All of us are creative – we just need to unleash it. But how?
Since our launch in 2013 our mission has been to Unleash Creativity. Everyone has creativity within them – but how can we unleash it? We asked our team of artists and creatives for their top tips for creativity and innovation. 💡
1. Get out of your comfort zone
It’s really hard to think of new ideas if you’re stuck doing more of the same. Whether you’re trying something completely new (like picking up a paintbrush for the first time since you were a kid!), or approaching something familiar in a new way (like changing genres), it’s important to get out of your comfort zone to get your creativity flowing.
3. Make notes
Ever had a moment of inspiration, thought ‘I’ll remember that!‘ and then by the next day, completely forgotten what it was? Memory is a fickle thing – it happens to all of us. That’s why it’s super handy to keep a note book (or a trusty Notes app) to write down your ideas as you come to them. You might leave them dormant for a while, but it’s always somewhere you can go back to when you’re looking for your next project or moment of inspiration. Keeping a diary can be really stimulating too!
4. Remember you are awesome – and you don’t need to be perfect
Don’t beat yourself up. Remember that you are awesome, and that you have good and worthwhile ideas. You don’t need to be a perfectionist. Things are better done than perfect. You and your work are awesome. You are a beautiful, talent, brilliant, powerful muskox.
5. Manage your environment
Firstly you need to know yourself, and then you need to set your environment up to work for you. Are you an extrovert, who gets energy from being around other people? Or are you an introvert, who gets energy from time spent alone? A recent study reported by the World Economic Forum explored how open plan offices and privacy affect our happiness and productivity. What environment is right for you?
6. Don’t worry if you hit a wall – take a step back
If you are stuck in a rut (which happens to all of us) it’s a good idea to step away from your project and do something completely different. Walk the dog, go for lunch, meet a friend, go on a day trip… When you return to what you were working on you’ll have fresh eyes and renewed enthusiasm.
7. Remember it’s not a competition – you don’t need to compare yourself to others
This one is really important. Just because someone else seems to be producing 50,000 pieces of work a day, or winning literally all of the Academy Awards, it doesn’t mean there’s no room for you! We all develop our ideas in our own unique environments and at our own paces, and we all have something unique to offer. Be inspired by and celebrate other people’s success. We’ll all be rooting for you too!
8. ‘Start before you’re ready’
Procrastination is that tendency that we all have from time to time to put off doing something that needs to be done for as long as possible. Often it’s because we’re overwhelmed or don’t know where to begin. We’re waiting for the ‘right time’ to start. Truth be told, there often is no right time. So start before you’re ready. Even if it’s just writing a blog out of bullet points, or doodling a really basic version of what you hope to end up with.
9. Eat and drink!
Now, we’re a painting events company, not nutritionists. So there’s only so much we can say on this. But being creative on an empty stomach or when you’re absolutely parched just isn’t a good idea. But there is a growing body of literature on the link between diet and creativity, as well as diet and mental health.
Much like the above point, we’re not actually exercise experts. But again, much like the above, there’s a growing literature highlighting how exercise can make you more creative. Maybe this takes the form of carrying canvases up and down the stairs on route to an event, or (more likely) going on a nice stroll or trip to the gym.
Being truly original is impossible. And while you shouldn’t pass off others’ work as your own, experimenting with other people’s ideas can be really good practice. The beloved Vincent Van Gogh (who didn’t start painting until his late 20s) was a prolific copier. Eugène Delacroix and Jean-François Millet were just some of the artists he copied from. And if it’s good enough for our Vincent, it’s good enough for us!
12. Get feedback
Have you heard the story of ‘Austin’s Butterfly‘? Austin wanted to draw an accurate picture of a beautiful butterfly – but knew that in order to do this he’d need help. After each draft he drew he went back to his classmates and asked them for feedback. He produced six drafts after getting feedback. We all need a critical (and friendly) eye to help us reach our best. Don’t be afraid to ask.
13. Let yourself enjoy it
We don’t all get the chance to fill our lives doing things we absolutely love. But where we can we should. Hopefully being creative, in whatever form that takes for you, is one of those spaces. You don’t need to create a masterpiece. You don’t need to be literally the best. You should allow yourself to just enjoy it. You deserve it.