How to Be Creative – Kickstart Your Creativity
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What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word creativity? A common mistake many of us make is confusing creativity with artistic creativity. These are not the same things. The first thing we need to know about being creative is that it is a skill that can be worked on through spending time, getting some training, and putting in a bit of effort.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is the Difference Between Creativity and Artistic Creativity?
- 2 Ways to Be Creative
- 2.1 Method One: Challenge Yourself With Some Creative Exercises
- 2.2 Method Two: Broadening Your Knowledge
- 2.3 Method Three: Changing Your Lifestyle
- 3 How to Find Your Creativity
- 3.1 Tap Into Your Thoughts
- 3.2 Change Your Routine
- 3.3 Document Everything You Do
- 3.4 Be Resourceful
- 3.5 Keep Your Devices at Arm’s Length
- 3.6 Set Deadlines
- 3.7 Be Innovative
- 3.8 Keep a Positive Attitude
- 3.9 Surround Yourself With People Who Can Influence You
- 3.10 Do Not Be Confined by Rules
- 3.11 Be Optimistic and Have Energy
- 4 Tips and Tricks on Being Creative
- 5 Can Creativity Be Learned or Is It Something We Are Born With?
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Difference Between Creativity and Artistic Creativity?
It may sound like there might not be a difference, but being creative and being artistically creative are slightly different. Creativity is a form of problem-solving, it is when you come up with an original idea, or use your imagination to create or invent something. Artistic creativity is the ability to apply your skills and talent to create works of art; such as writing, painting, drawing, sculpting, and lots more.
Ways to Be Creative
There are many ways to be creative. You could engage in activities like reading, writing, and even listening to music. A good start to giving your brain the boost it needs in order to increase your creative skills is to make some lifestyle changes like getting into an exercise routine, walking around more, and even getting more sleep. There are quite a few methods you can use to show you how to get creative. Each one of these methods has its own guidelines that you could make use of to be more creative.
Method One: Challenge Yourself With Some Creative Exercises
As we are learning, just like any other skill, we can train ourselves and our minds to be more creative with a few exercises. These exercises can be helpful if you are feeling creatively blocked and need to find inspiration.
The 30-Circle Test
There are lots of ways to be creative, one of them being the 30-circle test. This is a simple test that you can do when you are having a dull moment in your day, the point of this is to help push you to think more quickly and creatively. You start by drawing 30 circles, after which you must try to make as many of these circles into drawings as you possibly can. Try to do this in one minute. This test will help boost your creativity by forcing you to embrace several ideas and not give you as much time to reject ideas without experimenting with them, this is a good way to practice how to be creative.
Doodle in Your Spare Time
It may sound silly, but doodling in your spare time is known to help increase your productivity. It can increase your creativity levels by increasing your engagement and attention span with the outside world. Doodling will assist in staying more focused in situations where you would usually not pay attention or zone out. Creativity is a like a sponge; you need to absorb information.
Write Flash Fiction
Writing is considered more of an artistic means of creativity, although, writing flash fiction could help you be more creative in a way where you have to write a story with a beginning, middle, and end while only using a limited number of words. This is useful when you have to convey important information in a limited capacity.
Listen to Music
Listen to music in the background. In this case, classical music tends to inspire creativity and help you to focus and increase concentration. Although, not many people have taken a liking to classical music. It can be good to play around and find out what works best for you to be more creative.
Use Your Hands
Try to use your hands and make something, this means you are getting all information from your senses. Creativity has often been linked to making something with your hands, so it is not a foreign matter. Most people find being creative when they are busiest using their hands to make something, be it sculpting, painting, molding, knitting, sewing, or many other hands-on activities.
Play Video Games
There is research that shows that playing certain video games can be a benefit for the creative mind. There are interactive video games that require you to move around, this helps to stimulate the senses with creative thinking. Interacting with these video games will help in improving ways on how to be creative as well.
Read a Book
Although some of us may not have the time these days, reading a book is especially great for the creative mind. Reading a book will allow you to use your imagination, which, in turn, will have you tapping into creative thinking. Try to read books of different genres to expand your knowledge, as well as your horizons, in a literary sense.
Method Two: Broadening Your Knowledge
The more we know, the better. Allow yourself to learn and absorb information wherever you go and with whoever you surround yourself with. A step forward to being more creative is gaining knowledge about what you are trying to achieve.
Developing Your Expertise
You want to try to find out what you are best at, we call this developing your expertise. All this simply means, is that you are learning and gaining as much knowledge about one specific area or medium. You would usually start off by researching and reading articles about what it is you are interested in doing. If you have the time, you could even sign up for an introductory class for the activity you want to learn about.
