Creativity Corner The Creative Process

The Creative Process – Meet Constantine Lykiard

July 8, 2013

Another dose of the creative process has arrived. This time all the way from Mumbai in India.

For new readers:
Much has been written about The Creative Process, which in its purest form is simply a way of solving a problem. That sounds simple, doesn’t it? Creativity and its process, contrary to popular belief, is not just reserved for artists and designers. I believe that everyone can benefit from learning and understanding the numerous ways of the creative process. I will invite people to share their own personal creative processes with us and hope this will help you with identifying your own.

Constantine Lykiard is Creative Director at Fitch in Mumbai, India.

I decided to ask a close friend of Constantine to tell us something about the man himself.

“Constantine is Greek, and has now lived in London longer than he lived in Athens. He’s an excellent cook, enormously sociable, a larger than life character with a fantastic sense of humour. He owns a fabulous bloodhound, is very generous with his time and skills and extremely good with young people. Constantine is a passionate photographer and also paints. He loves to sail and is a keen gardener, having had allotments well before they became fashionable. Constantine moved to Mumbai to work for Fitch about a year ago.”

Over to Constantine!

The Creative Process – Constantine Lykiard

Staring at a blank canvas, a black hole, a pristine sheet of A4 paper or the latest sexiest monitor Apple can throw at you, will very rarely ever get you anything other than you re-arranging your own prejudices.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that. A style, a design philosophy, an aesthetic thesis, can all take years of this re-arrangement before they become a balanced visual grammar with exquisite results and longevity of appreciation. It just isn’t for me.

In the commercial world of retail design there is far too much of the ‘this the way we have done it before’ syndrome and that is the perfect trigger for my creative process to kick in and create some havoc before settling back to a commercially viable proposition.

You see in my world you only get to ask the why not question once and if you hesitate you end up re-arranging not only your own prejudices but those of others too.

I design to tickle the desires of others and they do not necessarily like what I like.

I have to create something they like and since retail is, amongst other things, about differentiation every blank canvas, every black hole, every pristine sheet of A4 paper and the latest sexiest monitor Apple can throw at you, a new beginning.

For this to work you need to DISRUPT the rest is common sense… ohhh and never take no for an answer.

Children are the most creative because they have no prejudices, so act like one when you can.









Why not? indeed! I want to thank Constantine for his generosity, his wisdom and for agreeing to take part in the CP Express:-)

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  • Reply Michaela July 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    A refreshing approach! Thank you Constantine and Tina for this lovely peace sign pie chart! It took me a while to get it, but it’s great fun – far out! xx

    • Reply tina July 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Hahaha! Glad you got something out of the “lovely peace sign pie chart”!
      You know, stuff like this I need to read and re-read and re-read and eventually the penny drops!
      Thanks Michaela! x

  • Reply Chi @ 106 July 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    “For this to work you need to DISRUPT the rest is common sense… ohhh and never take no for an answer.

    Children are the most creative because they have no prejudices, so act like one when you can.

    WHY NOT?”

    LOVE this! My sentiments exactly – life’s too short to not take risks and have some fun.

    Thanks for another great CP express, Tina and Constantine! 😀

    • Reply tina July 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      I think you will liken this to Mark’s DO booklet, right?

      Isn’t it great to always be reminded that we need to disrupt! I often forget… Never taking NO for an answer has been my MANTRA forever and I must admit it serves me well on a daily basis! People should try it sometimes:-)

      I wonder whether being around children all the time (as you are) gives you an edge. I’m very playful but being reminded by children themselves…..

      Indeed WHY NOT? Right???

      One day, when this will turn into a book, I will use the CP Express:-) Must give Gerard some royalties on this one:-))

      Pleasure Chi and thank you. xx

  • Reply Nicola July 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Love the way Constantine kicks in and creates some havoc before settling back. Sounds quite familiar xx

    • Reply tina July 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      All I know is that I have to go out wide, go OTT before coming back in and looking at what’s realistically the best solution xx

  • Reply Judith July 9, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Totally agree with Chi, and the idea of the peace sign pie chart is really cool 🙂 Thanks Tina and Constantine and mysterious close friend of Constantine!

