If you have ever thought to yourself or stated out loud “I’m not creative”, I’m here to tell you that you are 100% wrong! Don’t worry, most of us have felt this way at one time or another. The truth is, EVERYONE is creative! It’s one of the fundamental characteristics that makes us human. Without creativity we would have never explored fire, conceptualized the first automobile, or be able to gaze on the Mona Lisa’s ethereal face. Creativity challenges the status quo, encourages us to “think differently” and inspires & entertains us.
Apart from the very obvious “creative industry”, all disciplines utilize creativity in different ways. And it’s becoming more and more of a necessity in all occupations. Doctor’s, nurses, teachers, auto mechanics, sales executives, retail staff, etc… we ALL possess the ability to be creative and think creatively.
I like to think of creativity as a muscle. And like any muscle it needs to be worked and exercised. So how do we exercise this muscle? There are many different techniques that in the creative industry I have been trained to utilize, but even I sometimes need a reminder or a session of proverbial “creative crunches”. So I’ve compiled a list of my favorite tips & tricks to get you started!
Break your routine: Drive the same way to work every day? Take a different route! Change up your morning routine! It may feel uncomfortable, but anything you can do to shake-up your daily routine will have an exponential effect on building your “creative muscle”. I like to tell my students “Get comfortable being uncomfortable!”
Complete a daily task (or somewhat daily): Doing any daily activity boosts creativity. Some of my suggestions are try journaling, create a daily typographic study, write a daily blog post, complete a daily illustration, draw a daily comic. By completing a daily task, you train your brain to constantly explore new ways to re-invent the same application. It’s also rewarding to sit back and look at the collection of creations you’ve accumulated and analyze how they’ve progressed.
Go for a walk: The heart of this concept is to clear your mind. You can also meditate, practice yoga or just veg in the tub with a glass of wine. Anything to declutter your brain from the onslaught of mental clutter we endure from the daily fast paced lives which society dictates we live. By quieting and decluttering our minds we create space for the new creative ideas & thoughts to reside.
Listen to different genres of music: This relates back to breaking your routine. By opening your mind to different sounds and cadences, your brain will create new synapsis and add growth to the area of your brain that creativity is attributed to. My favorite creative muscle building tunes feature anything from the sweet melodies of Mozart, to the raspy soul of Billy Holiday and the enchanting lyrics of Stevie Nicks. If you really want to go off the beaten track, sit down with some Gregorian Chants or Bollywood tunes.
Take a class: Learn a new language. Explore a new skill set. Broaden your academic knowledge. Or practice your technique. Any sort of instruction will fire up your ability to work your creative muscle.
So like I said. Everyone IS creative! And I hope I’ve inspired you to explore your creativity or “exercise” your already existing creative brawn!