Nussbaum makes it clear: Creativity is contagious. “Hanging out with somebody creative and doing things together is probably the easiest way to learn to be creative,” he says. “Just working with them, seeing how they operate, how they see the world, learning from that—that’s the easiest way to enhance your creative intelligence.”
Socialization is generative for creativity. “Social interaction is very stimulating,” Nussbaum notes. Say you have plans to see a new art exhibition or attend a concert. Make a point to go with others who you’ll want to have a conversation with after or hash out your thoughts, opinions, questions, and ideas.
Even going out on the town can be a fruitful creative platform. “Nightlife is really important to your creative social life; your creative career is something to keep in mind when you go out,” he explains. “It’s not simply to have a lot of fun, but it’s who you’re meeting, who could be a part of your team, who could you learn from, who can teach you something.”
The caveat here, as Nussbaum is quick to say, is that many creatives are introverts, and place great value on the time they’re able to spend alone. “If you’re introverted, you have to ask yourself, ‘where am I getting my stimulation?’” You might need to make a concerted effort to meet new people, have conversations with your peers, and attend events.
Case in point, he adds, is that many (if not most) designers and creative people have a partner—someone who takes charge of the business side of the operation and things like branding and marketing, but also gives valuable feedback. “Finding someone you trust and can bounce ideas off is is very important.” A trusted friend can also be your greatest asset when you’re experiencing a creative block and need someone to talk to.