Allow yourself to be open to a new experience. Don’t just dismiss or resist things that seem unfamiliar to you. This is how to get creative- you accept and even create opportunities to try new things. You should allow yourself the freedom to explore the things you think you might not particularly like, part of being creative is being open-minded.
Tap Into Your Inner Child
As we know, children are quite creative beings, we could learn a thing or two from them. For instance, it is encouraged that we engage in childlike play to foster this creativity. This will also help you to be more open-minded, as it will free you from being an adult for that period of time. Take the time to actually play with toys and even art supplies to stimulate your imagination.
Teach Others What You Have Learned
When you learn something useful, share this information with others. It is believed that you are more likely to remember something that you have learned if you teach it to someone else. When you learn something new, try explaining it to yourself in your head. Once you have an understanding of something, it will become much easier for you to remember it.
Play a Word Game
Put yourself in a situation where you need to actively think of new ideas. You could play word association games where you write down a word and then try to find any other word that would connect with it, almost like Sudoku, but with words. A similar idea you could try is another word game called Word Melt, where you would change words into other words just by changing one letter at a time. An example of this would be MELT → MALT
Being creative is something you can practice, make an effort to set aside some time every day to go to a quiet or inspiring place so you can work on new ideas. This will be your brainstorming time, try not to think about what you are going to brainstorm. Just allow any and all inspiration to flow.
Method Three: Changing Your Lifestyle
Doing things that you would not usually do could benefit the mind in ways where you are now in a position to think about things that are new and innovative. The purpose of learning these tips and tricks is for you to generate new ideas more frequently and teach you how to be creative.
- Surround yourself with different people, socializing can give your creativity a jump-start, especially with others who are different from you. Spending time with people who have experiences unlike yours could expand your mind and perhaps offer a fresher outlook on things.
- Try to walk around as much as you can. This gives you the time to think about ideas you will possibly have as you might zone out and connect with creative thoughts. Walk for a minimum of 15 minutes a week, or every day if you have the time.
- Regular exercise could boost creativity simply by lowering stress levels and also improving your cognitive function. Create an exercise routine to follow for about 30 minutes a day and do some light cardio work like walking or jogging.
- It is equally important to get enough sleep. A good sleep schedule will help the mind stay rested, which will assist with ways to be creative as you should be recharged. Your brain is also very active while you are sleeping, so you might be thinking about or creating new ideas as well.
How to Find Your Creativity
It is a strange concept to think about how to find your creativity. Any normal person would think that being creative is an easy thing to do, although, this is definitely not the case. It may be challenging for some of us to get the creative juices flowing, so here are some ways that could help you find your creativity.
Tap Into Your Thoughts
Tap into your thoughts, dreams, and imagination. Before going to sleep at night, we often drift off and imagine. We have fantasies or ideas, where we could possibly come up with a brilliant idea as the next million-dollar invention.
Change Your Routine
Change your daily routine and do something out of the ordinary. When you are open-minded, you can view things differently. Give yourself some time off to explore new things, take a walk somewhere you haven’t been before, or take a little weekend trip to take in the surroundings and clear your mind.
Document Everything You Do
It is recommended that you try to document everything that you do. Take notes, snap some photographs, and collect things from the places you go. These little things could be the key to unlocking your creativity.
Make use of what you have around you- be resourceful. Don’t allow the fact that your resources might be limited to cap your creativity, this way you can be inventive in making things. When you can’t access the things you think you need, being creative is the one way to solve that problem.
Keep Your Devices at Arm’s Length
When you’re trying to get into a creative mood, it is best to keep your cell phone, laptop, and tablet at arm’s length. Social media easily distracts us, and we often procrastinate. When the creative juices start flowing, do not allow yourself to fall into this trap. Limit the time you spend online.
At the end of the day, you want to have something to show for all your thinking. Give yourself a deadline so you can push yourself and be more motivated to get the work done. A deadline could also help force you into finding inspiration with only the things you have around you. The tricky part about being creative is having constant motivation.
Don’t find yourself stuck in work you have done in the past. You should definitely be proud of what you have accomplished already, but lingering in older work could leave you in a repetitive loop. Find inspiration from what you have already accomplished, but remember to look forward and be innovative.
Keep a Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude and being more open-minded about ideas could open the door to your next creative project. Getting into a creative mood means not shutting down every possible idea that you may have.
Surround Yourself With People Who Can Influence You
Surround yourself with people who can motivate and influence you, push you to do more, and challenge yourself. We often think that isolating ourselves is what works best, but this is not always the case. Some of us struggle to stay self-motivated, that’s why it is always suggested to surround yourself with people who either want the same thing as you, or are so different to you, and are willing to probe and question your world view and ideas. Keep in mind that creativity cannot thrive in social and ideological bubbles where everyone is in permanent agreement. So seek out as wide a variety of personalities and mindsets as you can find.
