We recently came acrossthis infographic and were wowed by the huge variety in the daily routines of famous people. So much so, that we decided to do some of our own research into the lives of famous creatives, giving you some tried and tested advice from those who’ve become successful in their creative niches.
Acclaimed contemporary US author, poet, dancer, playwright and essayist Maya Angelou was an extremely early riser, waking at 5:30 each day, and – after a short coffee stop – would commute to a nearby hotel or motel where she would work until evening, where she would then commute back home, prepare for dinner and read what she had written that day to her husband.
Father of the theory of evolution through natural selection, Darwin’s On the Origin of Species is a work of art as much as it is a regimented scientific treatise. However, he indulged an incredibly strict schedule. His day began with a stroll and breakfast alone, followed by an 8 am start with two 90 minute intervals of intense work separated by reading and writing letters with his wife. The rest of the day was spent doing the same, with each day ending at 10.30 on the dot.
Contemporary novelist, essayist and TV personality Will Self is well known for his political opinions and his fantastical writing style. However, he is less well known for his daily rituals. A quote from Self explains it all: “Rituals. Smoking–pipes, cigars, special brands, accessories, the whole bollocks. Coffee, tea, strange infusions – I have a stove on my desk. Fetishising typewriters, pens, etc.”
Famed Irish novelist and poet James Joyce, author of Ulysses, amongst other works, spent his mornings lounging around in bed. Beginning his day at 10am, he would sit in bed for an hour, before eventually getting up, shaving and sitting down at his piano to play before writing in the afternoon. Each day, Joyce would spend time in cafes, enabling him to soak in cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí ha d a rigorous routine, but was also rather fond of napping. Nobody can be creative forever! Dalí pioneered the “nap-with-key” technique. He would nap with a key in his hand, suspended over a metal plate. When he was just about to nod off, his hand would relax, the key would fall onto the plate, and he would wake up. According to Dalí: “Not a second more is needed for your physical and psychic being to be revivified by just the necessary amount of repose.”
So what can aspiring creatives learn? Here are some take-aways:
On the whole, it doesn’t seem to matter what your creative routine is, as long as it is routine.
Walk! Daily walks alone are part of plenty of famous creatives’ days. Take a note pad and allow your mind to wonder.
Nap! Nobody can be creative100%. Take time out to relax by napping, meditating or having a chat. You’ll come back to your creative task with more vigor.
Be pro-active. As painter Gerhard Richter explains: “It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.”
Embrace the peculiar: Smoke your pipe like Will Self, only work lying down like Truman Capote, and watch the sun rise with your coffee like Toni Morrison.
Hopefully, these tips will help you in your search for greater creativity. Famous creative people are productive, regimented and quirky. Adopt this mentality and see your creativity flourish.
The creative industry is brimming with talented individuals who are helping to shape our creative world. These industry A Listers have a wealth of knowledge and experience and Purple’s aim is to share their insights with our clients and candidates.
From CEOs, to Creative Directors, Heads of Technology to Talent managers, there are an array of professionals that are behind the workings of agencies and we want you to meet them! We will delve into what drives them, what challenges they face, their views on the industry and explore their careers, and we hope this will help to inspire the new generation of creatives.
This week Purple met the exuberant Pip Jamieson, CEO and Founder of The Dots:
After graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in Economics, Pip was recruited as a fast stream civil servant for the British government. Disillusioned with politics, she pursued her dream of working in the creative industries. First for the BPI in London, then as Strategy & Development Manager for MTV Networks Australia, where she spearheaded the team that launched two new local channels in New Zealand, MTV and Nickelodeon.
In 2009 she quit her dream job to co-found The Loop (www.theloop.com.au), which quickly grew into the leading professional networking site for creative professionals in the region. After 5 successful years Pip knew the potential of such a network in the UK, so that along with a longing to be back in London Pip returned and launched The Dots.
We met Pip on her house boat on the Thames, where we discussed her career journey, her passion for the creative industry and explored her top tips getting your brand out into the social world.
