This month, we are glad to present you chrisjones64, who is going to celebrate his 1st anniversary as an eyeka creator on October 19th. This creative mind likes to follow his mantra: "Live outside the box"... and we all want to learn more about it! Read this article and wish Chris all the best for the rest of his eyeka journey!

Tell us a bit more about yourself (what have you done/worked/studied, where do you live, what do you like most about your country/city, what characterizes you the most and anything you feel comfortable sharing) …
I grew up in a small seaside town in the North East of England, not far from Newcastle. From very young, I felt that there was so much to experience beyond my home town and have spent my life seeking out these new horizons. After moving to London to study Graphic Design and starting my first job in an agency, I had itchy feet and ended up moving to France at the age of 25. I didn’t speak the language and knew nobody there. But I wanted to explore my own creativity through painting, photography and music. Of course, it’s not easy to make a living when you are creating purely for yourself, so I had to go back to the agency world. I ended up staying 7 years in Paris, which is where I met my wife and kindred spirit. Together we decided to move to the other side of the world and we landed in Hong Kong. That was 1996. My new focus was on all things internet and I built a new career as a digital creative specialist. It led me to Sydney where we lived for four years, back to Paris again then on to Amsterdam before coming to Shanghai. Just over 3 years ago we came back to Hong Kong. It’s quite a crazy life but it some ways it really sums up how my mind works. Never standing still, always curious for something new. In the past few years, I’ve tried to come back to my original goal of creating for myself, with many personal projects that have stretched me further. Writing was always something that appealed to me, so I started self-publishing books on Amazon Kindle. So far, I’ve written two books related to personal/career development and another about the intersection of creativity and strategy in business. You can see my author page here: https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Jones/e/B01LC8W40M

Being a lifelong science fiction fan, I also decided to write my own series of short stories under the name Christopher Hart. I set up a website to promote the series which is called Outmode: http://www.outmode.info

The internet is great for giving everyone a platform to be creative. So I recently decided to do something with my photographic hobby and launched my own photo print gallery and store under the name CJAY: https://cjay-art.darkroom.tech

I’m a big believer in being multi-faceted as a creative person. Creativity is like electricity, which can be used to power a blender or give us light, drive a car, generate sounds etc. If we are creative people, then there is no reason we can’t apply it to anything we imagine. We might not always succeed but the outcome might surprise us.

How did you find out about eyeka?

Being someone in the digital industry from the beginning, I’ve always followed the latest developments. I read about eyeka when it first launched but never got involved myself being so busy with my career. There have been a few similar platforms that appeared over the years but eyeka is the one that has survived and thrived. It’s like the Airbnb of creativity. The Uber of ideas.

On October 19th, you’ll celebrate your 1st anniversary as an eyeka creator. How does it feel? What did eyeka bring you over this last year?

Since the last couple of years for me have been about reviving my creative self-expression, I thought it would be interesting to finally look into eyeka as a way to have a little fun. When you work for as long as I have in the advertising industry, you end up spending more time managing people or projects and less time being the one that comes up with the ideas. So for me, eyeka has been something of a playground, letting my mind loose on some really diverse projects without someone breathing down my neck. It’s also fun to work alone rather than in a group. There is a real trend these days for brainstorming, which I feel can lead to ideas that end up looking like they were designed by committee. Einstein didn’t hold workshops! Nothing beats a person sitting alone who has that light bulb moment. Eyeka is a platform that allows individuals to have those flashes of inspiration on their own.

Do you have a creative process? If so, can you share a bit of your secret with our community? Where do you look for inspiration?

People in the advertising or design industry tend to be very self-referential. They look at all the awarded work from their own industry and take inspiration from their peers (or rivals). To be truly original you need to be open to everything. The world is full of amazing examples of creative thinking, in art, fashion, architecture, science, literature, filmmaking and more. If we can soak it all up like sponges, then our minds can make unexpected connections. As for my creative process, I’ve found that the best way to solve a creative challenge is to not think about it. Yes, that sounds like strange advice. Distract yourself, get away from all the screens that demand out attention and do something totally different. Go for a walk, visit a gallery… Your subconscious will join the dots and offer up something amazing. Now you can focus on that rough idea and polish it to perfection.

When submitting an entry, how do you keep positive if it is rejected or not selected as a winning entry?
After working in creative industries for so long you get used to rejection. Creative people can be very sensitive and it’s not easy to develop a thick skin. Even if my idea isn’t accepted, I still believe in it. We need to believe in what we do. The moment you doubt yourself it’s like being a tightrope walker who looks down. You’ll start to wobble and lose confidence (maybe even fall to your death). So always keep your head up and keep moving forwards.

What would you like to achieve (or have already achieved) with the prizes you will win/have won?

As you can probably tell, I’m something of a nomad who loves to explore new places. My goal is to use eyeka prizes as a travel fund to go somewhere I’ve never been before.

If you had to describe eyeka in 3 words, what would they be?
open, democratic, inspirational

Finally, is there anything you would like to share with our creators (secret, tip…)?

Not long ago, I was a student mentor at an advertising event in Shanghai. One thing that I told them ended up becoming the subject of my latest book Autocreativity. If you want to be creative, you need to be someone that is truly original. The famous 20th century writer and thinker George Bernard Shaw said this: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” So we need to take what’s unique about ourselves and nurture it, fuel our originality so we can stand out in a cookie-cutter world. I’ve interviewed so many creative people over the years. Too many were indistinguishable from each other. Be different, go your own path and start creating who you truly want to become as an individual.

Thank you very much Chris! And Happy Anniversary!