5 Ways to Bring Creativity into Your Life

 In 5 Ways to Art Archives
Art, kids and cherry blossoms...

Art, kids and cherry blossoms…

This is what I know:To create art we need to be open.

Creativity comes naturally. The way we make art as children illustrates the ease by which creativity comes to us, as well as the profound sense of joy it brings. That creative spirit never leaves us – though we may lose sight of it, it’s still there, waiting to be tapped. All it takes is being open – like when we were little.

I believe we encompass all the ages we’ve ever been, including and leading up to now. So that little child with the open heart and the love of art-making is still right here, in us.

Being open allows us to see the world in all its depth. It give us the freedom to be  immersed in our artwork, and it allows us to create from the deepest parts of ourselves.

How, then, do we become, or remain, open?

In our busy, distracted, and sometimes scary world it can take some effort. We have to get away from the craziness of life. It helps to turn off the electronics. It helps to be in nature, where beauty is overflowing and reassuring. We need time to settle into ourselves – maybe some deep breaths are in order…

When we’re open we can easily access our innate creativity and find beauty everywhere. Here are 5 ways to notice and create…

5 Ways to Bring Creativity into Your Life

1. Daydream. To make art we need quiet time, daydream time. Creativity is born there. Lie on the grass and watch the leaves shudder with the wind. Listen to the rain. Sit by the ocean. Watch the night fall. Read a poem. Write a poem. Allow yourself to do nothing. Don’t fear boredom – I remember the poet Billy Collins said he couldn’t write until he was completely and totally bored. Here’s a real treat: Billy Collins reading one of my favorite poems of his, The Country – and it’s set to animation. Fabulous.

2. Look, and draw. The curve of a chair leg. The way the window frames the outdoors just so. The bowl of incredibly beautiful fruit on the kitchen counter. Walk outside, where there’s a panoply of beauty – from the clear-blue sky to the baby-green spring leaves. Stop and notice. Bring a tiny sketchbook, sit down, take out a drawing pen and see what happens. Notice and see – that’s what drawing is. It takes practice to make it look like the real thing, but in the meantime you’ll know that tree or that rock better than you ever could have, had you never drawn it. And you’ll remember it forever.

Windows frame the world

Windows frame the world

3. Leave your art stuff around. Leave your art stuff around the house and you’re likely to use it. I love to have my Buddha board sitting on the coffee table by the couch. Everyone loves to paint on it, including me. It’s about the best thing ever – and the least intimidating way to make art I’ve ever seen. Plasticine is a great way to play with 3-dimensions – height, width & depth. It never hardens – making it another no-lose proposition – you get to make something, take it apart, start over, take it apart… And the colors are gorgeous!

4. Doodle. Well, a lot of people call it doodling. I call it drawing.  I’ve been drawing on the margins of paper my whole life – you may have too. I think calling it doodling denigrates it – do it bigger and it’s drawing? Okay call it what you like, but it’s creative and it frees the mind. Play with pen or pencil on the edges of newspapers, notes, important documents, and enjoy. The more you do it the better you’ll get. Take 15 minutes a day and watch your work improve. It’s a joy to move pen on paper. Everything else just fades away…

Little sketchbook drawing

Little sketchbook drawing

5. See what’s playing at the local art museum. Or gallery. Looking at art is endlessly inspiring. I don’t spend a super long time at museums – I get overloaded. For me, it’s about quality, not quantity. If I see one piece that really moves me – like this painting that stopped me in my tracks at the National Gallery, it’s a complete and utter success. I mean, being moved like that – how often does that happen? Now that’s a gift. Notice what moves you – is it painting? Sculpture? Video? Is it abstraction? Realism? These are clues to what you love, and what you might like to try your hand at. Notice color, line, shape, brushstroke, media, emotion. It’s all food for thought, and sustenance for your creative endeavors.

How do you bring creativity into your life? Share with us below…

To all you are,

Thanks so much for reading! Stay tuned for more about my upcoming book The Power of Creativity, Transforming Life through Art … 

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