Jessica began her working life as a business analyst, but her true interest was within the marketing and branding arena. In 2005 she came across Prophet a consultancy that fuses insights, strategy, creativity and imagination to help clients create better ways to grow, and it is here she has worked her way up through the ranks to her current role.
1) What does an average day at look like to you?
Every day is really different because I work with a variety of clients across industries and project type. So I might be working with a large multi-national helping to improve their customer experience, or a large financial company on the digital strategy, or help a big dairy company figure out which brands they should focus on in their portfolio.
In any given week I am travelling to clients, luckily most of them are in pretty cool locations like Stockholm, Zurich, Berlin, New York; so I can often find that my day starts with a trip to Heathrow. Regardless of where I am in the world or the client I am working with, the first thing I do when I wake up is check my emails, being in consulting means there’s a certain amount of availability that is expected so I like to know what my day has in store for me.
When in the office I spend a lot of time with teams problem solving or planning. The rest of my time is spent with emails and on calls to ensure that we are on track and keeping our stakeholders updated. As I have got older, I’ve tried to take a little bit more of a break for lunch and working in Covent Garden we are not limited on choice of places to eat. I tend to work until relatively late before heading to the gym or to see friends.
2) What career path lead to your current role?
I started working life as a business analyst but as exciting as excel is, I never felt passionate about my job. The subject area that I had enjoyed the most was marketing and working with the brand team so I decided to try and focus on that. Then I found Prophet! I joined as an associate and worked my way up. I have never looked back.
3) What is your favourite thing about your role
I get to work and solve some really big problems. These ‘problems’ are important enough, that our clients are willing to pay for us to help them. We engage and work through the problems that are on the c-suite agenda and that’s really inspiring as these are the things which really makes a difference to a company and their performance. As a result we also get to work with really smart people who we can learn a lot from.
4) What has been the biggest challenge in your career?
Being relatively young for my role can be a challenge. But it just means that you have to establish credibility and build the trust and respect that you deserve.
5) What is your biggest work achievement to date?
I was awarded Propheteer of the Year which is our internal awards – it was a real honour given the calibre of people I work with. They are all super smart and passionate about life and what we do. So to be given the award that recognized all I put into my job was a big deal for me.
6) What advice would you give to a younger self?
Believe in yourself. Don’t doubt your ability, because when you want it enough you’ll get there. It doesn’t matter if things don’t go quite to plan or took longer than you wanted, in the grand scheme of things it is all good!
Check out the many other amazing interviews with amazing women in our industry, click here:
Every quater, Purple are treated to a social outing so the team can bond, kick back and relax out of the office. However in this dreary month of February, a meal or a drink just wasn’t going to cut it, so the Social Committee came up with something a little more adventurous…..
Star Command Laser Tag is a hidden gem in the heart of London! With the latest technology to give you the most exciting gaming experience and laser lighting to create cool effect you can really immerse yourself into the virtual world that is Star Command!
Purple headed to the venue in the West End of London and were split into two teams, GREEN and RED, then after an initial introduction and instruction from the Marshall we all got suited up and ready for Laser war!
The first 20 minute session went by in a flash of shrieking, running, hiding, bashing, shooting and laughing! We were all in need of a lie down, but there was only time to hear which team had won the session, recharge the guns and get back into position for session two! The second session had a little more strategy in place as everyone knew exactly what to do (and who to aim for!)
At the end of the game we piled out in fits of hysterics and awaited the individual and overall scores. It seems the RED team were by far the stronger shooters, beating the GREEN team in both sessions. A pat on the back to Kurt and Will for winning each round but a special mention to Amy “Sniper” Chettleborough who managed to hit one of the Green’s team players, on target, a whopping 44 times, compared the average which was about 12!
To complete the evening we headed to The Diner , in Covent Garden for beers and burgers to share the stories of (laser) war.
A hilarious night had by all. We look forward for returning for a rematch in the future!