Yesterday I talked about design as a service. The idea is that you are not designing to be creative, you're making something that helps other people to communicate more clearly. That's a good definition of design.
Chances are, these can send you to places where you might not feel like you are doing your most creative work. If you're like me, you chose a path in design because you enjoy art in general. In your day to day work it isn't certain that you will find an intersection between design and art you want to make. You can end up in a creative field and are not creatively challenging yourself if you're not careful. This can lead to frustration, feeling less creative and ultimately delivering work that isn't your best. How do you handle this?
Punch out of your design job once in a while and make art.
That's really it. Here are some reasons:
Creativity in art can influence your design thinking. The exploratory process of making art is a good practice for when creative solutions are needed in design. Science supports this idea. I'm out of my element with the science behind this but thinking creatively in art will support creativity elsewhere.
Remind yourself of the difference between art and design. Art is expression and design is communication. If you're making art outside of design work you will be "scratching an itch" so to speak. This allows you to include art as needed in design, instead of needing to include art in design.
There is room to be creative in design and you need to be ready to deliver - it's part of why you're qualified to do this work. When we are being creative we grow more than when we feel that our work is repetitive. Challenge yourself. If the work you are doing isn't challenging to you then you might not be giving it what you are able.
If you are an art-friendly designer and want to start a practice, today is a good day to begin. Creative Sprint starts today, 30 days of ideas for being creative. I'll be doing it as well.
There are many more benefits to making art outside of your original profession. I encourage you to find them - for your sake and for the sake of your work.