4 creative tips that will have you saying 'dag-dag' to your artistic slump

Two people and a chicken with Sims plumbobs above their head
(Image credit: Amazon)

Inspiration is fickle. It shows up when it wants, and you need to use every tool at your disposal to harness it. That could be a word processor, a microphone, or a game that lets you see your surroundings in a new way. For content creator and filmmaker Amanda Gordon, that game was The Sims. 

Some might think it's strange to categorize a game like The Sims as a tool, but whether you're designing the floor plan of your new abode or thinking about experimenting with a buzz cut, The Sims provides you with a sandbox to build your dreams. Gordon had the tool, but what would the project be?

Enter Amazon Ads. With an average monthly audience of over 175 million across Prime Video, Freevee, Twitch, Fire TV channels and Amazon Publisher Direct, Amazon Ads allows brands to connect to community, culture, commerce and more. Gordon and EA partnered with Amazon Ads to create a one-of-a-kind campaign. Along with three other artists and Sims players, Gordon filmed a short docuseries called 'Not Creative' to level up her ingenuity by exposing herself to different disciplines. 

In the series, each artist helps Gordon experiment with various artistic forms of expression in The Sims before taking that experience off the computer and onto the streets. Gordon was able to say "dag-dag" (Simlish-to-English translation: bye-bye) to her artistic slump through the process, and you can too. Whether you're an indie game designer, an entrepreneur, or an artist trying to get more eyes on your project, here are some tips you can learn from 'Not Creative.'

(Image credit: Amazon)

Build a Supportive Environment

The first expert Gordon worked with was an interior designer named Francesca Grace, who credits The Sims with helping her find her passion. "When I was little, I played with dolls and dollhouses. When The Sims came out, it was another level of creativity and being able to actually see in 3D what I was envisioning," she says. Her primary advice for Gordon starts with passion: "Anything that captivates and inspires you is the best place to start." 

But your environment isn't just where you are — it's also the cohort around you. That's why Amazon Ads is so important to business owners and creatives. It's able to give you the tools you need to reach your audience. Amazon Ads has found that gaming ad campaigns that incorporate videos and other immersive content get nearly three times more clicks that result in purchases than campaigns that don't have immersive content. Whether you're trying to reach more customers or build brand awareness, they can provide a supportive environment for you to do your best work.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

No one has ever found success without risk. It's integral to the process. Grace says, "If you push yourself outside your comfort zone, anything is possible." This is echoed by Gordon's second partner in creation, multidisciplinary artist Brielle Jenkins. Jenkins creates custom airbrushed and bedazzled clothes from thrift-store finds, but only started in the last three years. "I really love fashion and art. I've always been an artist, and I wanted to find a way I could combine the two. Learning a new skill can unlock a lot of creativity," she says.

You don't have to learn how to airbrush your entire wardrobe, but all the best ideas happen when you're pushed beyond your limits. A new idea hits an old one, and suddenly, you're off to the races with a concept unique to you. Try things you aren't good at, and familiarize yourself with the unknown. You may find your borders expanded in new and exciting ways.

(Image credit: Amazon)

The Mess Is the Point

Making something wholly new is a messy process. Just ask Gordon's third partner, Cale Tyson. A musician for over a decade, Tyson has discovered a new love: making ceramics. 

Ceramics are a naturally messy process with a lot of room for error. How does an artist deal with that kind of steep learning curve? "I think it all comes back to, 'Do I love what I'm doing?' If you love doing it for yourself and other people enjoy it, that's a win-win," says Tyson.

In short, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. With focus and iteration, an imperfect process can create a perfect product. Every broken pot is a contributor. The same goes for your "broken" ideas. You never know when one will serve as the basis for your next great artistic breakthrough.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Broadcast Your Message

During the filming of 'Not Creative,' Tyson said, "From playing The Sims, I was able to see this unlimited potential. [In the game], I was able to do all these things I never thought I could do, and that inspired me to see that potential in my real life." Having an idea is easy. It's what you do with it that matters — not just creating your art, but seeing it through to where it's finally in front of people.

A relatable joyride that invites us all to connect to the artists inside us, 'Not Creative' utilizes Alexa Themes, Custom Fire TV landing pages, and contextual ads in video formats to ignite consumer interest. Those contextual ads can increase customer loyalty by 39% and bring back previous customers within 12 months.

Partners like Amazon Ads can put your creativity on the map in a variety of ways. With Alexa-enabled audio ads, retail placements, and Twitch streams, Amazon Ads is helping brands reach the right audiences in the right places and putting customers at the center of every action.

Jacob York
Editor, Branded Content

Jacob York is a Branded Content Editor and Writer for Future, focusing on the Games and Tech verticals. Jacob's previous writing experience encompasses everything from award winning plays to websites about tree removal services. The tree removal website also won an award.

A native of Fairdealing, Kentucky, Jacob has made Atlanta, Georgia his home for much of his adulthood. In his spare time, he enjoys learning how to bake, spending time at a theme park with his wife, and doing "product research" by diving into a video game. A creative through and through, Jacob would like to take a moment to remind you to support your local Equity hiring theatre.