under the tree canopy

10 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

The need to be creative is part of being human but sometimes we have to make a conscious decision to step away from the drudgery and busyness of everyday life and make time for it, to allow ourselves the freedom to spend ten minutes or ten hours doing something simply for the sake of being creative.

fence post and upturned bucket forming a 'b'

B is for Boosting Creativity.

Here are ten ways for you to boost your creativity. Try them while you’re trying some of the projects and ideas in the Challenge and see what works for you.

1 DO A CHALLENGE

Try some of the challenges this week! Download our free e-book How to Find Creative Inspiration for more ideas.

2 CREATE THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT

Organise the place where you do your creative work so that it’s inviting, with no barriers to settling down and making something. Clear your craft space, sharpen your pencils and throw out the rubbish. Make sure the lighting is good and you’re working comfortably. The easier it is to start a project, the more you’ll create. Read this guide to Finding Space at Home for Printmaking, which has ideas that apply for many kinds of craft spaces.

3 ABANDON PERFECTIONISM

Abandon perfectionism and embrace experimentation. Life is a progression; we crawl, we walk, we run and along the way we fall and pick ourselves up. Don’t be afraid to try something because you think you won’t be very good. Try lots of new things and be prepared for a few to be brilliant, some to be OK and some to be abandoned. Ignore the people who think you have to be a great artist exhibiting all over the world or there’s no point in picking up a paintbrush.

4 RELAX

Hammock slung between two fruit trees

Take time out to swing in a hammock, read a book or watch the world go by. Relax and contemplate the hows and whys of life. COVID-19 has made many people rethink their lives and focus on what really matters, tossing aside the notion that Always Busy is a good thing.

5 GO OUTSIDE

Field of flowering borage in Essex, UK

Lie on your back and watch the clouds or gaze at the stars, dabble your toes in water or feel the earth beneath your feet. Enjoy nature. Listen and watch. Smell and touch. Remember and use it later.

6 EXERCISE

Moving helps us think better, particularly exercise that allows us to switch off and let our minds wander. Exercise outside and enjoy nature at the same time.

7 TURN OFF SOCIAL MEDIA

Mindless scrolling through mediocre photographs on Instagram is not the same as investigating inspiring artists and their work in an online gallery.

There are many artists and makers who have deleted their social media accounts and now devote their time and energy to making great art instead of chasing followers and likes. Turn off your social media notifications while you’re drawing (or crafting or whatever creative thing you do) and don’t rush to make your next post. Try it for a day or a week. Or forever.

Listen to Julia Bausenhardt explain how much better her artistic life has been since she quit social media and check out her sketching demos while you’re there.

8 HAVE FUN AND ENJOY THE PROCESS

Making can be rewarding in its own right. Don’t worry about the end product but enjoy the process of making, the sensory pleasures and the freedom to do whatever you want. Value your hobby and set aside time to enjoy it.

We don’t need to strive for excellence or world domination but for the love of learning a skill and getting better or simply because it makes us happy. We should follow our passion and enjoy it for its own sake.

9 PRACTICE

Try to do something every day, but don’t set yourself unrealistic goals. Try these three quick ways to be a little bit creative every day.

Remember that there is no magic creativity wand or self-help book that will turn you into a fabulously creative person overnight. You need to work at it.

10 DON’T PROCRASTINATE

Stop making excuses and get on with it!

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Next time (Friday): 10 Collaborative Projects

2 thoughts on “10 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

  1. I like all your suggestions for boosting creativity. Your comments about avoiding social media in order to release creativity and Julia Bausenhardt’s reflections were very thought-provoking. All too easy to fall in the trap of creating ‘content’ as opposed to ‘art’ or, worse, simply ending up a spectator. I am enjoying the Alphabet challenge very much so far. Only up to ‘B’ with my illustrated alphabet though! This may take me some time! E

    1. I’ve decided to take the alphabet at a steady plod and am trying very hard to plan ahead instead of my usual rush to get something finished. It’s working so far.

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