5 tips to be Crazy Creative | How an Artist Thinks
Here on Artsy Cupcake, I bring you creative inspiration twice a week on the topics of life, home, health and style. Today, I want to give you 5 tips to help YOUR creativity. And don’t tell me you aren’t naturally creative. We all have creativity inside of us – sometimes it just takes a little finessing to get it out. I did a video on this same content, if you would rather watch than read!
// STORY TIME
I have a little story for you on how I came about being a creative. I really think creativity is something that can be learned. Even though I feel I’m naturally creative, I’ve had to improve how I approach creativity over the years to make progress in the graphic design field that I’m in. So, there is always room for improvement, no matter your level of creativity.
Ever since I was little, I have always leaned towards things like dance and art. I thought, “Since I am good at those things, I should be an artist when I grow up.” But when I went to college for design, I suddenly was surrounded by tons of really creative people. Really talented painters and sculptors and fashion designers. I saw their work and felt like they could already get paid for what they were doing as 1st year college art students – I think some of the fine artists actually were getting commissioned for their artwork. So, all of a sudden I felt like “Oh, maybe I’m not as creative as I thought.” because all these other college students are really good artists, like they dont even need to be in these classes. I had created art in my own way my whole life and now I was suddenly being compared to other students in art school based on our grades. But that was a good shock to my system because it gave me goals and the drive to be really good. I learned a lot over those 4 years of art school and got better and very well trained as a graphic designer. And after years of practice, critique and even comparisons to other artists, I feel like I’m a natural at coming up with creative ideas, but that’s because of all the schooling and practice. Now, I know how to turn that artsy switch on and off as I please and creativity has become more intuitive. But, it was hard those first years of college, because I didn’t realize there IS an art to being creative. And there ARE a few things to help the creative process along.
The reason for that story is to show you that even if you dont label yourself as a creative, there is always room for improvement. And for those that already label themselves creatives, there is room for improvement, as well. Being crititiqued and self critique is just part of the creative process. And it’s a fun process. I’m hoping my 5 tips here will help you learn a little about how you can be crazy creative, even if you dont think you’re a naturally creative person.
First of all, what does being creative mean to you? Do you want to be more creative to be able to do artsy things like drawing or music or dancing? Or do you want to be able to think more creative like coming up with a creative solution to a complicated problem? Or maybe you want to write a book but can’t find the inspiration or think it is a goal out of reach?
1 // Dont label yourself as uncreative
This could be the first thing preventing you from starting some new creative project. Everyone is creative in their own way. Maybe you can’t draw realistic art, but that doesnt mean you aren’t creative in different ways. Try your hand at abstract painting or sculpture. You don’t have to have a vision of where your art will go, just try creating something and see where it takes you. The act of just creating the art may inspire you with an idea because your mind may go somewhere else. So, the end result may not necessarily be the painting, but the thoughts that flowed while you were painting. It’s almost like taking yourself into a meditative place and good things can happen in that space. Respect your ideas and your imagination harness your abilities. Just give yourself a chance even if you’ve labeled yourself as a non-creative.
2 // Write it down and try it out
Keep a notebook or journal just for your creative inspiration. Writing down something, at least the idea, keeps it in a holding pattern, so this step is really important. Write down a description of that amazing sunset, print out a photo of that unique flower you found at the park and if you have a brilliant idea for a creative project, definitely write it down. Even dreams can inspire you so keeping a dream journal could be a helpful way to get new ideas. Then after you have your ideas written down, get the mixing bowl out and see if that recipe you came up with will work. If you just think on it and don’t take the actions to try them out, you’ll never know where that inspiration could have taken you! And don’t hold back if you have more than one or two ideas. Just constantly be generating ideas, put them into that journal and then you may need to fuse some of those ideas together at a later time. Even if they aren’t the best ideas, this is part of the process – you sometimes have to go through tons of bad ideas before getting to a good one.
When you are creating this creative journal and creating mood boards, you can browse websites like The Hungry JPEG and then use those images for mood boards. I also like wordclouds.com to create word clouds and then I will add those to my mood boards or journal if I am doing a project that includes some writing.
3 // Don’t multi-task during the creative process
If your full time job doesnt allow for creativity, then carve out a little of your personal time for your own creative projects. Whether it’s solving a problem, writing a poem, knitting, creating a new recipe or even choreographing a dance, don’t try to multitask while you’re being creative. Sometimes, you need to use your emotion to really get into the creative zone, so you’re not censoring yourself when you’re trying to be creative. Since creativity is based on emotions, you need to block out some time to do this, where you won’t have any interruptions. This is especially important if you don’t consider yourself to be a creative because it is a different mindset to get into and is almost like a switch. So, if you arent used to using those creative muscles, then make sure you can really focus on your creative activity without any interruptions.
And if you start on something and get frustrated, try again later. Sometimes you need to sleep on it to finish off a great idea.
4 // Try new things
The next tips to be crazy creative is to find inspiration in places you don’t normally look. To make a change in your creativity, you need to look in new places to get inspired. As a designer, I do this all the time. I go to an art museum to see how someone else approached a sculpture. I gather ideas from the internet on how someone designed a magazine cover. Then, I don’t directly copy them, but seeing all the ideas in one place, like on a mood board that I’ve made, can help me form my own idea because I see things I like and don’t like, and this can set the tone for what I’m trying to accomplish.
So, even though I use the internet to create mood boards for creative inspiration, it’s also important to put your devices down and look at the world around you to get inspiration. Go to a botanical garden, a zoo, watch the sunset. These are the simple things that have been inspiring humans since the beginning of time. You could also sign up for an improv class or take a new course from Master Class to open your mind to new ideas and maybe spark some creativity. Master Class has cooking, dance, acting, music and all kinds of other creative videos for you to choose from.
Another idea to try something new is to do a creative brainstorm with a friend and bounce ideas back and forth. Having a friend help out can double the creativity in the room and you can come up with some really great ideas that way.
5 // Don’t shut down your own ideas
And the last tip I have for you is to not shut down your own ideas just because you don’t think they’re good enough. This relates to a blog post I did about perfectionism, where I mentioned you can hold yourself back by actually trying to get thing just right. If you dont give an idea the time of day just because you think it isn’t good enough, then it may be a big loss. That idea may be good for another project or it just hasn’t been fully fleshed out yet. Write that idea down, no matter if you think it has legs or not. It may be tomorrow or it may be 5 years from now that you come back to that idea and make it work for you. And be patient.
I have a watercolor that has been sitting unfinished for probably around 3 years. I haven’t decided if I like how it is or if I want to add some sort of background or sky to it. You might think it bothers me that Ii have some unfinished project sitting around, but this is ok to me because I know it’s part of the marinating process of creativity and some day I will pick that painting up and either frame it as is or add a background to it. Creativity is a process so give your every idea a chance to flourish into what it’s supposed to be.
So, I want to know... what do you feel like your most creative talent is? No answers of, “I’m not creative.” will be allowed. It might be you come up with new recipes or are really good at entertaining your toddler. Whatever it is let me know in the comments section below! Thanks so much for reading and I hope you have a happy day!