I have a hard time believing that a non-creative person exists. I mean, creativity comes in all forms and looks completely different for each person. Without creative people, the world as we know it wouldn’t exist – no musicians, no designers, no entrepreneurs, no engineers, no architects, no doctors…and the list goes on. If you are a problem solver, art-maker, hobby-haver, communicator, or thinker then you are a creative person.
Even everyday conversations require creativity to use combinations of words and phrases together! One of the most fascinating things is to eavesdrop on a conversation and compare what you would have said to what the eavesdropee is saying. (If this isn’t a thing that people do, then let’s pretend I didn’t just admit to eavesdropping.)
Here are a few tips to unleash your creativity:
- Try something new. If you want to be a painter, you can be! All you have to do is start painting – that’s it.
- Just Start. Go ahead and begin a project. Realize that if you mess up or if what you’re working on isn’t up to your standards, you’re in a better place than if you wouldn’t have started at all because now at least you know what doesn’t work!
- Practice makes perfect. So maybe you don’t believe in perfect, per-se, but my parents used to say this all the time in relation to not just being able to expect yourself to be good at something the first time. It’s a shame I threw away the hundred pages I first tried calligraphy on, because if that wasn’t the epitome of that saying, I don’t know what is.
- Use inspiration. Sparingly. This is a toughy. Inspiration is great and can help you get some fantastic ideas just be careful about copying someone’s work or using a voice that’s not necessarily your own. Gather ideas and use those to formulate your plans and notes. If you do take someone else’s ideas verbatim, you definitely need to site where you found it.
- Get ideas flowing. Start by warming up for five minutes. This can be anything from writing a timed journal entry to free playing on your guitar while making up words, to taking a walk, to combining colors, themes and patterns to create a “mood board”. I like to listen to music I don’t know the words to when I am painting, this helps me to focus on the paint and strokes while also having some background noise.
- Make lists. What are your goals – both big and little? Ticking them off as you go will help you feel more productive. Lists can also be used to reflect on projects to compare what you liked and what you didn’t so that you will can improve next time.
- Set deadlines. Force yourself to finish something. This is one of the greatest lessons that I have learned from Get Messy in the past nine weeks. The time crunch holds me accountable and gets the creativeness going even when I’m tired or want to do something else.
- Bounce ideas off an expert. Find someone who is creative in a way that you connect with and ask them questions. See what there creative process is like and how each project is executed.
- Don’t be afraid to be embarrassed. Some of my worst projects have been posted right here on this blog and even though I hated posting it, I love looking back on it to see how much my art work has changed. Even the photos in some of my very first blog posts are a mess, but the journey is oh-so lovely. This is what pushes me to keep practicing.
- Overcome self-negativity. This one’s obvious. The more you put yourself down or tell yourself that you can’t do something, the more you won’t want to (or be able to) do something.
- Save it. If you’re stuck and your project doesn’t seem complete, let it sit around in a place you will see it for a few days. Let your brain think of it in the background and see if you can’t come up with something to add or change to make your project better.
- Scrap it. It’s not practical to think that every single project/hobby will be “your thing”. Do what you love and scrap what you don’t.
Try something new and let me know how it goes!