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2 minute read

Exploring creativity with Online Editor and Digital Consultant Yanar Alkayat

Creativity is a difficult thing to quantify, as it means a lot of different things to different people.

In this series we’re asking a writer, a designer, a consultant, and an artist what creativity means to them.

Yanar Alkayat, Online Editor and Digital Consultant

Here’s looking at you, Yanar!

What does creativity mean to you, and how do you express it?

It’s being imaginative, doing something different, expressing an idea or vision, or solving a problem in a new and interesting way. It’s also avoiding the norm and generally seeking alternative ways to do, say or create.

Do you think some people are born with more creativity than others? How can someone overcome this?

I think it’s partly down to inputs we receive and expose ourselves to and partly genetics, well, that’s what the scientists say. Some studies have shown highly creative people have slightly different characteristics and channels in their brains. Experts also agree creativity is a skill that can be practiced and developed to some degree.

A friend runs an arts company for corporate events, and that’s all about bringing out the arty side of people.

So even if you don’t think you’re a creative person, if you were given the chance or put into a situation you might surprise yourself at how imaginative you can be.

Yanar Alkayat, Online Editor and Digital Consultant

Who inspires you most to develop your creativity?

I like reading business, entrepreneur, and start-up news (particularly women in business, tech and innovation) not only because I’m a bit of a geek but because I’m interested in how people grow, develop, market products, solve problems, and produce innovative work.

I sort of hope this seeps into my subconscious and ignites a spark of creativity in my work. One can only hope!

What’s the most creative environment you’ve been in?

Working for a start-up can force creativity as budgets might be limited, but the business is hungry for growth. This can bring out the best in people’s creativity, as it did at BeautyMART where I was online editor. The team was small, very focused, and eager to make an impact.

On the flip side, I’ve also freelanced for creative agencies where there’s freedom and space to craft something cool and innovative, thanks to big budgets.

Do you have a story of when you tried to be creative, but maybe it didn’t end as you envisioned?

There have definitely been times I’ve tried to flex my creative wardrobe skills but just ended up looking like an extra from Hansel and Gretel.

Many people believe that we’re in a ‘Creativity Crisis’ — what do you think about that?

I'm afraid I mainly have to disagree, but I can understand where the sentiment comes from with kids spending so much time staring at devices and not exploring their own imagination.

However, from a digital and media perspective, we are exposed to a wide range of channels, voices, and experiences, and that, in theory, should mean we can enrich our creativity through all sorts of influences.

However, what inevitably happens is we get bogged down visiting the same sites and viewing the same channels, which hampers creativity.

How do you keep developing your creativity?

I’m guilty of getting bogged down with the same old same, so I try to make a conscious effort to get out of my comfort zone and regularly read / do / see new things — not just swipe through pretty pictures on Instagram!

Having one or two creative friends also helps, so I’ll cheat and check out what they are reading/ doing/ seeing too.

Plus I’m slightly obsessed with what people wear and how they style their hair, so I’ll be on street-style alert out and about.

Never a dull moment!