Creativity & Innovation Secrets

Celebrating Your Uniqueness & that “Creative-Look” Uniform

Successful Artists and Designers (aka creative professionals) are independent thinkers who can not only be extremely individualistic but are also able to channel that individuality towards creating their masterpieces. Similarly, you have to celebrate your uniqueness, express it and build upon it, and only then can you succeed in creating value. This is fundamental to creation and innovation. For example, when starting a business, don’t underestimate your experiences and learnings that have gotten you this far. Leverage those experiences and learnings in the choice of the business you create and the direction it takes.

Celebrate Your Uniqueness

 “You” as an individual and “You” as a company (collectively) have to understand that you (or your employees/colleagues), your personality (or company culture), background, and your current status/situation is unique and cannot be compared to that of anyone else. Your background and those experiences and learnings are what define you. The moment you accept them for what they are/have been and let them come through and be expressed in your creation, you will create something of value.

You cannot create until you get to know yourself — the “I”. Knowing yourself and being in touch with your individuality and being comfortable with it, is the first step. It is only then that you can begin to create. The creation has to be a unique expression of yourself. Discover yourself first, and make choices that are congruent with your own self — your unique background, experiences, values, and aspirations. Before you start creating that venture or that product or that marketing campaign — go on that journey of self-discovery. Ask. Think. Why are you doing it? What do you stand for and believe in? What are your core values and principles? Communicate that understanding internally. Then start creating and incorporating those elements of the discovered self in everything you do; letting them reflect through your products/services/your creation. 

The Oxymoronic “Creative-Look” Uniform

As you take inspiration from the “creative-types”, do not be fooled by or be led astray by the superficiality of the "Wannabes". Picture the stereotypical image of the “creative” rebel artist — long unruly hair and tattoos or piercings. Can it help one stand out when every other creative professional/wannabe dons the same look?! 

Are they defying the norm or trying to fit into the norm…?!

Perhaps they are hoping that sporting that typical “creative” image borrowed from that famous artist/designer would somehow convert them into one as well?!

The wannabe artists  and designers feeling the need to stand out and be “different”, often follow that “designer” look popularized by a famous designer — for example, the "Le Corbusier Parisian designer look" — wearing an all-black outfit with thick black-rimmed glasses. Are they defying the norm or are they trying to fit into the norm of the way an artist/designer is supposed to dress up/look?! It is a great oxymoronic example of “group-thinking” by an otherwise “individualistic” group. Perhaps they are hoping that sporting that typical “creative” image borrowed from that famous artist/designer would somehow convert them into one as well?! 

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San Francisco today exemplifies this oxymoronic case of the creative look uniform — when almost everyone in the city wears that hipster red and/or a hat, and sports a full beard, in an attempt to stand out. Or when every software programmer or a start-up employee tries and fits into a stereo-typical look that has come to define them. Ironically while trying to stand-out, they unknowingly end up blending into everyone else in the city/their tribe — becoming a part of that “uniform” look. While the above architect and hipster looks are literal examples of following the “Creative-Look” by the wannabes, the concept can be extended metaphorically to folks following the stereotypical lifestyle/mannerisms/attitude of a musician/entrepreneur/artist, without putting in the requisite work in creating the underlying masterpiece of value. Be comfortable with who you are and dress the way you want to! Let your creation help you stand out instead.

Be comfortable with who you are, and dress the way you want to. Let your creation help you stand out instead.


Learn more in the book ‘Creativity Secrets’: “CREATIVITY SECRETS: Creativity & Innovation Secrets for Design | Business | Art”, 2018 by Abhay Bhargava (Wharton grad, artist, entrepreneur).


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