Chip Dizárd

Church Media and Technology Expert

5 ways to stay in the Creative Zone

Creative Zone

Working as a creative professional can be tough.

You look for inspiration every time you open a software program and start with a blank canvas. Many of us feel that our best work is ahead of us and if this is true, here are some strategies for keeping that edge while creating work:

1. Partner with someone who can push your creativity

Creativity doesn’t happen alone, it happens when you happen to share an idea.  For example, I was about to film Pastor Lola Moore and I needed inspiration so I called my friend Philip Small, a filmmaker in New York who gave me some great advice.  If you try to do it alone, you will be stuck time and time again. The Bible calls this Iron sharpens Iron.

2. Keep creating

This is something I can’t stress enough to my students. Even in the video below by Ira Glass stresses the amount of time you need to put in to be good at something. Malcolm Gladwell also references it by calling it the 10,000 hour rule.

3. Be ready and open to criticism

The work that we do is public and you can’t be an artist, musician, editor, or painter without showing work.  I view criticism like going to the supermarket, you leave some things on the shelf and you take some things with you to the cash register to check out.  Don’t let it get you to high or too low, because it will come and it can hurt sometimes.

4. Look at other people’s work, but carve out your own niche

I am inspired by so many video professional’s work, but I wanted to have my own style and own niche. It doesn’t have to have a name like the Ken Burn’s Effect or Hitchcock zoom but own your work and make it uniquely yours.

5. Build a reputation for excellence

If timing is everything, reputation is the only thing.  Some of my best work has come from things that have not been “paid” gigs, but things that I am creating for volunteer organizations.  This also helps you build your portfolio of work and helps you get better at creating.

When your name is mentioned what comes to mind? Everyone wants to be associated with someone who does great work. It gets shared around the web and social media.  What can you do today to stay sharp and continue to create great content?   View the video below featuring Ira Glass. Also, read  the book “The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice”  (affiliate link)

2 Replies

  1. Ericafhunter

    Hi Chip,
    It is a breath of fresh air to see another creative educator. I am a Graphic Design Professor in Mobile, AL. I added editing to my resume personally and professional however, I never had any training on operating a camera. I feel this is the one thing that hold me back on properly educating my students as well as myself. 

    Do you have any suggestion there is not a film school in my city and I can not go off I have a family and that would be impossible. Do you have any suggestions? 

    Please Help! 
    Erica Hunter 
    ericafhunter@gmail:disqus .com 

    Facebook/ Erica Hunter

    1. Hi Erica, 

      Thanks for your comment. There are so many sites out there to learn.  You can try  or and I have a site  

      I will email you some other resources as well. Stay encouraged because you can do it, I didn’t have a lot of film education and I am teaching it now.