Unleashing the creativity in yourself - it is easier than you think!
Have you ever had some nasty comments when you told close friends or family about your plans on becoming a creative maker/entrepreneur? Or ever heard them telling things about the "starving artist" concept? Or that your family wasn't too keen you'd be studying something very creative, and that you better should study something else? Because being or getting creative "doesn't pay you (enough)"? I know I have. A lot. And I know they mean it for the best. But it's just discouraging. And it creates a fear inside that holds you back from what you must be doing (remember my book review on The Crossroads of Should and Must?). It stops your creativity more when you listen to everyone else than rather listen to your own heart that tells you what you would love to be doing all of your life.
Around December I had a great talk with a close friend of my parents. He was talking about his good old memories of Antwerp where he had worked when he was around 17 years old. He had always worked in a small bakery, run by a close family. He told me something at the end of our conversation I will always remember because it made so much sense to me! He said: "When you are working in a bakery, you always start from scratch. You create something spectacular with your own bare hands, starting with the basic ingredients, and that is amazing. When you work for instance in a large company or factory like I have been doing later on in life, you're not creating something anymore, you will always be a small chain in a big circle of employees. And I have always loved creating and working with my hands, it is something that gives me so much more fulfillment." You can imagine how he loved to create instead of sitting at his desk all day. It is exactly the same feeling I have.
And if I'm truly honest, I'd love to be creating with my hands too, much more than I'm doing now... I believe that there are a lot of creative spirits like me out there, who are maybe thinking how to stay creative all the time and how to unleash their creativity, so here are my tips.
1. We were put on this world to create
Try to remember: everyone is born with a natural touch of creativity. Just look at our children - the best proof! They have a natural curiosity (which is key) and they are always excited about new ideas. They are playful, they don't lose their fresh ideas by negative thinking and they've got no fear of being different or not being cool enough. We are all creative people, we just have to allow these creative juices going AND lose our fear of being different than others. So remember: we're all creative, even if you think you're not. You just have to find that particular thing you love to do - be it writing, drawing, sewing, writing, dancing, blogging, baking, whatever it is you love doing. Keep on doing it!
2. You have to exercise in order to keep those creative juices coming and flowing
Exercising, going outside or just taking a stroll at the beach or taking your dog out for a walk will definitely help you getting fresh ideas when you're stuck. I know I always get the best ideas when I'm doing something else. Especially when I take a shower, new ideas come so I really need to write them down when I can, because when I forget to write them down - they're gone.
3. Create a stimulating environment and get in your "flow"
This one is so important, to me it is! When you have your own little space, it will definitely help you to stay creative. And it will get you in the mood to create. I know I get happy when I see my creative mess still on the table - my husband not so much. Haha! I have been working on the dining room table for more than a few years already and it has been a bit uncomfortable - you always have to hide the creative mess when you're entertaining and sometimes my husband gets so tired of all the mess I produce here. Unfortunately I still don't have my own home office to work in (although it is one of our personal goals to tackle this year - we have the space, we just need to buy the necessary furniture and accessories. I know who will be happier when I have my own space to work at...).
4. Know that we learn to create by actually creating
You just have to start creating in order to keep on creating. Believe me. It is definitely motivating when you learn to create something, because it naturally gives you new, fresh ideas. I know I have. Currently I'm taking the Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0 and while I've been listening and watching the lessons online, I know I got fresh ideas while watching and recreating... It's so much fun to pick up an old hobby again and maybe turn it into something more!
5. You're unique - don't change that
There's only one you in this world. You have your own voice, vision, handwriting, style and way of living. May it be chaotic, structured, dreamy, romantic or whatever your style and way is. That is why you need to love yourself, and be kind to yourself. Everything you create will always be "you", because you created it. No one else.
Have you got any other tips to unleash your creativity or to keep those creative juices flowing? What do you do to stay creative and motivated? I'd love to learn and hear more of you!