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 it means to them.

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 out 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 brain. Having said that, experts also agree creativity is a skill that can be practiced and developed to some degree.

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.

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

Who inspires you most to develop your own 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 own 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 focussed and eager to make an impact.

On the flipside, 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 the way you had 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 mainly 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.

From a digital and media perspective however, we’re exposed to such a wide range of channels, voices and experiences now that in theory, this 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 over and over, which just hampers creativity.

How do you keep developing your creativity?

I’m definitely 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 pics 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!

We’re really excited to have Yanar as our host for our next quarterly exclusive event for Fashion and Beauty brands! Get your tickets here:
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