2012 has become the year I boosted my creativity. As a working parent of 3 boys, I can’t begin to tell you how good this is!
You might have noticed that the theme for Wonderwebby these year has been “bringing creativity to life” and I’ll continue this focus next year.
First a bit of background: creative beginnings.
Living a creative life is important to me. It always has been. But like everyone else, I know all too well that life gets in the way. Just like my friend’s nephew phrased recently “too much THING STUFF going on.” Work. Relationships. And then kids. Oh boy I love ‘em and they enhance my creativity, but in terms of personal output – creativity takes a bit of a nosedive. Drawing? Rarely. Photography? iPhone. Art? Kids activity. Cooking? Quickly – for five of us.
Some days it feels like creativity has been squeezed out and all that’s left is a long list of day-to-day tasks, errands, cleaning and well…surviving. Who has time or energy to be creative, right?
There has to be an “unless”! A way to increase your creative quality of life. Despite the busyness. In spite of “thing stuff”.
So this year I have been observing, trying, testing, doing, making, experimenting and stretching my creative side. Yes, life is busy, so I have paced myself and done what I can… and it has made all the difference.
Here’s the biggest lesson from this year. Stop thinking about creativity as something you do when you have the energy. Because it will never happen.
Think of creativity as something you do because it gives you more energy.
I realised that I was looking at the situation the wrong way around. Creativity energises me. Actively being creative makes me a happier person. When I’m surrounding myself with artistic inspiration and making time to do creative things, I feel happier. My family sees this. I feel it. It’s a good thing!
So as a way to wrap up 2012, I thought I’d share…
Five things you can do to be creative in 2013!
1. Make an appointment to be creative.
This year I enrolled in Megan Morton’s style masterclass. I’m no stylist, but I just knew this one day workshop would be the perfect appointment to re-discover my creative self. Signing up to her class was such a good decision. I’m even thinking about taking a trip to Sydney next year for her Inspirations workshop.
I’m also attending a half-day personal mentoring session with portrait photographer Gina Milicia tomorrow. She’s going to help me get my head around everything about DSLR photography and portraiture. I studied photography once upon a time, a long, long time ago. I am so excited and I’ll update you hopefully later this week. (Did I mention I Can. Not. Wait?!!!)
The other thing I did this year was to take up 2 terms of life drawing classes. This felt like quite a luxury, as my youngest boy started school this year and I finally had the opportunity to have 3 hours to myself. Still, I made the appointment. I put it in my diary. And of course appointments can be shorter if you are really time starved. Thing is, I was sick of joining in creative online memes and only getting a little reward. Face to face events – even if you can only get to one or two – are great for getting to that next level of creative satisfaction.
Which appointments with creativity can you put into your diary next year?
2. Nurture your creative relationships.
Back in 2007 I wrote about social networking and how it creates a “cybersquad worldview”. In essence,your ideas might be shaped by your online interactions. Well, I’ve bent the rules a little since then as I have discovered so many people have something creative to contribute, but I have been thinking about it lately because of Facebook.
This month, I decided to simply treat Facebook as a directory. That’s what it is, really. I use it to look up businesses, to register for events and to get details from friends, when needed. I view Facebook using interest lists for creative people and brands (on my mobile where poss) or on my Wonderwebby page so that I have an ad-free experience. Some days I will check in for a quick glance, but I’m using it less and less as a place to interact. It was just getting too noisy and polluted.
Instead, I’m going to focus on Instagram and Twitter for sharing and creative conversations. And I’ll communicate the old fashioned way with friends and get along to some creative lunches. Hey, I might even start to print photos to send to family.
Are you engaging with creative people?
3. Be purposeful
I had to make a decision to pursue my art. Being creative isn’t always about producing a big project. It’s about making decisions, every day to exercise your creativity no matter how busy or exhausted you are. Being purposeful also means fueling your creativity : get along to art galleries, amateur theatre productions, craft markets…or even read a library book… whatever nurtures your spirit and fuels your artistic inspiration.
4. Know thyself
Megan Morton gave us a list of questions in our Masterclass. At first I wasn’t sure what it had to do with the course. My favourite colour? Hotel I would love to stay at? Introvert or extrovert? And on it went. Now I get it. Knowing the things that make you tick, the things that you love…even something as simple as your favourite colour…helps you to surround yourself with ideas a-plenty.
Write a list of things you know about yourself, what you like, what you would like to do. Then refer to it for creative inspiration.
5. Find your inspiration
I’m only just beginning to remember how much I used to fuel my creativity in my late teens and twenties. I’d spend time in bookstores and comic book shops, heading to arthouse films, art gallery openings, new restaurants, studying creative media…..watching….learning. While I haven’t stopped competely, I’m making room for more of these activities again and hoping to involve my kids. They might resist a trip to a gallery at first, but once they are there…their imaginations fire!
Which weekend activities exercise your imagination?
I hope this helps you to make a creative start to 2013, because if you’re anything like me then the pursuit of creative things makes you feel alive, if not a little bit sane! I’m looking forward to sharing more about my journey into creative growth next year. Do you have any specific questions or creative challenges you’d like me to investigate next year? Please leave a comment or email me jasmin at wonderwebby dot com
Cheers, and here’s to a wonderful year ahead!