Below are articles I have written about creativity. I hope you enjoy them. If you have thoughts you’d like to share, be sure to drop me a note.
How to be Creative When You’re Tired or your Mojo is Gone
Being creative takes energy. Not a ton of energy, but energy. And by the time most of us have the opportunity to be creative in our hobbies, it is the end of the day and we are tired. We aren’t feeling creative but we’d like to make something pretty. What can we do? Don’t give up!! Try some of these ideas.
- Be in your space. Go to the space where you do your hobbies (even if this is your dining room table) and just play. Look at your supplies, and if you feel like it, clean up a bit and organize your things. I can almost guarantee that once you see what you have to work with, you will be inspired to create. And if you still aren’t inspired, at least your area will be a little more organized.
- Work without any expectations. Sometimes when my mojo has left me for a long time, I make something that may turn out ugly. I tell myself in advance that it’s okay if whatever I make doesn’t look nice. Creativity is a process. To get yourself going, sometimes you just have to do This will get you back in your groove and before you know it, you’ll be creating beautiful artwork.
- Find those Pins. Remember those 3,000 projects you pinned to your pinterest boards? Now is the time to pull them and up and copy them. Depending on your level of energy, you can copy the inspiration as-is, but if you have a little extra energy, change it up a little bit. This will help grow your skills and your creativity so that soon YOU are the creator of the pins you love.
How to Develop New Habits
The question I get asked the most often is “how do you find the time to do your artwork?” Like everyone else, I am busy. I work full time (including a long commute), have a lovely husband and 2 active little girls, volunteer in the community, exercise, run a part-time business, and sometimes I like to sleep. Everyone reading this is just as busy, but in his or her own way.
Below are tips on how I find the time to develop the habits that are important to me. You can use these tips for anything, but I will relate them to creative pursuits.
- Decide what goal you want to work on. The first step in developing a new habit is to pick the habit. This sounds basic, but until you tell yourself that you want to work on developing your paper crafting skills, you won’t think of doing it during your normal day. I always recommend choosing one new habit at a time. For example, if you recently set a goal to start exercising, you will be overwhelmed if you create a second goal to be more organized.
- Create an easy goal. Next, create the easiest goal you can think of. For example, when I first started exercising, my goal was to exercise once a week. It was so easy; I was able to do it consistently for months. Once I felt the habit was ingrained, I started exercising 2 days a week. It’s been about 15 years since I first started exercising and I still regularly exercise about 4 times a week. I made it gradual. I don’t beat myself up if I miss a week. I just get right back to it when I can.Set a goal that is easy for YOU to achieve. An example could be to make one small project every 2 weeks or even one every month. Don’t be a perfectionist about the project. Focus more on enjoying the process.
- Decide when you will work on your goal. The reason why most people have trouble sticking to a habit is because they don’t have a defined time to work on their new goal. Set a tentative day and time for working on your habit and you’ll be more likely to achieve your goal. For example, if you decide that you will work on your paper crafting on Saturday evenings at 8pm, you’re much more likely to stick to your habit.
- Celebrate your successes and forget your failures. When you are creating a new habit, invariably there will be weeks where you don’t achieve your goal. Life happens and it is completely normal. Focusing on these missed weeks can quickly send you into a downward spiral and cause you to give up your goal entirely. Instead, get back on track when you can. In a few months, you’ll realize that you’ve developed a new habit. You’ll know it’s ingrained when it feels like something is off when you aren’t able to do your new habit.
3 Ways to Increase Your Creative Skills
- Practice. Practice. The secret to mastering any skill in life is to do it often. This is true of any skill. The more we practice, the better we get. The internet brings a lot of inspiration. We can spend hours on blogs or pinterest and see lovely things that others have created. But just looking at other people’s work won’t increase our own creative skills. We must work on our own ideas and projects to foster our creative skills.When I first started stamping, I was told that to increase my skills, I should copy projects. After a few years of doing this, I realized my creative skills hadn’t improved. I could copy amazingly well, but I couldn’t come up with my own ideas. I learned that I had to stop copying other people’s work and start making my own. Yes, it is a thousand times harder to create your own creative work, but I promise, it gets easier. And the satisfaction you will get from making something beautiful on your own is immeasurable.
- Have a Set Day and Time to Work. It’s 2015 and despite our handy gadgets and “time saving devices,” we are busier then ever. There are not enough hours in the day and when we finally have a minute to ourselves, we are exhausted. The last thing on our minds is sitting down and doing something creative. This is why we must schedule creative time into our week. Just like exercise and eating right, it will never happen if we don’t come up with a plan.My creative time is Saturday night. After the kids go to bed I go to my studio, turn on Pandora, and start creating. If I don’t get this time, my whole week feels off. Give it a try and see how quickly you can create great habits. This time could be even more fun if you have a friend join you . . .
- Have fun and don’t worry about “perfection.” Many people who long to be creative are perfectionists. If they can’t do something 150%, they don’t do it at all. But you can’t be amazing and develop your skills if you don’t start. Everyone starts somewhere. Have fun with it. Make mistakes. Make something really really ugly. You will learn and grow and if you continue, you will progress and before you know it, your work will end up being “perfect.” It’s about the journey.