How to encourage creativity

Creativity is such a buzz word these days, and as always, the internet is full of useful (ahem!) information. Advice is often directed to corporate workspaces and a manager’s responsibility to enable and encourage creativity among her staff. As an entrepreneur, that kind of advice doesn’t apply to my situation. Instead, I’m going to include some of the tips that work for me here.

There are many definitions of creativity. For the purposes of this short article, I’m using the term creativity in a generic problem-solving sense. For me, that’s what creativity boils down to: solving problems by finding news ways to express or do something.

Just as art is in the eye of the beholder, the process of creativity itself can be pretty subjective. If you’re a creative person, you might find that getting out of your studio or workspace helps to get your juices flowing. Or you might find that burrowing into your studio and being hands-on in your materials and tools is the best way to come up with new ideas or solutions. The important thing to remember is to find what works for you.

And if you’d like to switch it up and read about how to destroy creativity, try this article here.

7 Inspirations to help you become more creative

  1. Change your daily routine. Go somewhere new in your neighbourhood. Walk a different path. Talk to someone you’ve never spoken with before. You don’t have to fly across the world to have a new experience.
  2. Document everything. Photos, notes, collectables, memorabilia. Even if you’re not sure, tuck it away. (This advice is tricky for me, as I’m a purger – I have trouble storing things. And if it’s not well-organized, my “documentation” intentions are doomed.)
  3. Give yourself a phone-free hour. If you’re a single parent and worried about notifications from your kids, then remove or mute any notifications from anyone but your kids’ schools or caregivers. And spend that hour doing something you enjoy. It could be a walk outside, reading a book, picking up a paintbrush or your knitting needles, whatever – just don’t plop down in front of the TV.
  4. Tend to procrastinate? Give yourself a deadline. Some of us need a little bit of healthy stress from a reasonable deadline in order to produce anything useful.
  5. Don’t think about past actions. Don’t get stuck in older ideas, no matter if they’re good or bad. Regrets, past glories, doesn’t matter. This is a moment you are giving yourself to be IN the moment.
  6. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Sometimes you look at what you think you need to have in order to be creative, and forget to use what you have. It can be easy to say, “Oh I can’t possibly make that because I don’t have [ fill in the blank: proper studio space, the right tools, etc ],” thereby giving yourself an easy excuse.
  7. Stay yourself. Don’t always follow the rules; allow yourself space to maintain your individuality as a person and as a creator. As Anthony Burrill says, Conformity is the enemy of creativity.
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