"I wish I was creative like you!"
I've heard that statement scores of times, usually when I'm up on a ladder with a paintbrush in my hand. It's said with the unspoken mistaken assumption that I was "born creative."
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I've taken my standard issue nugget of creativity and cultivated it over many years and through lots of practice. It only looks easy because I've put work into learning my craft...and applying the same principles into other areas of my life.
To make creativity grow, you must plan for it, plant it, tend it, fertilize it, and work it. I'm going to toss my favorite cultivation ideas out there and see if you can add to my list:
1. Find experts and watch them: youtube has ah-MAYzing tutorials. Guitar playing, painting, woodworking....ANY form of art can be found.
2. Be childlike: don't be afraid to ask questions, experiment, explore.
3. Have the tools of your craft handy and available. Nothing squelches a sudden desire to create something than having to locate a paint brush, paint, glue, fabric etc.
4. Invest in yourself. So what if it's "just a hobby?" Spend some money on classes, books, conferences and webinars. Make time. Your soul is crying out for this. Say YES to your creative self.
5. Open your eyes to design. Look at surfaces, colors, signs, fabrics, products. Ask questions about what you see. Figure out how things are made.
6. Listen to inspiring music. I love to have my Pandora stations on when I'm thinking and creating. I have my favorite epic movie soundtracks in iTunes that fill me with possibilities. Music opens your mind to big thoughts.
7. Give yourself time to "find your voice." I'm still working on finding my "painting voice" on canvases. I'm experimenting and have a feeling that my work will look very different five years from now. Writing has taken me a long time to learn to craft sentences, edit and delete, delete, delete until what I type sounds like "me."
8. See creativity as an expression of God through you. You may never be the next YoYo Ma, or Thomas Newman or Picasso, but when you let yourself feel the process of making something, you are experiencing God's pleasure. He is the ultimate creator and He loves to see His children create.
9. Find others who love the things you do. Artistry can be a lonely endeavor. MOST of my days on jobsites are spent by my little ol' self. I love to find other people who "get" my love for Cerulean Blue, Payne's Gray and Cadmium Yellow.
10. Turn off the TV, computer, phone and distractions. We fritter so much valuable time away on Facebook and watching junk....or it just me?? All this media turns our brains to mush and makes our creative juices leak out like a sieve.
You will learn best by doing.
(And you can tweet that, honey.)
Today's Be More Creative Assignment is to take one of the 10 tips and put it into practice.
You COULD do several of them at the same time....turn off computer, listen to music and invest in yourself. WOOT! Creative multi-tasking.
Tell me: what are some ways YOU can cultivate your creative life?