You may not see yourself as a particularly creative person, but there’s a huge creative capacity that lies on the left hand side of our brains, awaiting action. Many of us have more than just one interest that sparks our creative juices, but finding time to get stuck in can become a problem.
We’re all busy people. But by finding time to be more creative in small ways, we can still make big changes.
Here are just a few enjoyable, simple things to do to help make your life that little bit more creative..
Ask more questions
Throughout our lives, we have grown up asking questions. So don’t stop. By being inquisitive, we begin to learn not only new things, but things from a new perspective. As well as broadening our own views, thoughts and perspectives, we will also boost our creativity and adaptability.
Doodling is an incredibly underrated activity that can be done almost anywhere. By keeping a little notebook to hand – or using the back of a piece of paper or a finished coffee cup – you will never be stuck for material to draw on. It’s a great help in clearing your mind, and could even get you thinking about taking the next step and learning more about illustration.
The Open College of the Arts offers a range of art and design courses including a BA (Hons) in Illustration.
Experiment in the kitchen
We all get tired of the same food combinations, meals and mundane routines. All too often, it’s tempting to fall back on ready meals, or takeaways.
However, when we put a bit of effort into making something at home, it tastes just that little bit better. So change things up.
Get creative with cooking. Pull out the recipe book, search the vast archives online or go rogue. Make up your own. Replace certain foods with others. No red meat for one week? Only fish the next?
You can even get creative with where you source your food from. Try out a new food shop or sign up to a subscription box for a week. Boxes provide not only new recipes to try, but the freshest of ingredients for everything you need for that week – and usually at a discount on your first box or two. Satisfy your tastebuds, and test your creativity.
Draw before bed
Many of us struggle to clear our minds before we sleep. A great way to pack in some extra creativity before sleeping is to fetch a pencil and sketchbook.
Rather than lie in bed, staring at the white light from your phone; sketching will help your mind relax and unwind in preparation for a good night’s sleep. Draw anything from stick men to modern masterpieces, and sign up to an online drawing course to help you work on your new nightly routine.
Put together a new outfit from your wardrobe
Want a new outfit without paying a penny? By having a good rummage through your wardrobe, you’ll rediscover some old favourites you had forgotten about. What’s more, with a little imagination, you can dream up ways to repair and recreate your usual outfits. Feeling especially creative? Go bold. Pair patterns with patterns. Textures with textures. Embrace a more creative you.
Recreate an old piece of work using a new medium
Paint/draw/fabricate something you’ve already created before. Only differently. Try using your left hand? A different medium? Only two colours? Experiment and see what results you get, there are no rules!
Photograph what catches your eye
Keep your eyes open when you’re out and about, or even in your house. Whatever your usual routine, there are always opportunities for photos. No two days are exactly the same.
The only tool you need to get started is your phone. Point and snap. Gradually you might want to start taking a camera out and about and as time goes on, and you’ll start to get to grips with all the different buttons and features that used to confuse and intimidate you.
Whatever method you prefer to use, you’ll begin to build up an archive of things that please and interest you. Want to scale your interest in photography up a notch? Learn more about what constitutes a good photo, and more importantly, how to take one. A distance learning course could teach you all of this from your own home.
Sign up to Pinterest
Pinterest is one of the best platforms for exercising creativity. It contains millions of ideas, thoughts, and visuals in thousands of formats to help inspire and create. Also available as an app, the platform can be used on the go and it contains places to save all your favourites in an organised manner so you can come back to them later.
Searching for interesting design ideas? Looking to re-decorate a spare room into a painting den, or build an inspiring oasis in your back garden? Browse what other people are doing, and use their work to inspire your own creations.
Whether you’re looking to improve your illustration or discover music or graphic design, the Open College of the Arts offers a range of distance learning courses to help you develop a hobby or a new career. OCA is part of the University for the Creative Arts. Download a prospectus here.
Zoe is the new Marketing Executive at the Open College of the Arts
Also published on Medium.