10 Ways To Stay Creative.
Every now and then, I get the question, “Hey TJ! How do you stay so creative all the time?”
To be honest, I always have a blank mind when someone asks me this. I don’t consider my creativity a loose element in my life. You know, like something you can switch on and off. It’s intertwined in all that I do. However I decided to ponder a bit more about it and see if I do anything strange or weird to stay creative.
Obviously you have your, “get some fresh air” and “keep a notebook with you at all times to write down ideas”, so I’m not mentioning these in my list.
1. I always clean my work space and art material. Palettes need to be clean, clutter needs to be put away as much as possible and piles of sketchwork needs to be organized. If this isn’t the case I tend to be even more confused than I normally am. I also tend to do a bigger cleaning of my room after I finished a project.
2. I zone out while I listen to music. I don’t just listen to music and the lyrics that are sung. I really listen to the composition and how all the elements fit together. This can trigger an image in my mind and when it does, I often see colors flowing around or a little scene.
3. When I’m stuck with a piece or just stuck in general, I get up and sing and dance around. For real. My mind can tangle itself in a web of confusion and seriousness and this isn’t the ideal situation if I have to create. Just shake it off! *dances*
4. I observe. It doesn’t matter if I’m outside doing stuff or staring out of the window. I just observe. I stare at the leaves moving in the wind. I listen to the wind and the sounds it carries with it. I watch how people walk around and listen to the tones of their voices. I can’t even tell you how often I’ve gotten ideas by doing this.
5. I bake and/or cook. And I don’t mean the daily cooking or regular baking of cookies or waffles. I try out a new recipe. The creative process behind this is calming for my mind and I (usually) end up with a tasty end result. It’s a win-win.
6. I make a pretty breakfast, lunch or dinner for myself. On most days, I just quickly grab some food and drinks, but sometimes I just need to stare at a pretty plate. This also links with number 5.
7. I watch an anime or movie and instead of just watching it, I pay attention to details, like the music choice, the script, the way scenes flow together etc. I do this in general, but sometimes I just focus on this a bit more.
8. I observe kids. Okay, I’m aware that this sounds oddly creepy, but I swear I’m not…creepy. Kids have this innocence and are in touch with their imagination in a different than adults. It’s just amazing to witness. This one time a little girl was talking to her hand and she kept looking amazed at it. I was amazed as well as I haden’t seen this in a long time! Kids are often stuck behind a electronic device nowadays. Also, I wonder who she was talking to. It was an intense conversation.
9. I try out new paint techniques and/or drawing styles. I’ve mentioned this in my “Tips To Get Better At Drawing” post, but what I’d like to add is that I focus on artists that make me think “Now how the hell did he/she do that?! I want to try it as well!”. This is the motivation I need to stay creative. I’ve plenty of artists that make me think the same, but instead of feeling inspired I feel down as I feel I’ll never reach “their level”. Solution? I avoid them until I’ve grown as an artist myself.
Just remember: Don’t strive to be someone else.
10. Set some boundaries for yourself, but know when to break them too. You often hear that you just have to go with the flow, but it works wonders for the mind if you see projects actually being completed. You need that boost of positivity that things actually can be done to continue with other ideas. In order to do this, you have to give yourself some boundaries, so you work on a few projects and not like a gazillion ones all at the same time. But never forget that whatever rule you give yourself, you can break it too. Don’t feel trapped.
That’s it! Well, what I could recall for now. See? This wasn’t that weird or odd, right? Other ways to stay creative that I’ve been doing are little tweaks in my own routine, like staying away from my laptop and getting more rest. Of course I have more ways to stay creative, but the ones in this post are for when I actually have to work on commissions, so they are more “close to home” sort to speak. In the near future I’ll create a list with things I do to stay creative that are more “travel-y”.