“I like to think of creativity as the sex of out mental lives”. Dr. Roger Von Oech
Many people often say to me I can’t do that, I am not that creative. Sure, you are! You just have not tried the thing that sparks your innate creativity. Many of the same people deny that they have done creative work; but think about your life as a whole. There is not just visual art making. There is: the written word, dance, performance art, instrumental and vocal music, cooking, building, gardening, teaching, sewing, designing, decorating, etc. Just about anything that is, and has been a force for change, started with a creative thought. We are all born creative…in part it is a survival skill. If you think you are not creative, or not creative enough, giving some creative exercises a shot is an important starting point.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when you grow up”. Pablo Picasso
How do we keep the imagination of childhood? We don’t lose it. We tuck it away because of our educational system, and our life experiences that have shot it down. Creativity is something we all have, that we can improve and expand, with regular exercise. The key is in how we use our knowledge. We take what we know and play with it. We ask the “what if ” question. Creative ability is in our mindset. If we really want to, we probably can. If we think we can’t, we won’t!
Only an individual can imagine, invent, create”. Ben Shahn
We all live busy lives which include family, work, travel, and health issues, but finding a time to explore and develop our creative side should be a non-negotiable thing. Why? It nurtures our “soul” and keeps our brains from atrophying. It draws out our inner wisdom and helps us connect with the moment. Some things we can do daily to help keep us creative are:
- Be spontaneous…change our routine, our route, our usual seat.
- Take something that has inspired us in the past and write about what it was that made us feel good.
- Be open to new experiences. We don’t know unless we have tried.
- Let our mind wander…daydream.
- Contour draw objects around the house. (Don’t lift your pencil off the paper or look at your paper.)
- Use our non-dominant hand to do some routine tasks.
- Look at clouds and imagine them as things.
- Get some clay, tooth pick, or paper clips, and make a sculpture.
- Take a page out of a magazine, tare it up and put it together again.
- Keep a Journal.
- Pick an object on our desk or table and think of 5 other ways to use it.
- Change an ingredient in a recipe
- Write a 3-line haiku poem. 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
Is a blessing we all have
And should be used more I