    • Reply tina July 10, 2013 at 6:11 am

      Yes, the pie chart really resonates with me too. As a fellow graphic designer you will understand the power of the visual…
      Pleasure, will extend the thanks also to Constantine’s mysterious friend:-)

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey July 9, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    My little nephew is in the ‘why’ stage of his 2 year old thinking. So cute.

    I’m not sure I’ve entirely grasped this yet. Need to think it through. I always think of ‘why’ as a loaded word or a word that causes one to become defensive (perhaps my prejudice).

    To ‘disrupt’ is something I need to be more open to trying. Certainly much food for thought in that.

    Thanks Constantine & Tina.

    • Reply tina July 10, 2013 at 6:42 am

      Oh, I LOVE the WHY stage of little ones… although it can drive someone round the bend. I’ve always encouraged it though because I know how important it is!

      Interesting how you interpret the word WHY… for me, it’s simply showing an inquisitive mind. It’s imperative to ask WHY so that we don’t turn into sheep, so that we can truly form decisions and be the captains of our own ship. It helps to shape us and the world around us.
      I was taught to ask WHY by my art teacher in Boarding School. He used to take us to art exhibitions in London and make us ask a lot of WHYs. He basically taught me to be curious and interested about the world around me, to want to know WHY this or that was done and to not take NO for an answer. I owe him those attributes that have contributed to the person I am today! After 33 years I’m still in touch with him.

      I just re-read my comment back to CHI and think I am getting better at professionally ‘disrupting’. Through my long therapy, I’ve learned how to ‘disrupt’ on a personal level, it’s now very much second nature to me and helps with filtering out what/who I want to include in my life (you will know what I mean). It’s the professional ‘disrupting’I’m working on… finally!!!


  • Reply Catherine Bedson July 10, 2013 at 5:39 am

    Wow Constantine sounds like quite a ‘catch’ after reading the close friends description! I like the tenacity of never taking no for an answer, that takes alot of energy. The true innovators are the people brave enough to ‘disrupt’ and you have to be in an environment that embraces it.

    Congratulations on the Andy Murray win and the stunning weather of late, hope it continues for everyone. Love to read that you’re having barbeques! xx

    • Reply tina July 10, 2013 at 6:57 am

      Hahaha. Did you know there’s a dating website run by Sarah Beeny, an english TV presenter called: My single friend
      The premis is to “Recommend a friend or get a friend to describe you”..

      Now, this here is no dating site – and I’m happy to report that both the mysterious friend and Constantine are with their respective partners:-))))
      Oh, I forgot, you’re married too LOL

      Never taking NO for an answer DOES take a lot of energy, trust me, but I could not imagine being any other way… it’s in my blood now and lo and behold, 99% it works….

      I think you have a point when saying: “The true innovators are the people brave enough to ‘disrupt’ and you have to be in an environment that embraces it.” However, is it a chicken and egg situation? Isn’t it that when we ‘disrupt’, people might see something they didn’t before and this in turn could have an effect on their thinking? Leaders are needed everywhere and someone has to start the ball rolling!

      Thanks Catherine, we are all so very proud here in the UK. It was an epic win and so well deserved.
      Re: weather.. from your mouth to God’s ears:-))

  • Reply Doris July 10, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I love the opening paragraph “Staring at a blank canvas, a black hole, a pristine sheet of A4 paper or the latest sexiest monitor Apple can throw at you, will very rarely ever get you anything other than you re-arranging your own prejudices.” Then I saw the words WHY NOT? I love this column because you and your guests always leave me questioning and challenging what I do with my creative process on a daily basis. Thank You fo that! It’s wonderful! Now I will remind myself to always disrupt and ask myself why not… xD

    • Reply tina July 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      The ‘re-arranging your own prejudices’reminds me of a a neighbour I had over 20 years ago.

