Summer’s here and I think it’s a great time to nurture our creativity. Here are 10 ways you can reclaim your gifts.
I’m a big believer that we can all draw. No, we’re not all Picasso, but we can all draw – with a little practice. Stuck for inspiration? If you doodle, try developing your skill at cartoons. Start small and familiar rather than trying to take on an awesome landscape; for example you can draw domestic objects, or shoes can be really good (they were good enough for Van Gogh).
2. Read more widely
Indeed, read something at all – and I don’t mean just scrolling down, open-mouthed, through a morass of email at various points in the day. I mean reading as in A Book. Just over half of UK adults read a book last year (according to Kantar UK insights). Reading improves our own literacy, broadens our vocabulary and exposes us to different ways of thinking and views of the world. You can ask friends and family for recommendations, join a book club or go to author readings.
Develop the habit of keeping a journal, noting your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis. It might be a ‘gratitude journal’ to build positive outlook, or random ideas, ‘what if’ thoughts and reflections on what’s going on for you right now.
Get tactile and make something with your hands from wood, fabric, wool, clay, seeds, recycling, skip finds.
Films can be fun. Live is a whole different thing: live performance tends to stay in the memory far longer and gives us food for thought. When did you last see a play, a concert or a ballet?
What are you feeding your brain, mind and creativity via your ears? This one’s a bit like ‘reading more widely’ as I think we can all broaden what we listen to. Eavesdropping on conversations in public places can be a rich seam. Or you may simply try a different podcast feed, or dig out some music you haven’t heard in ages. If you’re in a big city there’s often a variety of interesting free talks.
Yep, we’re using all the senses here – we can be creative in more ways than we realise. Try some new food. Even better, try cooking something new.
Of course going to another country will expose us to different scenery, architecture and culture, if not an entirely new language. And let’s not forget, different laws. Simple things can be eye-opening, such as different attitudes to time (working in Indonesia taught me some lesson on that one). The destination doesn’t have to be exotic or even far-flung: I find getting out of the bubble that is London forces a different take on everyday things.
Thinking out loud can be a whole different experience to letting our thoughts just swirl round and round. Try voicing your thoughts on what interests you in a group of like-minded people, at a debate or a networking event. Or step up and grab the mic yourself!
For many of us, this is obvious; there’s evidence to back up the belief that walking benefits creativity. Charles Dickens was a big fan of the power of going for a walk, saying “The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy.”
You may find this blog post useful: ‘2 essential idea generation techniques’.
Image ‘Creative Painting Idea’ by @ arrtfoto / Deposit Photos