Life can be pretty fast-paced sometimes. Juggling work, school, extracurricular activities and just general life errands can oftentimes not leave much room for hobbies and creative outlets. If you are a writer, artist, musician or in any type of creative field keeping creativity central to your life and work is essential. However, you don’t necessarily need hours at a time or the skill of Picasso in order to let your creativity flourish. Here are some ideas to help keep your creative spark alive and active.
Adult Coloring Book
You may have heard of these and thought they must be a gag gift, but adult coloring books are a perfect and easy way to keep in check with your creativity. Art can act as a stress reliever, and this coloring book will help you wind down at the end of a hard day. With myriad themes to choose, grab your colored pencils, put on your favorite music and get drawing.
If you want to put pen to paper but aren’t as into drawing, try morning pages. Thought up by Julia Cameron and explained in her book “The Artist’s Way,” morning pages are a creative and healthy concept. They involve you taking the time every single morning, without exception, to write out three pages, which will remain completely private to you. You can write about anything you want, but go fast and write it by hand. This is a good method to keep in touch with your subconscious, which can lead to positive changes in your life, and increased creativity.
The artist’s date is another idea by Julia Cameron, but this one is a little more in your control. She recommends that in order to get in better touch with your creative side, you should once in a while spend about a two-hour period completely by yourself doing something creative. You could go on a hike, go to a museum, go into nature to paint, etc. Listen to yourself and what you are lead toward creatively, and that part of you will flourish.
Go on a Walk
It may not sound as creative, but walking is a great way to open your mind up. Nature is a great source of inspiration, and walking in it and breathing it in may motivate you to take that inspiration and gear it toward something creative. Whenever you get stuck in a rut take a walk to shake loose new ideas and stimulate your body and mind. Writing, drawing, singing, etc. – there are so many art forms that can stem from simply enjoying nature in the world around us, and moving can help us be more receptive to creative thoughts.
Go to a Flea Market
You never know what kinds of treasures you may find at a flea market, and that’s the beauty of them. You may find a random knick knack that may inspire you in a multitude of ways. You may be inspired to redecorate your house, or incorporate a new piece in. You may find a new piece of clothing that sparks a new personal fashion trend or taste. Or you may find something completely unexpected that opens your mind to the creative things you can make out of a hand-me-down artifact.
Taking some time to be inside your own head is so healthy and beneficial in every way. You should know yourself and be comfortable with who you are, and sometimes the best way to check in with yourself is to meditate. Concentrate on only your breaths, and what’s going on in your mind and in your life. The clearer your head is, the more room you will have to include creativity in your life.
Clay is a tactile and expressive art medium that can be transformed into anything your heart desires. You don’t have to break the bank to buy clay, and you can do it at home or find a local studio. You can hand build random shapes, a model of something, or a useful object or vessel. You can keep it simple or learn advanced throwing and glazing techniques. Switching up your art form from 2D to 3D, or picking up a new instrument can stimulate ideas that stay with you when you go back to your primary work. Clay appeals to all ages and skill levels and its malleable nature keeps your creative juices flowing.
If you collect pictures and notes but don’t know what to do with all of them, try making a scrapbook. Scrapbooks are storybooks of lives, and you get to be the designer. Whether you simply want a space to remember a portion of your life or you have a specific theme, scrapbooks are a practical and enjoyable creative outlet.
Carry a Notebook (or Sketchbook) Everywhere You Go
You never know when inspiration will strike. You could be walking down the street and be struck with a magnificent idea for a short story, or if you’re bored on public transit and want to sketch something out. Phones and tablets are convenient, but notebooks allow for more creative freedom. There is something about your own handwriting, your own storytelling technique and your own private notebook that can really help to improve and tap into people’s creative sides. Constant doodling and sketching keeps your hand in practice, especially important if you are an animator, designer or fine artist. There are a thousand drawings to be made for every great one.
Learn to Cook
There are endless ways to be creative in the kitchen. You have to eat anyway, so why not take a creative route? You can use ingredients you already have, take a spin on a classic recipe or go buy random items from the grocery store, but cooking can be a delicious and exciting way to keep your creativity levels up, while providing yourself with a basic need. While taste is the most important aspect of a meal, be creative in your presentation of the food as well as how you set your table. Surrounding yourself with everyday objects that stimulate your eye keeps that creative feeling alive and well.