This post may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I am compensated for qualifying purchases. For more information please read my disclosure
Has your creativity ever seemed to dry up and blow away? Everyone from office workers to professional artists go through creative lulls. If you’re needing a little (or a lot!) of inspiration, try out a few of these “creativity hacks.”
1. Try something new
If you usually draw with colored pencils, try exploring watercolors. If you’re an ink and paper gal, try out some digital sketching on your tablet. I love my Bluprint subscription because there are so many different projects and media I can dabble in. If you don’t have Blueprint, (or even if you do) YouTube can also be a best friend when you’re wanting to learn something new
2. Get Crafty
Legitimate creativity isn’t limited to drawing and painting. Get your hands busy with a craft project. Again, between Bluprint, YouTube, and some Pinterest sprinkles, you can find ideas and tutorials for anything under the sun. And don’t forget the “old fashioned” arts. Many of these getting lost in today’s world of fast fashion and decor. Textile arts are beautiful and useful. Crochet some comfy slippers for frosty mornings or knit a scarf. As a bonus, the repetitive nature of these crafts are known to boost creativity. Many of these crafts can be worked on in small windows of time – perfect for the busy creative.
Doing a simple exercise like making a color swatch and/or values chart for your colored pencils or paint set might seem less than creative, but “mundane” exercises get your hands and mind active and working together, making new connections and exploring possibilities. Check out the simple exercise above that combines watercolor with doodling to make something that can turn out frame-worthy. I’ve also done this exercise and cut it into bookmarks.
4. Speaking of working out…
Physical exercise gets your blood pumping and reduces stress, which in turn can help make you more creative. Bonus points for exercising in the great outdoors – nature is inspiring in itself! Leave the earbuds at home and be present in the moment, hearing the sounds around you, even if mixed in with the bird songs are the sounds of voices and traffic.
You can pick up a few interesting leaves, a flower, an acorn, or even a rock to draw or paint. If it’s inappropriate or inconvenient to take an object home with you, (always respect your neighbors and the environment) snap a picture with your phone. Even if you don’t reproduce these objects artistically you can make a small arrangement on your desk or counter top. Snapshots on your phone can be turned into wallpaper for your computer, tablet, or phone.
5. Read a book
Whether it’s a short story, historical fiction, a poem, the Bible… read a few pages until your mind starts forming images. Use this for inspiration.
6. Take a class
Classes abound, in person and online. Sometimes the structure, social setting, and feedback from a live class can give you the “push” you need to bring projects to completion. You can learn something new or hone your skills in the media you usually work with. Many community centers, community colleges, craft stores, and local libraries host classes. Classes can range in cost from free to significant investment so you might have to do a little digging but this can be a game changer totally worth the money.
7. Subscription Boxes
My list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention subscription boxes since this is what got me going again after a years-long period of being stuck. Getting a box in the mail with supplies and instructions gives you a concrete reminder to get going and a track to run on. The “Lets Make Art” watercolor box is *thebomb.com.* I receive nothing for recommending this company wholeheartedly and still subscribe to their boxes myself! They also have a Youtube channel with lots of awesome tutorials. (FREE!)
There are numerous other subscription boxes out there like ArtSnacks and Adults and Crafts. Make sure to read ratings and reviews of boxes you’re interested in to make sure the quality is high and it’s a good fit in general. A box of new goodies coming every month is like a little bit of Christmas and helps you remember to take time for creativity.
I’d love to hear about the things you do to generate creativity in your life, and maybe include them in future posts!