by Jessica Bateman
It’s easier than you think to supercharge your creativity on a daily basis. Adopt a few new habits and start soaking up inspiration from everywhere and get those ideas flowing.
Creativity and creative thinking isn’t a skill restricted to certain professions, or something we only engage in when we’re working on a craft project or drafting a blog post. It influences everything we do, from picking out an outfit in the morning or deciding what to cook for dinner, to relaying a story to a friend.
None of these ideas require too much time, and many are simple spins on activities that may already be a part of your everyday routine.
1. Wandering Mind
Find some kind of creative meditation that works for you. This could be daily ‘morning lines’, as outlined in Julia Cameron’s best-selling book The Artist’s Way, or some form of exercise such as yoga or riding your bike. As well as helping alleviate stress, activities such as these will allow your mind to wander – essential for letting new ideas form.
2. Look out!
“Every time I have to walk somewhere – say to the shops, or to a meeting – I like to turn it into a mini photo walk, challenging myself to find at least one thing to snap,” says Mollie Makes’ editor, Lara Watson. You could try making these themed, too – such as taking a picture of a certain colour, or trying to spot interesting typography. “Train yourself to always observe, look for a great picture or a snippet of fascinating conversation to spark off a new idea.”
3. Lunchtime spark
Nothing reignites the creative spark quite like a holiday. But if you don’t have the funds or time to book a last minute long weekend away, try turning your lunch break into a ‘mini getaway’. Go explore a park you’ve never visited, take a walk round a little-known area, pop to a nearby museum or gallery or try taking a lunchtime class.
4. Go for coffee dates
A new buddy or creative partner who just gets what you do can be potentially life-changing. So connect with other creatives – next time try chatting to that person on Instagram or Twitter, suggest you meet for a coffee when you’re next in their area. “It’s amazing how much a dynamic can change when you meet someone in person,” advises Lara. “You build more trust, fly off on more creative tangents and bounce off each others’ energy way more than if you even talked on the phone.”
5. Put your stamp it
Next time you follow a craft tutorial or try out a new recipe, challenge yourself to make at least two changes to it. If it’s simple enough, you could make it multiple times, putting a different spin on each one. This is great practice for coming up with new ideas and toning up those creative muscles.
6. Muse swap
Something we love doing in the Mollie Makes office is to share what’s inspiring us. Whether it’s a new indie magazine we picked up or an exhibition we chanced upon, it’s a great way to shift out of our comfort zones and find inspiration in places we wouldn’t normally look. The simplest version of this is an Instagram swap – ask your friends for their top three favourite accounts full of visual and creative goodness.
7. Change direction
“There’s nothing more inspiring than learning something new,” says Lara. “Book yourself into a class, craft along with a YouTube video for a technique you’ve never tried, or enlist a friend to skillshare with you.” Try and choose something as different to your current skill set as possible, or totally unrelated to your current work and practice – you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by the fresh direction it takes you in.
8. Dance yourself silly
Closely related to the travel theme, immersing yourself in a new culture can open your eyes to new ideas. But, again, if time and cash-flow are getting in your way, try and find ways to do this in your local area. Visit a local religious festival, such as Divali (the festival of lights), a Mexican day of the dead celebration, or dance yourself silly at at an afro-caribbean gig or carnival. Food and music are accessible ways to start learning about different countries, so get out and visit that hole-in-the-wall Lebanese restaurant or book tickets to see a touring African musician.
9. Study the arts
Instead of watching an episode of TV before bed, swap it for a book or a good film. Studying great artists is the easiest way to improve your own creative practise, no doubt about it.
10. Date yourself
Another main takeaway from The Artists’ Way is the importance of taking ‘artist dates’ – weekly solo expeditions that can be anything from taking a walk outdoors to visiting a new theatre show. As well as being an important inspiration source, they’ll help you become more comfortable in your own company – the essential breeding space for ideas.
11. Dive in
Finally, don’t be scared to dive in and get involved with what’s going on around you. “Participate in your community, whatever that means to you,” concludes Lara. “Though it can be scary to put yourself out there and be more vocal, whether online or in person, it helps you stay connected to your passions and gives you access to a network of like-minded people.” Join in a craft club or an event such as knit in public, or maybe get involved in a Twitter chat or an Instagram challenge. Good luck!