I’m ashamed to admit it, but these past few months my creative side has been ignored so much I considered putting my gear on eBay. My work area was littered with half-completed projects, faded scribbled ideas on coffee stained post it notes, and a journal so badly neglected I could barely describe myself as an embodiment participant anymore. It really isn’t good enough so I’ve been spending the last few weeks looking at ways of giving my creativity a kick up the arse and getting back in the flow of the paint, the pen, the glue or whatever tickled my fancy at the time. And while I’m still working on it, I thought I’d share a few tips:
Put your money where your art is
Maybe some new gear would get you going? Even if your art supplies could fill a house by itself, there’s always room for more, and a bit of creative retail therapy might be just the thing. For me, it was a set of Faber-Castell 9000 Art Pencils that got me going again. Opening the tin and seeing, feeling and smelling these gorgeous pencils just made me want to draw. I didn’t care what, and I didn’t care how well it turned out. Which brings me to my next tip.
If you’re picking up again after a long hiatus, then it’s likely whatever you produce isn’t going to be the best work you’ve ever done. But you’re not doing this work to sell or display, you’re doing this to exercise that creative muscle. You’re doing this to remind yourself just how much fun it is to make stuff again – whether it’s art, craft or music. Little piece of advice, though, if you’re picking up a guitar for the first time in months (I have yet to do this, by the way), play unplugged for a while. At least until you’re sure the old gal’s in tune.
Pick a project and try it
Why wait until November?
There are plenty of month-long projects throughout the year to give us creative types the push to actually do something. There’s NaNoWriMo in November, Script Frenzy in June, The Creative Act in February. But if you find that whole group effort thing a bit intimidating, you could always have your own, and spend a month doing whatever creative activity you enjoy, but making sure you do it every day.
Buy a Book
There are a load of books out there designed to motivate and inspire. Here are a few personal favourites:
- Living Out Loud by Keri Smith – an excellent “things to make and do” book.
- Make Your Creative Dreams Real by Sark – anything by Sark is worth a read, but this one offers good, practical advice on how to turn your creative dreams into reality.
- Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory – Danny’s story and illustrations are both touching and inspiring.
- 52 Projects by Jeffery Yamaguchi – little projects and exercises to try if you’re in need of a lift.
Any more tips? Let us know in the comments.