Do Not Be Confined by Rules
One of the things to remember about being a creator, is to maintain your individuality. The minute you start following rules, you limit yourself from being truly creative. The point of being creative is to stand out and do something new.
Be Optimistic and Have Energy
Being creative means being optimistic, having lots of energy, and having the will to make things happen. Be passionate about what you are trying to create, passion is one of the reasons you’re here at this point trying to make it happen!
Tips and Tricks on Being Creative
Finding the inspiration to be more creative is not always the easiest thing to do. There will be days when simply nothing comes to mind, and it is okay to seek help in certain instances. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to find your creativity.
Being Creative in Daily Life
Sometimes we feel stuck or even have a creative block. Being creative does not always come naturally, there are days when we need inspiration to help kick-start the creative juices and get them to flow. Here are some tips and techniques you could make use of;
- Being a creative person does not necessarily mean you are born with it, for some people, it just comes naturally. For others, however, it is definitely something that can be learned over time with some discipline, as well as the right tips and tricks.
- Pick up your pen, pencil, or paintbrush and start drawing or painting. Try to do this every day, and just let whatever comes to mind fall onto your paper or canvas. This will be a useful trick to help practice your innovation skills. Give yourself small creative tasks to do to get into the routine of creative thinking.
- Experts believe that exercising daily can be good for the mind. It reduces stress levels, allows you to sleep better, and helps you to be more creative. An easy way of clearing your mind of any thoughts that do not benefit you is through being active. Exercising has several physical and mental benefits as well.
- Ask questions, even if they sound silly. By asking questions, we learn more about things and the world around us. By asking questions frequently, you will always be learning and picking up on new things. The more information you absorb, the more creative you are likely to be. Remember, knowledge is power.
- Allow yourself to daydream for a bit. There are studies that show a connection between creativity and daydreaming. Daydreaming will force you to think in an imaginative, fun way, and not be as logical and structured.
- Visualizing your idea will make being creative easier. Create a mood board or a collage to get all your thought out onto paper. Seeing your thoughts could help with out-of-the-box ideas. Lots of people are visual learners, so this method would work best for them.
- Surround yourself with nature. It is believed that being outdoors can enhance your creativity. Nature will naturally calm you, and lower your stress levels. Set aside some time for a few hours a week to just sit and take in your surroundings, while allowing your mind to wander and be inspired.
- Always make sure that your creative workspace is clear. It is important for your mindset. Working in a messy, cluttered area could quite possibly have you feeling stressed out. Work in an environment that makes you happy, and is comfortable so that it is easy for you to generate new ideas.
- Try listening to something that will strike inspiration. You could listen to music, a podcast, or even a TED talk. There are lots of topics and genres that you could listen to that will help you be more creative and give you a new perspective on things.
- There are certain methods you can use when you need to generate new ideas quickly. Some of these methods include things like making lists (pros and cons), mind maps, and even flow diagrams. Seeing your ideas on paper will help you choose the better one of all ideas you might have.
- An easy way to be more creative is to be around others who are also creatives. This is building your network; you can find inspiration from being around or seeing other people’s work. Build your creative network on social media and link with those who have similar interests to you.
Being Creative in the Workplace
Not all jobs require you to be creative, but for those of us who work in a place where you constantly need to keep up and come up with new ideas, you might need some tips and techniques to help you.
- If you suddenly feel inspired at work, note it down, no matter how big or small the idea is. It is vital that you keep track of all your ideas when you work in a fast-paced environment. Try to document any and everything so that you can come back to it when you have the time.
- Generally, when we are at work, it is advised that we keep our cell phones at arm’s length, as it can be quite distracting and make our attention span shorter. Being on your cell phone all the time means that you are not giving your brain the time to slow down and actually process your thoughts.
- Try not to conform and keep to the status quo. This will hold back any creative thoughts you might have. Creating and coming up with new ideas will mean you cannot be following rules and doing what everyone else is doing. Isolate yourself for a bit in the workplace when you get the chance and let the ideas flow.
- There will be times when you feel stuck with certain tasks or projects. It might be best to leave it for a bit and take it on when you are feeling more ready and have more ideas at hand. This could possibly mean that you will have to work outside of your working hours, but sometimes you need to take the ‘problem’ into a different environment to find new ways to tackle it.
- Practice brainstorming and mind mapping regularly. Your ideas will flow easier when you are used to writing them down and seeing them. This will also help you to get rid of any possible creative blocks that might be preventing you from moving forward with a particular project.
Being Creative in Art
- Anyone can experience a creative block, even an artist. People tend to think that being an artist means you are a natural creative genius, but even our experts need a bit of inspiration from time to time.
- If you look at the artworks of many artists, you will find that many of them are fascinated with the natural world. Some of these paintings, drawings, and photographs are of direct nature. This is, once again, allowing nature to inspire you.
