What is creative? Being creative involves imagination. It also involves making something. Now, you may here people say “Oh, I’m not creative.” There’s a great chance that they are, they’re just using tools that are different than their neighbor.
If you’re interested in growing you or your child’s imagination, hang on tight. I’m about to bring you some serious nuggets of wisdom. We’re going to go through some major lessons on how to stay creative. I’m in art school, but I also am a professional Photographer and Visual Designer. My brain is constantly being asked to create something from nothing.
“Wow! Don’t you get tired,” you might think to yourself. This brings me to my first point.
1. Creativity is a muscle.
In order to be more creative you need to get into habit. Just like you exercise your right to a starbucks, or even like to go on walks you are reinforcing whatever you feed. It can be the pleasure reward that coffee brings or the endorphin released during exercise. Your brain pathways travel on the path of least resistance. It takes fighting that resistance to build strength. Keep creating.
2. Work outside your medium.
Along with the biggest darkest circles to ever lay under my eyes, my son had brought me immense creativity. If you don’t have a child, I totally recommend working with youth. They will help you rediscover so much. The best part about rediscovery is you remember all the fondness and joy it previously brought you. I work primarily digital a lot of the time. Since I’ve had my son I work in paint, markers, crayons, videos, photography, sketching, sewing, and more. What I’ve discovered when you work outside your comfort zone, there is growth. I’m telling you, there is something intrinsically magical about the smell of a box of crayons.
3. Feed your senses.
There is an incredible sea of knowledge that your brain delights in. Cater to the 5 senses. You don’t have to create something. Touch a tree. Feel the softness of a petal. Smell some vanilla. Do things that delight your brain beyond the visual. This helps your brain relax, and find pleasure. Run your hand along some rocks. Notice the bumps. Step outside of your work space right before a rain. Take in a deep breath, and notice the smell of the air right before rain. There is a number of ways you can awaken your senses. Sensory bins for kids can be fun for adults too.
4. Find a mentor.
There will always be someone who knows more, and is better than you. What on earth could be their secret? They were teachable. Being teachable will open up a wealth of creativity for you. A mentor can pour into you their knowledge and their perspective. When you collaborate with someone it can help you get passed a road block. Someone always sees something differently than you. Not only is it good to find someone in the same craft as you, but it’s also good to find someone outside your craft.
I cannot tell you this enough. Put down that phone, turn off the computer, or even stop reading this post. Go outside, read a book, visit target, go to the park, climb a mountain, or get some food. Being plugged in constantly is a great drain on you and your brain’s resources. There is such a thing as visual fatigue. Starring into a light bulb all day isn’t good for you. I promise the world wide web will be waiting when you come back. Your friends will be interested in the time you had when you come back. What will you miss? It certainly won’t be over stimulation. Getting unplugged gives you a chance to relax, and let things flow. Some of the best ideas have come in the shower or on a long walk. It’s good to silence somethings that demand your attention all the time.
This is a fantastic place to take a break. I hope you’ve learned some, or even given yourself a refresher on ways to keep your creativity pumping. Feel free to share with me what you create. There’s nothing like seeing the minds of a creative community to inspire yourself as well.