Being a creative person is often a challenge. We face the world with the ownership of this label that we’ve self-inflicted: I AM CREATIVE! And we go out with an expectation on ourselves (usually by us, and no one else) that we be creative, and we create awesome things, and those things are innovative, and we keep making amazing things. The self-doubt and worry can really bring us down.
Some ways to break out of the normal ways of working, explore and enjoy our own creativity all involve removing expectations and simply creating:
- Chalk. Work in chalk. Doodle and draw and write and wonder. It’s not permanent, it will get wiped away, so take the chance now.
- Bath Crayons. Warning: these are sometimes hard to wash off. BUT, you can explore similarly to with chalk – it is less intimidating to doodle in the shower or tub, especially if you’re doodling for your kid (if you have one).
- Buy a cheap sketchbook. I used to think buying an expensive sketchbook with high quality paper was crucial. I still kind of do, but I have a hard to EXPLORING in that book. Instead, I use the book I got for a few dollars at the dollar store.
- Play “Yes, and …”. I learned this while taking part in a high school drama class last year and it has pushed my writing into new directions. Basically, in the drama activity, you and the other actor improvise and HAVE to yes (a basic rule of improv):
- “I wonder if it will rain tomorrow?” might be responded to with
- “Yes, and I wonder if it will rain cats and dogs?” to which the first person might say,
- “Yes, and those cats and dogs will wearing Scottish battle gear as they take on the Irish in a game of pool golf.”
- The exploding will continue and by the end, hilarity will ensue. The same can happen with your writing (or even your art).I make lists of “Yes, and” but I call it “AND THEN” and I listen to my voice saying it dramatically and with a ton of expression. I am then called to improve the dramatics of my writing!
- Sketch in the wrong colour. Yes, draw that apple in blue. Why? It removes what you know about the apple and forces you to focus on its form and essence. A red circle is either an apple or a tomato, and so by drawing it as blue, we have to find creative solutions. Sometimes, you need to back yourself into a corner rather than run from it.
Do you have other suggestions? If you try some of mine, let me know how they go! Have a happy, creative day!