This summer, I spent a week in a mountain cabin with a bunch of energetic teenage girls and several other adult women. It was an amazing, although a bit dirty, experience. And throughout our out-in-the-wild experience, we bonded and had fun. The only thing I missed, besides my own bed, was doing something creative every day. Because I was so busy helping the girls, I found myself with little to no time for creativity. Finally, near the end of the week, I was asked to make a large thank you card for our camp directors using scrapbook paper, glue and string. My heart soared as my creative muscles started moving again. I’ve found that I need a daily dose of creativity to be really happy.
Maybe you feel the same way. Now, don’t say, “I’m not one of those artsy people. I’m not creative!” Because you’re wrong. You create things everyday: from putting together a stunning outfit, doing your daughter’s hair, solving problems at work and coming up with a faster way to clean the bathroom to opening the pantry and building a delicious meal or scrapbooking a cherished memory, you ARE creative! You are taking something and making something better and unique. That’s creativity.
Just like lifting weights builds physical muscle mass, exercising your everyday creative muscles increases your ability to do creative things and to see old things in new ways. So, how do you keep those creative muscles from atrophy? Practice! Every day! Making yourself take a little time on a daily basis for right-brained pursuits can go a long way towards enhancing your creativity.
How to begin? Try these daily exercises to help you build those muscles!
- Imagine. Mentally plan a project. Practice visualizing a new paint color on your walls or a new flower garden in the yard. Exercise your imagination.
- Look for inspiration–and apply it! Pinterest is fun, but if you just pin and don’t do, it isn’t helping build your creativity. Take one or several of those pins and apply them to a project you’re working on.
- Try a new style. Shop for a scrap kit outside your comfort zone and use it. Forcing yourself to make do with supplies you are not familiar with really expands your creative thinking. If scrapping a whole page overwhelms you, start small and try going with half the items on your page coming from the new kit.
- Make something yourself in our software. Try combining elements to make an original cluster or taking several papers and merging them into something new.
- Go IRL. Sometimes switching mediums exercises mental muscles. If you’re primarily a digital scrapbooker, try putting together a paper project. Go from virtual to real life!
- Doodle, but not what you usually do (I find myself drawing flowers and smiley faces). Doodle using different shapes and themes.
- Rearrange things. My mom loves to move her furniture around–she feels like she has a new house! Why not rearrange something in your life: your desktop, your Photoshop workspace, your desk. When you see your spaces in new ways, you might find your creativity stimulated.
- Try something new. A recipe, a tutorial, a project.
When you stretch and bend your creative muscles, you’ll find yourself energized and excited to create and developing a daily creative regimen will really ramp up your abilities. Exercise everyday and experience the joy of creation.
Want more ideas for developing your creative talents? Check out Rhonna Designs 100 Creativity Exercises. What daily things do you do to build your creative muscles? Share them with us in this forum thread.