Everyone has their own way of learning, trying new things or taking on a new adventure. Let’s call it a “Chapter of Growth.” This chapter is defined on how you approach everything in life.  I love to read so I look at everything as being a new chapter. I have tons of chapters, or mini stories of development, that makes me, well me.

What do stories and chapters have to do with growing and keeping your skills fresh? Well, I started out my life knowing I wanted to be an artist. My father was an artist and could draw or sculpt anything in his head.  He spent hours and hours teaching me the basic of shapes. By the time I was in fifth grade, I entered a design contest, which led to even more drawing and designing. This foundation is just one example of how learning and growing applies to the chapters in your life.

Here are other ways I personally grow my chapters and keep my design and media skills fresh:

  1. I read two books a month. One is educational and the other book is fiction or a nonfiction book not related to design. The key here is it to keep your imagination going.
  2. I follow blogs, Twitter feeds and keep up with trends through other social networks. I have learned so much in the past few months since I joined the HMA family. I never blogged before, and now I get to do it a lot!
  3. Change roles. Whether it be career-related or personal, you can change roles without leaving a company or changing your job function. Change how you view your job. Find new ways to innovate or improve your role. It keeps you fresh and peers will enjoy your outlook.
  4. Beta testing, beta testing, beta testing. I do tons of beta testing. I’m an Adobe Ambassador, and I participate in all the software Adobe puts out there. It teaches me the programs, and in return it helps develop great products we all enjoy. Not to mention, I also do beta testing for gaming as well. So you can say beta is where I love to be.
  5. Date night! This is here for two reasons. It recharges my batteries and allows me to relax and unwind. Also, it’s where I find my advocate, the person who is my strength, friend and my support system. No matter how awful my design or idea may be, that person smiles and says “Wow. That’s okay but really?” I have some wild ideas that might not always be the best, but I make the win because it creates a smile.

How do you sharpen your skills and stay creative?