Nurture your creativity
Over the years, I’ve tried out different ways to stay motivated, find inspiration and nurture my creativity. Some methods I learnt at art college and university, while others I’ve been using throughout my life and career. I view my creativity in the same way I do my houseplants: both need care and attention in order to grow! Today I’m sharing some of the things I do to support my creative life and work.
Nurture your creativity..
Pause to enjoy the simple things
Often when we hit a wall with our creativity all we need to do is stop what we’re doing and take a break. Moving away from where we create, even if it’s just for an hour, can help us to see things more clearly, after all, they say a change is as good as a rest!
A break could include making a cup of tea, playing some music, going for a walk or even doing a few stretches. Pausing and refocusing the mind on another activity will reset the balance, giving a fresh perspective on what you’re doing. Getting into the habit of taking regular breaks is a healthy way to work.
Step back in time
A great thing any creative can do is look back at what has gone before, after all, we’re all standing on the shoulders of giants! Whatever your passion there will almost certainly be an unlimited supply of work you can dip into. You could visit libraries, museums, art galleries or even attend a lecture.
There isn’t a secret formula to unlocking creativity. It can come in a multitude of different forms and everything and anything can inspire us. Whether you want to dip into the work of the French impressionists, be dazzled by some pop art or get lost in a little conceptualism, spending an hour or two in a different era is an inspiring way to pass the time.
Taking time out to nurture your body and mind can work wonders. Immersing yourself in the great outdoors is an uplifting way to get the creative juices flowing. Nature and fresh air are good for the soul and a change of scenery can open your eyes to new ideas. When I’m out I like to look at everything around me – people, nature, houses, shop windows and so on. There’s so much beauty and inspiration in our everyday lives to enjoy.
Travel is also a great way to find some creative inspiration because exploring a new location tends to spark new ideas. If a holiday isn’t possible you could visit somewhere new where you live, perhaps a tourist attraction, antique centre, a few pretty shops or even a restaurant you haven’t yet tried. While you’re out and about, take your time to notice everything like you’re seeing the world for the very first time. Being mindful will truly enrich the experience and who knows what exciting ideas will emerge!
Experiment with other forms of creativity
Engaging in other forms of creativity, for example, a different medium or technique can also be beneficial. Experimenting can help us to view what we do from a fresh perspective and it’s fun to create without a brief or agenda. You may also find you benefit from meeting a fellow creative. Working alongside others enables us to share our creativity while helping one another along the way. Sometimes all it takes is a sidestep to see our work more clearly.
There’s also a lot of value in observing other forms of creativity. You could watch a ballet, attend a music concert or take in a play. All these things will help to get some distance between you and your work and to take we well-earned break. Everything has the potential to inspire, especially seeing the motivation and dedication in others.
It’s tricky to trace inspiration to one source because ideas come from a myriad of different places. Conversations around the breakfast table, people-watching in a local café or even shopping with a friend. It’s, therefore, valuable to nurture relationships while also meeting new people from all walks of life. Friendly interactions make us feel good and feeling happy and content can help creativity to flourish.
Discussing our creative work is also valuable. Sharing our thoughts can bring them to life and if we’re struggling with an idea, we may find we reach a quicker solution. Since working freelance, I’ve certainly benefited from meeting and spending time with fellow business owners and freelancers.
Listen to your inner voice
I’m a firm believer in seeking inspiration from life rather than online. I guess this is because I started creating before the internet was here and I can’t imagine working in any other way. I also find the online world distracting especially when there’s so much happening and so, I take regular breaks.
Sometimes our thoughts can become lost in the noise and activity around us, so much so we may find we start to follow the ideas, goals and dreams of others or worse still, end up creating a version of someone else’s work! Having a few moments of quiet calm and solitude can enable us to hear what’s happening within and help us to understand what’s truly in our hearts.
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As with everything I share here, please feel free to take the ideas that resonate with you. Thank you, as always, for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day. Until next time, I’ll see you over on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Parts of this text were originally published in issue five of Breathe magazine.