- You could try meditating. The left side of your brain is used to control all logical thinking, while the right side controls our imaginative and creative ideas. Mediating allows both sides of the brain to work together. This also helps you to become more conscious of your thoughts.
- Instead of picking up your cell phone and opening social media as the first thing you do in the morning, try journaling or freewriting. Your mornings usually set the tone for the rest of the day, why not make it a good one? All you have to do is get a notebook and a pen and write down whatever comes to mind. This particular tip is especially helpful to writers who want to get rid of writer’s block.
- There is research that suggests listening to music can lead to more creative and divergent thinking. It is always best to have the music playing in the background and it is suggested to listen to music without lyrics so that they are not a distraction.
- Creative tasks often take up much of your mental power. Therefore, it is important to allow your mind to rest for a bit after a long day at work or working for a long period of time. Try to do something relaxing that does not involve you thinking too much, you could watch some TV or just watch some funny videos on social media.
Being Creative in Thinking and Writing
Writing and thinking can take a lot of your mental energy. It’s hard to come out of something like writer’s block or come back from losing your creative inspiration. Here are a few tips on how to be more creative when you are feeling stuck:
- There is something called the “Three Ifs” that you as a writer could possibly make use of. This process will help you by taking an idea that already exists and making it new, giving the idea a fresh perspective. When you use the “Three Ifs”, take into consideration the following things:
- What about this concept could you change or improve for it to still work in the next few years?
- If you had the funds to invest in the idea, what would you do?
- If you changed a dynamic attachment to the idea, like a system or social setting, what would happen?
Try brainstorming or mind mapping possible solutions to these questions to find better-suited answers.
- If you have never before pitched your ideas, consider doing it now. Pitching your ideas are important especially if you are in the creative field or a writer, this is how you get your work out there. Keep in mind that this is a skill you should practice often as this will make sure you are communicating your ideas and thoughts properly.
- As a writer, you need to convey your ideas to the reader. Whether you’re writing an article or a novel. A good way to relay this message is by being curious about the world we live in; all this simply means is to gain more knowledge by reading more or different books and articles. You could also speak to people and listen to the stories they tell.
- Make use of your co-workers and peers, as they can be vital in contributing to your creative inspiration. Bounce your ideas off friends and co-workers when you are faced with writer’s block, discussing your thoughts and ideas could lead to some advice that will help you along the way when you’re feeling stuck.
- While some of us may not believe in setting deadlines when it comes to creativity, we may just have to. Sometimes it’s a good thing to put a bit of pressure on ourselves, even though deadlines can stress you out, they prevent us from procrastinating and pushes us to get the work done. It may be best to break up the workload and create “mini-deadlines” to make things easier and less stressful. The aim of all of this is to help relax the mind and be more open-minded to allow the ideas to flow.
Can Creativity Be Learned or Is It Something We Are Born With?
The never-ending question we struggle with is wondering if creativity came from nature or nurture. There are studies that show we can indeed to born with more creativity than others. It shows that the brains of these “artistically creative” individuals have specific attributes that could intensify creativity. As we may know, the brain is divided into two halves, which are joined by a group of fibers called the corpus callosum. The artistic individuals were found to have a smaller number of these fibers, which could be increasing their creativity by allowing both sides of their brain to advance into their own kind of specialization.
As we have learned, to some of us, creativity comes naturally. However, it can most definitely be trained as well. Just as you would learn any other skill, being creative takes time, a bit of effort, and discipline. It is also just as easy to be creatively blocked, whether you are a professional artist, writer, or creator just starting out.
Nobody wants to be stuck in a creative rut, but there is a wide variety of tips and tricks that could help put you back in the creative flow. Remember, you do not need to be a natural creative to allow your ideas to become something more – just be passionate and open-minded about what you are trying to achieve!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes a Creative Person?
To be creative you must be open-minded. Being open-minded allows you to imagine and daydream about the various possibilities and outcomes of ideas. You should be able to visualize and put yourself in situations to find the answers you are looking for.
Is Creativity a Talent or a Skill?
By definition, a skill is the ability to do something exceptionally well. Talent generally is something you are born with. Being creative is something you can learn, and therefore makes it a skill. Anyone can learn how to be creative by equipping themselves with a few easy tips and tricks that can be used every day.
What Is Creative Thinking?
Creative thinking is purposefully learning new things through the information that already exists. Creative thinking may include tapping into a few styles of thinking and analyzing information from different perspectives. This is easy to adapt to, all you need to do is practice!
Larissa Meyer is a 32-year-old mother and creative spirit since childhood. Her passion for painting and drawing has led her to train as an illustrator and pursue a career as a freelance graphic designer. Larissa is a talented artist who is able to master a wide range of styles and techniques to bring her artistic vision to life.