We are all creative. Everything we do involves creativity to some extent. It doesn’t always come naturally though. That’s why it’s so important to exercise that creative muscle every day. We often sit around waiting for inspiration to hit us. Sometimes, it does. Most of the time, it doesn’t. Creativity is a practice, not something that just happens.
So, let’s talk about creativity. There are tons of ways to bring out the creative in all of us. We’ve got a few favorites to share. Some of these techniques might be obvious to you, but it’s good to be reminded that they’re available. Others might seem like they have nothing to do with creativity, but remember, we’re trying to think outside the box. That’s what creativity is, right?
Here are some great ways to add creativity into your life.
Try Something New
Most of us have a hard time getting out of our comfort zone and trying something new. I have my way of doing things, and most of the time I’d like it to stay that way. However, to spark creativity, it’s important to think outside your own box and get uncomfortable.
Challenging yourself to try something new will get your creative juices flowing. You’ll have to use your brain in a different way than you’re used to. It can open your mind to new ways of thinking that you haven’t experienced before.
It could be an art project like painting, pottery, or even glass blowing. You could do something adventurous like skydiving or parasailing. Maybe try cooking a difficult dish, like creme brulee or Julia Child’s beef bourguignon. Going out to eat at a restaurant by yourself and not bringing your phone. Try people-watching and be present in the moment instead.
Do you have a bucket list? Use that as a starting point. You’re most likely going to have activities on there that you’ve been reluctant to try. Pick one and just do it! Not only is it going to spark creativity, it also helps you feel a sense of accomplishment checking something off your list.
Talk to Someone
Sometimes, just talking with someone can bring ideas to mind that you might not have thought of on your own. You don’t even have to talk about original ideas. Just make conversation about things going on in the world or subjects that interest you.
When I’m in a creative funk, I call up a friend just to chat. Talking to them energizes me and helps me see different ways of looking at things. Sometimes I’ll ask them crazy questions like “If you could be a color, which one would you be and why?” It makes for some interesting conversation and can lead to other topics that you don’t think of normally.
If you really want to go outside the box, go somewhere, like a coffee shop or a cafe, and strike up a conversation with a stranger. It’s going to feel awkward, but you can learn so much from talking to someone you don’t know.
A mood board is a collection and display of inspirational items. These items can be anything from photos, quotes, magazine clippings, pieces of art, or anything inspiring that can be pinned to a board.
There are lots of creative ways to make a mood board, but a simple one is using a corkboard. It’s easy to find, and you can keep adding items to it easily. Start by printing out your favorite quotes in fun fonts and colors. See a pattern in the background of a magazine? Cut it out and stick it on. One of my favorite things to put on my mood boards are wine labels. I always find so many creative designs.
Photos of nature or cool architecture make for inspiring images. When I get gifts wrapped in beautiful paper with intricate bows and fancy ribbon, I’ll often save those to make a border. Do you remember pressing flowers and leaves back in kindergarten? Get in touch with your inner child and create a collage of the little treasures you find in nature. Coloring book pages are another great addition. The creative options are endless.
Mood boards actually serve two purposes. The process of making it is a creative pastime, and afterwards, it becomes a source of inspiration. They are always evolving and changing with, well, your mood! Unleash the creativity from within by being inspired by the beauty you find all around you.
Look at Pinterest
When you wonder what website might help with a creative slump, look no further than Pinterest. It contains a wealth of creative knowledge and ideas. I love using Pinterest as my creative search engine. Plug in any term and the results go on and on.
Pinterest is full of links to blog posts. These are such wonderful resources because a blog is a labor of love by its creator. Blogs are an expression of creativity, and there are so many bloggers out there who have great ideas on how to live a creative life.
Pretty much any creative project you’ve thought about trying is going to be on Pinterest. Cooking, knitting, stained glass, drawing, scrapbooking, crafting, writing… the list goes on and on. There are not only articles about these creative projects but also infographics with quick tips and images that will inspire you and help you easily start if you don’t want to follow something step-by-step.
Pinterest is also “Quote Central”. Any type of inspirational quote you need is going to appear in your search. I have a whole board of creative quotes that I reference when I need inspiration. It’s important to look at others’ views on creativity. It’s going to give you a different perspective and allow you to look at things in unique ways.
Photos are also available in excess on Pinterest. Find images of landscapes, art, architecture, and people. Be inspired by the wonderful things in the world. It’s important to remind ourselves to be curious and explore by looking at images.
Brain Dump Your Ideas
We have so many thoughts racing through our minds everyday. When you sit down to work on a project, it’s hard to feel creative when you have so much going on inside your head. Something that can relieve your mind of its baggage is brain dumping.
Grab a piece of paper or a notebook and just write down your stream of consciousness. This is something that I learned from a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. She encourages a practice called “morning pages”. The first thing you do in the morning is write three pages of whatever you’re thinking. It could very well be creative ideas… or it could be venting about a stressful project coming up at work or worrying about how you’ll ever get everything on your to-do list done. It doesn’t need to make sense and you most certainly shouldn’t edit it. It’s just three pages of your thoughts. It helps you get everything out so you can start the day with a clear head.
When I have a creative project and I’m feeling uninspired, I’ll do a brain dump right before starting. Sometimes, it’s just to get rid of distracting thoughts. Other times, I actually come up with some great ideas. Whether you do it in the morning or before starting a project, this method can do wonders for your creativity.
Use a Journal Prompt
While we’re on the subject of writing down your thoughts, let’s talk about journal prompts. You can find books full of these or just go on Pinterest and there are tons of free blog posts with all kinds of ideas.
A journal prompt usually poses a question that is supposed to challenge you to think and express yourself in a different way than you would on your own. They can often stump you, and those are the best kind. To be creative, you have to think outside the box. When you’re faced with a question you wouldn’t normally ask yourself, you use creativity to come up with an answer.
Some examples of journal prompts are:
- What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
- What does true joy mean to me?
- What belief is stopping me from reaching my full potential?
- What fictional character would I be friends with and why?
These questions are not easy at first glance. Allowing yourself to really self-reflect and answers these truthfully can give you a lot of insight. It also gets those creative juices flowing.
If you want to really challenge yourself and your creativity with journal prompts, check out these awesome books.
What’s the best technique you’ve used to bring more creativity into your life? Let us know in the comments!