How to spark imagination in everyday life
Last year, I was fortunate to speak at the Women in Focus: Real Stories event, presented by the Commonwealth Bank. After my keynote, a woman from the audience asked me an interesting question. After learning that I’d worked in a bank before founding dog&boy, she asked how I’d contained my creative streak in such a corporate environment – as if my imagination must have been stifled. I loved this question, because it got me thinking about what it means to be creative.
Art is just the beginning
As the owner of a design-orientated business, I am fortunate to be creative every day. However, even when I worked in corporate, I always considered myself a creative person. My passion for solving problems and learning how things work began long before I picked up a pattern or started playing with colour palettes.
In my former life in banking, I was responsible for operational risk. It doesn’t sound like the most exciting role, but you’d be surprised by how creative it was. A big part of my job was to review processes and look for business improvement opportunities. That meant thinking outside the box, challenging the status quo and considering the bigger picture. Creativity was critical to my role, albeit in a non-traditional way.
Even within dog&boy, the creative elements of the business extend well beyond designing scarves. Whether it’s tweaking the website, streamlining logistics or experimenting with marketing strategies, we’re always adapting our processes to see what works best. What resonates with followers? Why makes a particular scarf so popular? How can we refine the dog&boy brand to deliver the most memorable customer experience. Designing scarves is exciting, but the business side can be just as fun – and more creative than most people think.
Creativity is a mindset
The thing about creativity is that it’s not just something you do. It’s more than painting a picture, writing a poem or performing on stage, because even these things can be methodical. To me, creativity is a mindset that anyone can tap into.
Oprah Winfrey famously said, “Anything you can imagine, you can create.” Simply approaching life with this attitude – an empowering belief that you can be creative – goes a long way to making it happen. It opens you up to new possibilities and encourages you to be inquisitive. So, regardless of whether you’re an artist, an athlete or an office manager, you find ways to solve problems and use your imagination. You actively seek creativity out.
Have you ever had an Uber driver offer you a Starburst instead of the mandatory mint Mentos? That’s creativity in action. Kids are another great example. They’re always questioning, always asking ‘why?’. They approach life with a sense of curiosity that seems to fade with age. But, with a subtle shift in mindset, it’s easy to recapture – no art kit required.
Why not start with your scarf collection?
If you’re keen to ignite your creativity, there are a million places to start. All you need is to move the needle (even a millimetre) from where you are now. Try a new recipe for dinner this week, take a walk outside on your lunch break, or try my personal favourite – style your go-to dog&boy scarf in a completely different way!
When you start experimenting with the endless styling options, you’ll see how a few strategic knots and twists can transform not only your wardrobe but your attitude too. Feeling bold and daring? Twist a square design into a stunning headscarf and embrace your inner bohemian. Prefer to start small? Try styling an oversized scarf into a gorgeous criss-cross or cowl, instead of just throwing it over your tee.
Tiny changes like these – together with an open mind and a desire to be creative – are all you need to spark more imagination in everyday life. Imagination leads to innovation. Creativity leads to fun. And all roads lead to a richer life, full of twists, turns and surprises.
What’s your favourite way to get creative?
Do you have a go-to trick to unlock creativity? Have you solved a pressing problem or done something left of centre lately? I’d love to know your tips for living a more creative life. And I’d REALLY love you see your ideas for styling dog&boy scarves. Comment below or tag us on Facebook or Instagram to show us your imaginative style.