, Uber, Netflix, Facebook and so on. These are giant companies that sell an experience rather than giving you a product to start with.

Displaying 6 logos of Instagram, Uber, Airbnb, Alibaba, Netflix, and Facebook as examples

Why do you binge-watch Netflix from dawn till dusk?

Why do you scroll through Instagram for hours and hours?

Why do you choose Uber rather than taking public transport?

They own a larger part of the economic status because they know what the users exactly want and convert it into an everlasting experience.

Isn’t mindblowing how the giant companies know so much about the growth of the creative economy and already winning the game?

The creative economy is responsible for telling our tales, and the creative works we leave behind will probably influence how future generations see us. In this economy, experience is valued over the product itself. The new generation spends their money on desirable experiences as compared to buying a desirable product.

It's an evolution in the economy space; we started with the Agrarian economy (commodity exchange), evolved into an industrial economy with goods, shifted to a service economy and now thriving through an experience economy.

inforgraphic displaying 4 steps of commodity, Goods, Services, and Experience

Extract < Make < Deliver < Stage

The biggest media franchise, Pokémon, started off as a video game in Japan but has now expanded to include goods, card games, movies, and manga publications, all of which bring in billions of dollars worldwide.

Although Harry Potter book sales are quite strong globally, they trail behind movie ticket sales and merchandise sales.

In the UK, Winnie the Pooh is first published as a book, but it eventually makes money from both retail and movie theatre sales.

In Japan, Mario first appears in video games. However, he also makes billions of dollars via goods and manga publications.

People started searching for new experiences than using a product and getting the same result every time. Why? Because the world is rapidly growing and nothing seems to stay the same at the time. As design professionals, it’s high time we need to prioritize crafting the experiences over the tangibles.

This is not a race to run but a disciple to thrive in whatever design sector you work at passionately to become and deliver better.

Creative confidence is not only a mindset but professional practice for designers to meet expectations from the creative economy.

Graphic design, industrial design, and UX design are just a few of the design fields that are already seeing an extraordinary increase in demand. The number of internal design studios and design consultants in major sectors is also rising. More designers are beginning their own businesses as a result of improved access to financing and markets, which multiplies their chances. The current businesses are further combining by expanding the services they offer across several design disciplines.

International businesses are concentrating on India as a potential new market for their goods and services. To comprehend the local market, multinational firms will need to collaborate with Indian designers. Indian enterprises and international firms will require the help of Indian designers to better understand the Indian customer and to satisfy the wants and goals of this assertive, active, and informed consumer. This shines a brighter spotlight than ever before on the design sector.

There will be more independent designers as a result of the demise of huge retail formats and the rise of social media platforms like Instagram. Conceptual designers and those with fresh, original ideas stand to gain from the democratisation of design. The buyer will search for a designer who shares his taste and ideals.

Design and creativity are seen as key differentiators in all fields of endeavour. Systems, IT, hospitality, infrastructure, health, and governance are all starting to function as design canvases.

As a creative person, you should approach every circumstance and issue by considering all of the potential solutions. Never assume anything to be routine. Take advantage of any chance right away, even if it's a lockdown. Life continues and doesn't wait for anyone. Establish a network and engage. Try new things. Gain new knowledge.

Additionally, locate a mentor who will support you in pushing your boundaries. Make a supportive group of uplifting, accepting individuals who won't pass judgements but grow with you.

Remember what I said before, the growth mindset is a must.

Unlock your Creative Confidence

Illustration of a man pointing upwards while holding a paper in his other hand. Surrounded by various Icons related to creativity and innovation

“The history of discovery is full of creative serendipity” - Tom Kelly, author and IDEO Partner

The benefit of design excellence has to be better communicated through creative confidence along with a mix of empathy, analytical and intuitive, and deductive and inductive approaches that efficiently manage the innovation process - eventually making the creative economy a better place.

In addition to designers and creative people; creative confidence is for everyone who wants to implement a strong, efficient and widely accessible innovation method that can be incorporated into every aspect of an organisation, product, or service in order to create fresh options for both enterprises and society.

You may embrace constant learning and design your whole life once you've developed your creative confidence for your initial set of projects or tasks. Expand your perspectives and skills so that you can become the "go-to" person for innovative thinking and inspire others to do the same.

You, a designer at heart and hand, push yourself to challenge your brain; you’ll be amazed at the creative confidence within you.


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