Updated: Feb 18
Creativity is not only for the "creatives".
Often people think of creativity as being a vital quality only for those writing books, painting art or composing music. Creativity solves problems, builds bridges and is an outlet for thoughts, emotions and opinion. To me, that sounds like something everyone can benefit from - what do you think?
Often people will ask me how to move past what is known as a "creative block". These are times when the creative juices are just not flowing and ideas are not coming easily. I've been fortunate enough to never have suffered a substantial block and I think there's a few reasons why:
1. Creating things has always been my jam - I'm disinterested (read: horrible) at sports, math and sciences were a struggle in school but I've always loved making things. Don't be discouraged if it isn't your jam though! While I do believe people can be predisposed to creative thought, with a little help, everyone is able to open themselves up to creativity.
2. I maintain a baseline of creativity every day. This is what I'm going to share with you. Little tips and tricks that will spark inspiration in everyday life. As the title says, creativity breeds creativity and if you allow yourself to be inspired, you'll soon be an unstoppable creative train!
Here are some everyday, totally accessible practices you can introduce into your life to increase creativity:
1. LOOK BEYOND THE OBVIOUS PLACES
Most articles on creativity will suggest you spend your days at museums, galleries and libraries. While I do love these places, I've found some of the best inspiration in the most understated places you could imagine. My phone is full of random pictures like this door:
If you look for it, there's cool stuff everywhere. For example:
Things I've been inspired by:
An ornate chain link fence
Two leaves overlapping on the sidewalk
The colours of a cocktail
Things I've been underwhelmed by:
The Mona Lisa.
2. FAN THE STRAWBERRIES
I've always enjoyed cooking and baking. Even if you don't enjoy it, you have to eat everyday and I'm guessing at least a few of those meals are prepared at home.
The next time you're cooking dinner, get a little crazy with the presentation. Group things, stack things, think of colours and different ways to dice. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for this task.
One of my favourite creative meals to prepare is sushi. Spoken like a true mediocre home chef, flavour comes second to presentation in my books. I'm sure some (everyone) would disagree but I like making things beautiful and it satisfies my creative needs. Don't even get me started on Christmas cookies....
3. CHANGE YOUR SCENERY
No, this isn't in reference to world travel. Although travel is a great source of inspiration, I'm talking about your every day scenery.
For example, every morning I get up and have breakfast and then go sit at my desk upstairs. This week however, our Christmas tree is up! I've been bringing my lap top downstairs for the first hour of my day to bask in the glow of the Christmas lights while I respond to emails, write blog posts or catch up on paper work. Sure, I'm still in my house but this minor change of scenery has proven to be something I look forward to in the morning.
4. DECORATE WITH MEANING
In order to inspire creativity, you need to work on your surroundings. Clutter stifles creativity. Beyond just making sure your desk is cleaned off everyday, I am going to challenge you to decorate with meaning. This is something I'm actively working on because my home decorating style could be described as "sterile hospital room". Here's what I mean by decorating with meaning. This is my coffee table:
Pussy willows we picked at my parents cabin for wedding decor. Side note: do pussy willows last forever? We picked these 8 years ago.
An amethyst from Thunder Bay (where Jasons family is from). Amethyst is the official gemstone of Ontario.
A candle holder my dad made for our wedding decor.
Jasons grandfathers pocket watch in a dome (hard to see from this angle!)
A vintage teacup candle my mom made with pieces of my wedding bouquet inside.
Instead of decorating with nicknacks, I try to display things that make me think of special people and events in our lives. I've found that surrounding myself in these memories makes for a much more calming and inspiring environment. It seems to rid my head (and home) of unnecessary clutter which allows the creative juices to flow with more freedom.
I hope I've offered something a little different than the classic tips for breaking past a creative block. If you've got some creative tips to share, I'd love to hear about them or leave a comment on my Instagram post.