I hope you are all doing well this week. Today I want to talk about creativity and how to integrate it into our lives on a daily basis. But before, a few words about these paintings and an upcoming exhibit.
ART is more important than ever and is still being made by artists all over the world. I am part of the Lakeshore Association of Artists here in Quebec and we will be holding a virtual exhibition for the whole month of May. Talented artists are participating and there will be a good variety of artworks, paintings, collages and sculptures. These are some small paintings of my beloved fragrant ferns that I will be presenting.
Back to creativity: I believe everyone is creative. Anyone who thinks they don’t have it in them simply got disconnected from their creative side at one point in their life. We “creative people” are not so unique. Creativity is an intrinsic part of being human.
Society likes to mystify the creative process of people who share their creations, or those who are perceived as creative. However, it is a myth that only a few people are born creative and the rest of population is not.
If you think you are not inherently creative or if you want to reconnect with your long-lost creative side, don’t despair, it can be done even it is not something that can simply be turned on if we let it lie dormant for years. It involves some work, but is well worth the effort.
Creative process and creativity take time and attention. It is an investment of time and an investment of attention in a learnable skill that anyone can acquire. And it is not limited to arts. You can even change habits and transform your self with creativity if you want to.
We live in an attention-deficit society these days, constantly drawn in millions of different directions. To become more creative or regain our creativity, we must carve out some moment in our day when we can work on the process of creativity, figure out what we want to do and how we want to do it. Take some time to let our imagination run wild.
Do you remember when you were 2,3, 4 years old with endless curiosity, wonder and imagination? We loved to learn, notice and absorb all the mysteries around us. This is the “Me” we want to regain access to in order to tap into our creativity.
Life begins very quickly to separate us from our child’s mind. We seek education, life skills, experience, performance and in the process shut ourselves off and focus on these “important things”, we get caught up and often lose ourselves along the way.
Over time, we concentrate our curiosity in learning our job, at being good at life. Our early dreams are replaced by goals and objectives, targets to reach. Who has time to just enjoy right?
The good news is that our child’s mind is still there, buried under the daily grind, obligations and life. It is still waiting below the surface.
If we spend a little time searching and let him/her emerge, we can find that child inside. We can reconnect to the child that imagined the impossible, to wonder and curiosity.
Creative thinking is independent of genre or discipline. Whether you work in technology, management, art, writing, sales, the creative process is the same and can be used in any discipline.
When you create, something magical happens and it seems that all the forces of the universe come into focus, you can see something that no one else can see.
To get to these moments, we need to strip away the myths that surround the creative process. We need to do the work and have the discipline to get there.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1- Draw, paint, doodle, watercolour –
Remember when you liked to just doodle and draw any witch way with no pressure, or glue some hearts to papers, decoupage, take some basic paper and crayons or paint and scissors set your timer to 15 minutes and go for it! Just do it for the fun of it, no expectations. Making art of any kind stimulates all kinds of connections in the brain. So let yourself doodle your next Zoom meeting.
2- Do something physical –
Yes walking, running, doing anything physical (also cleaning, gardening) helps to force you out of the dominant thinking of the left brain and adopt a more creative mindset. Research proves it as well as the fact that exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which sharpen mental clarity. I often get new ideas during my morning walks.
3- Let yourself get bored –
When you are bored, you have time for deeper thinking and creativity. The bored mind searches for stimulation, it often moves into a daydreaming state which leads to new ideas. You can read about the studies here. So don’t fill every extra minute of your time with projects or scrolling through your phone. Give mind a break and let it wander for a while.
4- Generate more ideas than you think you need –
I listened to Elan Musk being interview the other day and was so impressed with all of his ideas. Super creative thinkers like him generate lots of ideas, some are good, some are bad and typically have more misses than hits but the exercise is to free creativity and ideas, possibilities. ut hidden in the mix, there are a few brilliant ideas. Again, take your timer, decide on a period of time for free writing and go! Come up with as many ideas around a situation as your brain can generate, even if they seem silly.
5- Make time for play –
When we get out of our heads and fully immerse ourselves in doing, “outside of the box” thinking is stimulated and also silences our inner critic as a bonus! SO have fun building something, tinkering with toys, get outside. If you have children or grandchildren, observe and act like them, think like them, move with them.
Have a great week and stay safe !
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