Image: Jason Briscoe
Do you ever feel stressed, overwhelmed, or boxed in? Developing your creativity is a great way to break up the monotony of your daily routines, release frustration or find more peace in your life.
In your search for your creative spark, you may discover talents you didn't realize you possessed, new activities that bring fun and excitement into your life, and new ways to relax and rejuvenate.
Try these ideas for developing your own creative outlet:
1. Delve into activities you know you like. What have you enjoyed doing in the past? Have you noticed that you have a knack for drawing, writing, painting, sewing, or making jewelry? Try some of the same things that have allowed you to be creative in the past.
• If you aren't sure about a particular creative outlet, start small. Avoid buying everything you need to really explore the new skill until you're certain that you've found something you'd like to stick with.
2. Take a class. If you can't easily think of a creative outlet on your own, consider taking a class, seminar, or workshop. You can try a variety of different creative arts from basket weaving to painting, from photography to belly dance.
• Check your local college campuses, arts and crafts stores and continuing education
schools to find weekend workshops and evening classes that teach these activities.
3. Write or journal. Writing and journaling can be a great creative outlet, whether you're free writing about your day or putting your feelings into words in the form of poetry or song..
• You don't have to become a published author to use writing as a productive creative outlet. If expressing your feelings on paper feels good to you, just enjoy the process.
4. Create gifts for others. Experiment with a myriad of different creative outlets by making things for the people that you love. Bake cookies, write a poem, draw a picture, paint pottery or handcraft a piece of jewelry for someone you care about.
• Not only do these tasks allow you to use creativity to deal with feelings and emotions, but they also let you share a part of yourself with people who are important to you.
5. Experiment with food. Whether you enjoy cooking, grilling, baking or candy making, you can experiment in the kitchen as a creative outlet. When you cook with feeling, you may be surprised with the results you create. You may find that you're more successful in your cooking and baking ventures when emotion is an ingredient.
• Share your creations with others. Regardless of whether you cook tasty meals or bake
sweet treats, your gift recipients are sure to enjoy them.
These ideas are just a starting point. There are plenty of other options for you to pursue on your own. Your creative outlet can be anything that you want it to be, as long as you get joy from it. Simply find something that brings you pleasure and use it as your creative outlet. If you do this, you can find joy and peace in every day
Harnessing your ingenuity will make your life more meaningful and enjoyable. Discover
here why creativity is so important and welcome more innovation and inspiration into your
How Creativity Enriches Your Life
1. Experience more joy. Creativity flourishes when you think positively. Find
your passions and cultivate them. Embrace challenges with curiosity. Observe the
conditions that help you get "in the zone."
2. Improve your physical health. Studies show that creativity exercises are an
effective way to relieve stress and boost our immune system. Those who think
resourcefully also cope better with aging and experience fewer declines in their
3. Strengthen your relationships. A sense of imagination can even enhance your
personal relationships. Break out of the same old conflicts by searching for common
ground. Look at challenging situations from the other person's perspective and try out
a different response.
4. Perform better at work. Collaboration is integral to the creative process. Help create
a more cooperative atmosphere where colleagues complement each other's strengths
rather than competing.
5. Be all you can be. We all have some form of creative genius. Enjoy the
pleasure of developing your own gifts. With persistence and an open mind, you'll
expand your skills for responding to all kinds of challenges.
Techniques for Sparking Your Creativity
1. Brainstorm. Generating ideas is usually the first step in the creative process. Put aside
any judgments and just let the options flow. Now's your chance to get zany and
2. Incubate. Before inspiration hits, there's usually a quiet time while we digest our
ideas. Help your unconscious mind along by taking a quiet walk or a relaxing shower.
Routine tasks like washing dishes can also trigger insights. Think about a dilemma
right before bed, and you may wake up with a solution.
3. Take action. Make a plan for how to implement your ideas. Regard every attempt as a
learning experience even if the immediate results fail to pan out. Remember that
successful people succeed because they take more risks.
4. Lighten up. Free up your fertile mind.
• Some gentle aerobics and stretches will relax your body.
• Meditation or soft music can dispel anxieties or boredom.
• Humor is a very powerful tool for lowering inhibitions and seeing things more vividly.
5. Change your routine. Any adjustment to your usual way of doing things can help
you take a fresh look at life. Take an alternate route to work or visit a coffee shop on
the other side of town. Expand your horizons by looking for ways to
experience novelty on a regular basis.
6. Observe the details. On the other hand, you can re-invent the most familiar aspects
of your life by viewing them from a fresh angle. Think about how your kitchen would
appear to an alien from space.
7. Ignore the clock. Get up early so you can savor the luxury of open-ended time.
Forget about deadlines. Focus on the present moment instead of thinking about the
next task you have scheduled. Feel what it's like to be free from hurrying. Try to
remember that sensation as you start your day.
8. Get a hobby. Make the most of your leisure time with creative outlets that
incorporate your passions. You may delight in watercolors. Or maybe you really get a
kick out of working on cars.
9. Seek inspiration. Surround yourself with whatever you find invigorating.
Visit art museums or go camping. Spend more time playing with your kids and
getting caught up in their excitement each time they see something new.
Transform your life into a work of art by tapping into your creative side. Once
you discover and develop your passions, you'll be on your way to feeling more motivated and accomplished
Okay, when you read that heading, you scratched your head and said, “yeah right, a DAILY practice? You are out of your mind.” We might be, but we bet we're not.
As a busy professional, it may not be easy to keep up with a creative practice. At times, you might longingly look at your studio space and feel guilty for neglecting it…after all that is what it is there for right?
How could you possibly fit one more thing in a day that is packed with meetings, appointments, social activities, gym work outs, family, pet duties…the list goes on and on….art will be there when it all “settles” down. The sad thing is…we both know that it doesn’t tend to settle down (if you are anything like us, it tends to revive up even more!).
One way you might want to explore is online creative challenges. This keeps your mojo flowing, allows you to experiment with different mediums and that you may not normally focus on in your own art practice.
For example, Art Everyday Month, a 30 day challenge started by artist Leah Kolidas occurs every November and encourages you to create something, anything, related to a daily prompt. HeArt Space facilitated by art therapist, Kate Leppard is another one of our favorites. It is an ongoing creative challenge with different topics each month to spur your artistic practice.
The additional benefit is that most of these challenges create community….a community of like-minded artists and creatives that are working through the challenge with you. You may find yourself making many friends and colleagues from across the country through the process since most of them include a private Facebook group to show your work or even at times vent about your creative process.
There are virtually 30-day or daily practice challenge in just about every creative field, whether it is writing, poetry, culinary arts, etc. you name it. A google search on any of these topics with “daily challenge” or 30 day challenge will open you to a world of other creatives and can help jump start your practice. There is nothing like seeing how others are juggling careers, kids, etc. and posting every day of their progress with a challenge. If they can do it, you can too!
What creative challenges have your tried? How have they enriched your creative life?