      He was Muslim and dating a non-Muslim girl. His parents wanted him married off to a distant family member and knew nothing of the girlfriend. He would often confine in me and was torn about what to do. When I urged him to face the situation, make a decision, whichever one he believed to be the right one, he assured me that on his daily 3 hours commute in the car he did nothing but think about it and try and come up with a decision. My answer was always the same: ” You’re just re-arranging your thoughts and prejudices, you’re not moving forward!

      I’m always glad you enjoy the CP Express:-) Thanks Doris x

  • Reply Constantine Lykiard July 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Hello all,

    First off, many many thanks for your positive comments. Very unexpected but welcomed nevertheless.

    The diagram is a self portrait in a pie chart or peace chart and it came to mind because back in the day it was on my school bag and on my bedroom wall. At that time, I was particularly disruptive.

    Then some people who were passionate about design took me in and payed me a lot of money to be an apprentice for18 years or so. During that time I learned the other three crucial things, Investigate, Construct, Innovate. Without them disruption is just that… disruptive.

    Now then about the symbol.

    A few years back i would have used it the other way round. Limbs pointing down as in its original orientation. A symbol of Crucifixion or an interpretation of carpet bombing but I have now mellowed, so I am offering it as the symbol of joyful engagement.

    That’s enough intellect though, so I am off to do some cooking.


    • Reply Nicola July 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      A very amusing reply Mr Constantine, it has really cheered up my afternoon. Happy Cooking!! xx

    • Reply tina July 10, 2013 at 10:51 pm

      Constantine, thank you so much for taking part and sharing your pearls of wisdom.

      Your explanation here makes it even more potent and I’m starting to form a picture….:-)
      Loving the 18 years apprenticeship!

      Quite the rebel then that has been tamed!

      I bet you still disrupt:-)

      • Reply Constantine Lykiard July 11, 2013 at 3:39 am

        ohhh yes!

  • Reply Holly July 10, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    aha! Disrupt. That is a good piece of the pie, the most challenging one, I think. I really like Constantine’s approach. It seems powerful, even though it’s been so neatly demonstrated.

    I’m really loving this series Tina. Up to now, I feel the common notions in everybody’s creative processes are freedom, passion, evaluation and work. Very interesting.


    • Reply tina July 11, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Ah, yes! Disrupt is where it’s at:-)

      The hardest thing is to get to the core of anything. What I loved about Constantine’s slides is the simplicity and yet profoundness of the process.

      Nice roundup love. I’m so chuffed you enjoy the series. It’s meant to show us that each of us has a different process, albeit the overlaps. I’m learning so much every month…:-) yes, it’s interesting to look at the common threads xx

  • Reply rupert July 10, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    I’d say Constantine enjoys vicariously pulling the pin and lobbing the grenade into the ‘room’….very disruptive…however what’s left standing afterwards is often the best thing…just like the Parthenon…


    • Reply tina July 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Hello Rupert,

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!
      I like your analogy.

    • Reply constantine July 13, 2013 at 4:54 am

      vicariously!… thanks Rupert

  • Reply Anya Jensen July 11, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Loving the pie and the creative process of Constantine. I love the investigate/disrupt bit – that is exactly what has happens when my youngest goes and explores {the insides} of her toys. Brilliant CP post again Constantine & Tina.
    Much love A

    PS: London calling tomorrow – woohoo 😉

    • Reply tina July 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Thanks Anya. Yes, watching kids do it seems so easy, right?

      Oh, I hope you have an amazing time. The weather is going to play ball:-)) xx

  • Reply Rajesh March 5, 2014 at 11:06 am

    WOW creativity explained in the simplest manner, “Disrupt” and “WHY” never thought to be so powerful. It must be a fun to be around you guys, geat piece on information Constantine and Tina. carry on guys!!!.

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