Living a creative life


My mind map of what a creative life means to me

 

I talk a lot about wanting to live a creative life, but what does that mean exactly? Such a big idea can often feel abstract, and unspecific. I understand that creativity can be completely cerebral - connecting ideas, ideating, and problem solving. When I speak of a creative life, I also mean the tactile side - using my hands to produce something tangible. I decided to do some brainstorming to narrow down what living a creative life means to me. 

Based on my mind map exercise, here are 5 ways to live an intentionally creative life. 

Explore
Living a creative life is an adventure. It means exploring the world around you - getting out into the world and looking at it from a new angle. Explore your community - be inspired by the architecture, local vendors and artisans, or visit a museum, take a walk, and breath in the smell of rain. You get the idea. If you have the opportunity, travel and experience the world at large. But if you don’t have that opportunity, explore the world you’re in. Look up. I think you’ll see something fresh right where you’ve always been standing.

Exploring means trying something new. I am always drawn to trying new mediums, and have been exploring a new craft/medium each month. What are you curious about? Take a class or google a tutorial. Don’t want to branch out beyond your medium of choice? That’s ok; what’s something you’ve wanted to incorporate as part of your art/practice?

Play with your art supplies. You don’t have to “know” how to use them - if that is an actual thing. Play with colour, draw patterns and shapes, mix things together. So it looks like crap? Oh well. Was it fun? Amazing! It’s the process that matters.

Read
Reading allows you to:
  • connect with others
  • learn - about specifics, like techniques and skills, but also about yourself, the world, the human condition
  • be inspired
  • be challenged
  • exercise your brain 
  • foster imagination

Build a Creative Community
Find your people. They will be the oxygen that keeps your creative flame going. Meet people online and engage over social media or through blogs, but also look for ways to connect in the real world. Meet people through workshops, seminars, or local guilds. Alternatively, invite existing friends, or those online connections, to gather in person regularly.

Once you’ve found your community, champion them, exchange ideas, share your knowledge, motivate each other, and collaborate.

Simplify
This means removing obstacles that interfere with your ability to create. For instance, clutter in your environment that you find distracting, or a complicated routine that could be streamlined.

Simplifying, is also about letting go of thoughts that weigh us down creatively. It’s time to clear out the clutter of self-doubt, self-consciousness and self-sabotage.

Do
Make things. It doesn’t have to be meaningful to others, only to you. Be purposeful in your decision to create on an ongoing basis. In kind, embrace a creative ritual, make creating a priority, and form a lasting habit. In other words, do it, do it again. and do it with joy.