To me, having creativity means being inventive and open. Creative people are willing to try new things, recycle ideas in novel ways, and be persistent when projects don’t turn out as expected. Still, there are days when all of us feel very non-creative. On those days, you can reference the tips in this blog post!
1. Capture the Inspiration Around You
Inspiration really is everywhere! It runs rampant on the internet, of course, and that’s why we have websites like Pinterest. If you like an image that you see online — even if you can’t imagine what you would use the inspiration in that image for — “pin” it. You may look back at the image and be inspired to make something based off of its theme! “Real life”, however, remains the richest source of inspiration.
If you’re out and about and you see something that captures your attention, snap a photo with your smartphone. If you don’t have a smartphone or camera, then write down or sketch what you saw! You never know how that image will inspire you in the future.
2. Don’t be Afraid to Copy
You already know that it’s not okay to make a carbon copy of someone else’s work and sell it. That said, the best way to learn is through imitation! I say that if you like someone’s style of art, lettering, woodworking, food, etc., then try to emulate it. The more you emulate the works that appeal to you, the more your own style will evolve.
Observing what others have done and making a project like it will be a stimulating, creativity-building experience. Just remember to be fair to the original creator if you choose to share your work online!
3. Embrace Substitutions
In many cases, the projects that you create will benefit from substitutions. For example, the watercolor Mother’s Day card shown below wasn’t created with watercolor at all! Instead, I made it by moistening the Pilot G2 pen ink used to draw the petals on the card.
If you don’t have a certain supply on hand, think about how you can mimic the results of that supply. Instead of using watercolors to fill something in, for example, try using markers or crayons. In place of an X-Acto knife, think about how you can use regular scissors. Substitutions may result in having to alter a project significantly, and alterations will challenge and expand your creativity!
4. Set the Mood
When there are a lot of other things pulling at your attention (kids, pets, thirst/hunger, noise), it’s tough to relax and let your creativity flow. In contrast, when you are focused on what you’re doing, that’s when you’ll produce your best work.
There are a lot of things that you can do to set the mood for focusing. First, wait until there’s a quiet time in your house before you focus on a project. If you have a busy family life, that may mean setting time aside for yourself in the mornings or evenings, when family members are asleep or relaxing. Next, make sure that you’ve got everything you need at hand. I like to keep water and a couple of snacks nearby so hunger and thirst don’t distract me. Finally, do what you can to make you environment comfortable: play some music or a podcast, sit in a nice chair, and make sure you have good light.
5. Stay Organized
“Creative types” get a bad rap for being messy. And you can be messy — as long as you know where everything is! Trust me, it would be hypocritical of me to advise you to meticulously keep everything in a logical, orderly spot. If you came into my studio/office, you wouldn’t be able to find anything! But I can find anything, and that’s what counts.
If you already know that you will have trouble locating the supplies to make a project, chances are, you won’t make that project. However, if you can easily see and find your supplies, it will be easier to work on current projects and think up new projects that utilize those supplies. So: try to stay more or less organized, and keep your supplies in locations that make sense to you.
The tips in this post can be applied to any creative venture from cooking to art to construction and beyond. I hope that you are able to use the information to your advantage the next time you want to tap into your creativity and make something cool! If you have any remarks or additional tips, please feel free to comment below. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you! Either way, I hope you have a great weekend, and thanks a million for reading TPK.