10 Tips to Promoting Creativity in Your Life
Painting in Nature.
The truth is I believe everyone has some creative bent; a creative talent or way of expressing yourself. Some people arrange flowers; some sew clothes; some love to bake or cook; some are into interior decorating. Whether you are writing novels or just blogs; drawing portraits or architectural plans, carving wood or jewelry-making, taking creative photographs or taking pi to the next level, everyone is exercising their creativity some way. As creative people, we need to cultivate time and space to allow for that creativity to happen.
Here are 10 steps to promote creativity in your life and lifestyle.
“I skirmish and battle with the sun. And what sun here!... One would have to paint with gold and gems.”
— --Claude Monet
Do you make time for creativity in your life?
The first thing you must do is carve out the time to allow for creativity to happen. Whether you have toddlers underfoot or a corporate job to run off too, you still have to find the time to energize your creative soul. You can carve out time at the beginning of the day or after everyone else has gone to bed, or dedicate a Saturday to your creativity; which ever way you do it, make sure you have a block of uninterrupted time just for you. The truth is we make time for what is a priority in our lives. So the question is, how important is your creativity to you?
With me, as a painter, I find I am energized to paint at the drop of a hat, if there is a space set up for me to close the door and keep the world at bay. For some, it only needs to be a small corner of a table or bench, for others you will need a garage or a separate studio. Whatever the need, make sure your space will accommodate you and your creative work and allow you to step into and out of it with relative ease. This is incredibly important. The setting up and taking down is outside the creative side of the brain and will take away from creative time.
“It does not matter how badly you paint, so long as you don’t paint badly like other people.”
— --George Moore: Confessions of a Young Man
This seems an obvious necessity but sometimes it has to be asked for. Your family needs to know that you NEED this, so ask for their support. It helps to have a spouse or children that will have your back when it is your creative time. You will be happier for the time and they will be happier to have you fulfilled.
Turn off that phone.
4. No Interruptions.
Turn off all electronic devices that may call you away and suck up your creativity time. Turn off your email alarms and twitter feeds. Turn off your phone. You can always get back to people later. That’s what God made messages and voice mail for. Nothing pulls you out of the creativity zone faster than those sweet little "ta-tings" announcing you have email, Facebook posts or twitter feeds. You can always get back to those later. Protect your creativity time. Put yourself in a bubble if you must. Whatever you need to do to keep the creativity flowing.
“You should keep on painting no matter how difficult it is, because this is all part of experience, and the more experience you have, the better it is00unless it kills you, and then you know you have gone too far.”
— --Alice Neel
Rise Above Obsticales
5. No excuses.
As you build up the habit of taking time for your creativity, you may find you are not in “the mood” every day or every time you have it on your schedule. The funny thing is that if you let that be a good excuse, you will stop keeping your scheduled creative appointments. Make yourself, whether you feel it or not and the feelings will follow. It’s funny how the mood comes as soon as you start creating and not before. I like to read about artists who overcame great odds and obstacles to create world famous works of art. In light of their sacrifice, I feel I have no room to complain that I’m not in the mood.
6. Make a list.
I don’t always know what to do during my creative time, so I have begun making lists. In the middle of the day or at night an inspiration may hit me. I have started the habit of writing these inspirations down and later when I have the time, I can explore them more fully. Some people tell me they get inspired in the shower or driving. It is as if creativity will hit you most often when you aren’t really thinking about anything. Write it down. You will be excited to see how the list grows. Also, the list will give you time to gather the supplies you need to make that thing or project. Maybe you need special paper or paint. Maybe you need special sculpting material or found objects. Whatever the need, when you have a list, you have time to gather so when you can actually sit down and work, it will all be there.
“A painting is never finished—it simply stops in interesting places.”
— --Paul Gardner
7. Instrumental music.
Play music with no words. Words or lyrics activate the left side of the brain, which is counter-productive. You want the right side of the brain working, which is the creative side of the brain. I like to play instrumental music only while I am creating. It is soothing and inspiring without being distracting. It makes me think creatively. Whether it is pop instrumental, nostalgic instrumental or classical orchestral music, it doesn't matter. If you don't own instrumental music, you could always play Pandora, which allows you to pick the genre and the mode of music you want to hear.
Brook Shaden, Fine Art Photographer
8. Keep learning.
In creativity like everything else, you should always allow for learning new things, new techniques, and new styles. Check out You Tube, which is a wealth of styles and learning techniques. Everything from drawing to painting, from woodworking to photography is there. There probably is nothing that doesn’t have at least a little tutorial about it on You Tube. If not, you should consider making one. Also there are free and fee based tutorials out there on a number of creative subjects. Creative Live.com is a great site to watch free live seminars or pay for them later if you couldn't see the whole thing when it aired live. Check them out. Awesome
“You can never do too much drawing.”
9. Join a group.
Join a group of like-minded creatives in your area and actually attend meetings. There are writers groups, art groups, woodworkers, drama and theater groups; you name it, there is probably a group somewhere nearby. The benefit of being able to visit like-minded creativesis so varied that I could never list them all. One of the best benefits is the constant inspiration. Every time I come home from a meeting with my art group, I feel inspired to create something new.
10. Share your creativity.
There is a certain fulfillment that comes with sharing your creative bent with others. Donate a work of art per year; create something for a family member’s birthday or holiday; share a photo of your work on social media. Wherever you share your work, make sure it is with someone who will appreciate what you have done. Nothing hurts worse than giving a gift of your creativity to someone who doesn’t like your work or doesn’t appreciate you. However those who do appreciate creativity will serve to energize your future work. Create on.
“Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure.”
— --Alfred North Whitehead