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Unwrap creativity!

For me, the festive break is the most wonderful break of them all.

Emails quieten, requests reduce, and those always-on thoughts fade a little.

But work never completely stops. This time is an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve achieved and where we’ve reached. And also, to explore thoughts for the future. But work, play, and creativity all merge in my mind.

‘Tis the season for many things, regardless of whether Christmas is your thing.

The festive break holds an appealing power to refuel your creativity. As we prepare to say farewell to another year, it’s the perfect time to explore why this season can enhance creativity and why rest is the unsung hero for all imaginative minds.

I might not be a Wise Man carrying gifts on a donkey, but I can offer you my thoughts on why this break can be magical…

 

The gift of rest The gift of rest

Rest is not just about snoozing in front of a cheesy festive film; it’s a vital ingredient for our creativity too. Like a computer that needs shutting down to install updates, our brains require downtime to process information, make connections, and conjure new ideas. The festive break offers this crucial hiatus, allowing our minds to refuel and recharge our creative energy.

Without adequate rest, creativity can become clogged up with a brain that’s bogged down in the day-to-day, it can be challenging to focus, and it diminishes the ability to think abstractly. Taking breaks, getting enough sleep, and allowing time to rest is essential for nurturing and enhancing creativity.

 

The gift of time

The gift of time

Creativity blossoms with time and space. With the hustle and bustle of work and other aspects of life momentarily on pause, we finally have the luxury to delve into hobbies, read that book that’s been gathering dust, or take longer walks. These activities fertilise the imagination, sparking fresh perspectives and new ideas.

But it’s not just about the new. What about exploring that idea that’s been lurking in the back of your mind for a while? Are you ready to make it happen or park it for another time?

 

The gift of experiences

The gift of experiences

Whether trying out a new recipe (let me know if you’d like a comms cookbook), experimenting with crafts, or exploring different cultural festivities, the holiday season offers many opportunities to immerse ourselves in novel experiences. These moments of novelty stimulate our brains, nudging us out of our comfort zones and towards fresh ideas and possibilities.

Sometimes, even doing the things you don’t enjoy can lead to unexpected places and outcomes.

 

The gift of play

The gift of play

Amidst the cheerful chaos of the holidays, games often take centre stage in many households. From classic board games to interactive video games, these playful activities are more than just entertainment—they catalyse creativity.

Consider games like Pictionary, where sketching clues fosters visual thinking and communication skills. Or delve into imaginative games using storytelling dice, where weaving narratives ignites the creative spark. Even strategy-based games like chess or problem-solving adventures can stimulate the brain’s lateral thinking, encouraging fresh approaches to challenges.

 

 

If you’ve been following our creativity calendar, you may have already enjoyed some quick drawing and writing games to get you started.

For your creative powers to be at their strongest, rest isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. The festive break isn’t just about Snowballs (the drink) and baubles; it’s a sanctuary for nurturing the imaginative spirit within. So, this season, unwrap the gift of creativity and enjoy the rest.

After all, ’tis the season to be creative and have a very Happy Restmas! 

 

 

 

 

By Alan Oram for Alive!

“The guys at Alive understand the complexities of our business which means we don’t need to explain the detail of every project or design piece – they’re already on it, which keeps things moving and delivers the results we need.”

Emily Stoten — Head of Marketing, Selecta

“I feel like they own and care for the project as much as we do! I would not use anyone else for my creative work and think Alive is ahead of the game.”

Jo Hobbs — Communications Manager

“Thanks for all your help. We are delighted with the campaign, both in terms of the creativity and messaging but also the thought taken over the rollout of the materials. All looks absolutely fabulous!”

Sarah Crowdy — Campaign and Media Officer Communications, South East Water

“We went to ‘Alive’ for ideas on how to run a specific employee program in Europe. Alan and his team were brilliant in coming up with fresh, creative and practical approaches. The team took charge and executed brilliantly. We are pleased with the progress made so far and hope to have the same level of partnership and commitment going forward.”

Sobha Varghese — Tata Consultancy Services

“We got 'Alive' involved to help us shift mindsets across our organisation and they delivered! Using simple, clear and creative ideas the team have delivered us a campaign which has seen a dramatic increase in idea sharing and development. They’ve also played a significant role in creating a culture of shared success. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with again, in fact, we already are!”

Gavin Buckle — B&Q

“Alive were there to help when we were working every hour to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. They gave us the creativity, ideas and support we needed to deliver campaigns which empowered our residents in the most difficult time most of us have ever seen, personally and professionally. The team understood what we needed, worked closely with us and delivered fast without any compromise on quality. Working with Alive has been a joy in the darkest of times and I have no doubt will have helped to save lives. Thanks team x”

Julie Odams, Assistant Director of Communications & Customers — Derbyshire County Council

“If you are looking to improve creativity and build teamwork, I highly recommend a session like this for your team. No matter where you are in your creativity journey, a workshop like this can give your team a boost of energy and ideas to invigorate their creative thinking.”

