9 Ways To Be More Creative (And How To Get Inspired)
If you’ve never considered yourself an artist, here’s how to be more creative and find inspiration in your life.
There are few things that can lighten and enrich your life like creativity.
Even a hasty doodle can be uplifting – it’s a moment of beauty in a blur of work, responsibilities and routines.
Creativity is a basic human need and not just a weekend whim or an easy college course. Art nourishes and sustains you through the darkest times.
And though not everyone considers themselves an artist, you’re born to be creative. It’s just circumstance or a lack of confidence that snuffs out that yearning.
How can you ignite your creativity and experience the bliss of expressing yourself?
Here are some powerful ways to ignite the artist within.
How to be more creative
1. Don’t call it “perfectionism”
Because that word has “perfect” in it, and how can perfect ever be a bad thing?
Instead, better call it “obsessing.”
That word makes up the term Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. And an insistence on having everything just so – and being anxious when it isn’t – is a streak of OCD. And though I’m no psychologist, it does help to combat perfectionism by regarding it in this unflattering light.
So whenever you detect any OCD tendencies in yourself, don’t flatter it by calling it “perfectionism.”
Wanting everything to be blunder-free is not “perfection.” It’s a crippling self-doubt and obsession over details that hampers creativity.
Let go of perfectionism and let yourself create both good and bad art.
Next time you find yourself joking that you’re “such a perfectionist,” try saying “I’ve got a streak of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.” It sounds harsh but it will get you thinking differently about creativity and perfectionism.
2. Don’t treat anything as final
Hemingway once said: “The first draft of anything is shit.”
And you could argue that sometimes the second draft isn’t much better.
So treat your rough drafts pretty roughly. And treat your art as an experiment or playtime until you hit a nugget of goodness.
The same goes for eBooks, captions, photos or anything else you create. There’s an edit button and another day. And it’s all just a journey and a work in progress.
And while you’ll probably never go back and edit everything you’ve created, the fact you can is reassuring.
3. Put progress over perfection
Even if hypothetically you create something “perfect,” it never really is because perfection is a benchmark that rises whenever you meet it.
The photos you considered gorgeous a few years ago are captures that you’d probably shoot entirely differently today. And there’s probably nothing you’ll ever write that you wouldn’t edit upon re-reading.
The best you can do is the best at this time.
4. Don’t use lack of time as an excuse
Art seems very time-consuming. Plus your grandiose visions of sketching everyday will keep you from ever picking up a pencil.
But it doesn’t take an entire weekend to create something worthwhile, or to enjoy the process of being creative.
Flip through a few YouTube tutorials on painting leaves and less than an hour later you’ll have a small painting. It won’t be perfect, but the pleasure will enrich and enliven your day.
And creativity is like that.
It’s like being in love. When you care about another person you’ll forgive their loud snoring or odd taste in music.
And when you love writing, painting, baking, or anything else creative, the process is so rewarding that you’ll forgive the blunders.
And you’ll forget the critics too because it will be the creation – and not the end product – that matters.
5. Start with the basics
Learn to draw lines or practice the art of shading before you attempt to paint a bouquet of flowers.
6. Join a community
Joining an online challenge adds accountability and motivates you to keep going.
7. Don’t get lost in supplies
Work with what you have. And when you find a medium you love then treat yourself to some good supplies. Who needs the guilt of piles of expensive supplies that go unused?
8. Work with a timer
You’ll be amazed at what you can create in a half hour. And that knowledge will make you less likely to think you don’t have time for art.
9. Put on some music and cancel any distractions
Close the door and put your phone on mute.
Once you create those first few pieces you’ll see how good if feels to be creative.