Creativity tip: make something

I was recently fortunate enough to catch a Creative Social gathering. Based on their new book, ‘Hacker, Maker, Teacher, Thief’, Daniele Fiandaca, Sam Ball, Marc Lewis and Jon Burkhart, who were all involved with the book, talked about the different ways we can be creative.

One phrase in particular struck me: ‘Make something’

Most people in the audience were professionals who earn their living by applying their creativity commercially. So that means they tend to start by thinking around a problem / brief, then coming up with an idea, then making it. The rest of us tend to think / do in a similar way. Yet here the advice was to try making something – anything – first, and noticing what came to us whilst doing that.

What could you make?

  1. Make food for friends
  2. We have ‘Bake-off’ to thank for this – there’s no shortage of ideas for things to bake, from cakes to biscuits to pies and bread. The ingredients and tools needed are now also widely available. You can also make jam, chutney and preserves as gifts for friends. Here’s Delia with tips on jam. Or how about chocolates? I’m strangely drawn to this very easy chocolate fudge

  3. Make a drawing
  4. Just grab pencil (or pen) and some paper and draw something, anything. My friend Roger does often hilarious drawings of the people he sees on the tube – he may have drawn you. You could try cartoons – just start with a familiar face. Or join a cartoon drawing course at The London School of Journalism. Or you can get Graham Shaw to teach you at work.

    Many years back, my art tutor advised me to practise by drawing my shoes – and she was right, they’re fun to draw and very personal. Or you can assemble a still life of household objects and practise drawing them.

  5. Sew something
  6. Bling your clothes by sewing on sequins. Or upcycle a vintage buy. You can embroider, create a patchwork or make a quilt (or learn to).

  7. Make a collage
  8. No ‘artistic expertise’ required, just get going with some paper, scissors and a sticky stick. You can collage your own photos, images from magazines or websites, books and comics from second-hand shops, brochures that land in the post. Let the images, colours and mood guide you, rather than setting out to make a particular thing. Rod Judkins is an artist and author of ‘Change Your Mind’ who, amongst other things, teaches a collage short course at Central St Martins – I’ve got some creativity tips from Rod here.

Check out Creative Social’s Facebook page here.

Dawn is the author of ‘How to be Zoomly at work’, available on Amazon.

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