Amy Lilja, IC Manager — Hennepin Healthcare

“Boom!
Thank you so much. Incredible work done at incredible speed by incredible people.
Outstanding work as ever and what a turnaround. As for the concepts – wow. These are that good it would be an insult to describe them as just good. It’s a joke, quite frankly. This is exactly the Alive effect I was after. Right now I feel like I am living in an Alive With Ideas wonderland. Thank you!”

Jack Grasby, Campaigns Manager — SYFR

“Our company is fun, we have great brands, but most importantly we’re all about our people – and I wanted an agency who would understand that and help us bring it to life through our website and other comms. Straight away I felt that Alive ‘got’ us and provided the creative inspiration exactly where we needed it, as well as the technical expertise to deliver a well-functioning website.”

Keren McCarron, Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications — KP Snacks

“This looks amazing - brought a smile to my face scrolling through it :-)”

Jack Ford, Head of Marketing — streamGO

“We worked with the team at Alive to create our staff recognition video.
At a time like this, its never been more important to share the amazing work that our staff have done and continue to do on a daily basis under very difficult circumstances. We wanted to shout about this and recognise that when the time came, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue stepped up to the plate. We didn’t want an ordinary thank you post on social media or a basic email sent out internally, we wanted something special. Enter Alive. ”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“The (Alive) team were able to creatively pull together and document (in just over 2minutes) everything our service has achieved over the last few months, from thousands of prescriptions deliveries to hundreds of phone calls made to the vulnerable. The final product was so powerful and reflective of what our service has and continues to achieve. It couldn’t have been better received within the service – thanks Alive for once again helping us to communicate our vision!’”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire & Rescue

“Alive were professional, friendly and great to work with. Most importantly they were creative, helping us to bring an extremely important safety campaign to life.”

Jack Grasby — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“Alive helped us create a video of our response to the floods of winter 2019. Our Chief Officer received messages from all round the country praising us for it and was really pleased with both the video and the response to it.”

Alexander Mills, Communications Manager — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“Alive are unique in how much they deeply listen and invest in you and your ideas. I have not come across a company that listens as much as they do to ensure your needs are understood and met (actually - they always exceed my needs and expectations). Everyone I recommend Alive to has an equally brilliant experience. When you work with Alive, you are not only getting some genius creativity brought into your life, you are also hanging out with some of the best examples of human beings I’ve ever known.”

Steph Tranter, Hybrid Exec Coach & Psychologist — StephTranter.com

“What I really appreciate about Alive is that they work with us as partners, and care as much about getting it right for our patients as we do.”

Sara Langston, Patient Engagement & Marketing Manager — italk

“Each time I work with the team, I am always stunned at the effort and creativity that goes into each detail and am always eager for the end result. The team is extremely accommodating and always provide a fresh approach to our projects that elevates our communications materials!”

Alana Khaytin, Communications Specialist — Braskem America

“This is brilliant. I wanted to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the team who worked on this. You all understood exactly what we wanted to communicate and why, and then managed to do it in a way that was far better than anything I could have imagined. I’m a bit choked up to be honest!”

Sarah Wright, Head of Communications and Campaigns — NEA

“We have worked with Alan, Caroline and the wider Alive With Ideas team for many years. In that time, they have provided a dedicated service that is second to none. We appreciate their attention to detail and creative approach to bringing our brand, communications and stories to life. And would recommend them to anyone looking for creative communications support.”

Georgia Beech — Internal Communications Specialist, Ocado Group

“I think the team have done such a brilliant job, particularly with responding to our requests. It's one of the best mental health videos I've ever seen. Very proud to be associated with your exemplary work. Thank you so much.”

Dr Anna Batho — Clinical Psychologist – Critical Care, UCLH

“Alive wowed us during the pitch process and they didn’t stop wowing us throughout the whole project. Every person we worked with at Alive were so friendly, knowledgeable and clearly passionate about what they do. They have worked with us to really understand what we do and have created a new brand and website that really stands out from our competitors. Thank you!”

Louise Burnard, Head of Marketing and Communications UK — Be | Shaping the Future

“Our mission was to update the DASA brand visuals to better reflect our innovative and forward-thinking organisation. After receiving numerous pitches from different branding agencies, Alive stood out with their clear passion and understanding of our identity and goals. We thoroughly enjoyed working with the Alive Team who provided expert guidance and injected some much needed creativity into the project; resulting in an accessible and engaging new brand that we are immensely proud of.

Thank you again for all the work you have done with us!”

Lianne Springer — Communications and Engagement Lead - Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA)

“‘The short animation developed in co-production with clinicians and young people is outstanding! Informative, developmentally appropriate, vitally fun and engaging. We are really grateful for the expertise of the Alive with Ideas team for their innovative approach in building children’s health literacy.'”

Kath Evans — Director of Children’s Nursing at Barts Health
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