Creativity by the bucket-load


Yesterday evening, I presented to the North West’s Association for Coaching group on ‘creativity in coaching’. What an energising session it turned out to be: the two hours of material I’d prepared had to be squashed considerably as everyone was happy to participate in all the exercises and wanted to discuss their experiences at length.

In introducing herself to the group, one coach mentioned that she was currently ‘being branded’. To try to capture her brand identity, the designer had posed an intriguing question: “If you were a country, which country would you be?” I liked the way that this unusual question makes the brain search for an answer. Hers was New Zealand. What would yours be?

Perhaps it’s a design trait to ask such questions. My daughter is studying graphic design, and was lucky enough to be chosen to take part in a series of workshops with an eminent designer for big-name brands. His first (and unexpected) question to the group was ‘How would you depict yourself in a self-portrait as a graphic designer (without drawing yourself or mentioning your name)?’ Her response was to draw a child’s large, bright orange bucket and spade. Her reason?

“It represented how I feel as a designer at this moment, shovelling choice bits of what I’m learning into a mix to try and create a stand alone structure, or piece of work, whilst highlighting the importance of trial and error.”


What would your self-portrait be?


6 thoughts on “Creativity by the bucket-load

  1. Nice post. I love those metaphors that help us and our clients, to visualise the bigger picture. As for my self portrait; since setting up as a freelancer this year, after 12 years working for other people, I’ve felt a bit like one of those emerging spring buds, struggling to push itself out of the earth, worried I might get trod on, but optimistic and grateful when the sun shines a little. Cheers, Nick.

  2. the country’s easy – kenya πŸ™‚
    as for a self-potrait – right now i’m channelling the little one in today’s post – delighting in the simplest things πŸ™‚

  3. Lucia Supova

    Right now I feel like Sylt, the small danish island situated between Danmark and Germany πŸ™‚

    Or a bumblebee. The myth says he can not fly. But he does. Isn’t it a great myth? I like this mystic touch. But I also like the fact, that flying is at the end not so difficult…

    • Sue Brown

      Hi Lucia – love those images (especially the bumble bee). I think we often tell ourselves all sorts of myths πŸ™‚

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