Happy New Year people!!!
In this blog post, I discuss ten ways to stay creative in 2014 and not get bogged down with the reality of getting back to a day job after the new year party is over.
1. Practice your creativity
Practice makes perfect so make sure you do keep practising regardless of your creative hobby. For my profession, I realise that I need to keep abreast of technological advances and also improve my graphic design ability to take the next level from advanced to a master’s. To improve my skills regularly I find websites like YouTube ( for free videos ), lynda.com and teamtreehouse.com a great source of improving your skill set and also improving your creativity as you will know what will and won’t work when designing websites and graphics.
2. 365-day sketch challenge
As you may know, I also like to create art as well as graphics, brands and websites but trying to find the time or inclination to draw and paint whilst trying to earn a living working 9 – 5.30 can be challenging. If you can allocate 30 minutes a day to try to create a sketch it will make you a better creative and probably cross over in your day job too.
3. 365 photography challenge
Those who feel they can’t paint ( although everyone can! ) or don’t feel they have time may prefer to point and click every day to record a special moment in their lives.
This is a great way to create a pictorial journey and with the advent of social media programs like Instagram it could be quite easy to keep a log book of what you are doing even if the highlight simply is washing the dog, or sending an email, it’ll make you look at mundane things in a whole new way, enhancing your creativity for that next project you think seems difficult to make exciting!
4. Challenge yourself
Have you become complacent and comfortable in where you are in life? Is your life becoming a bit dull? We all aim for comfortable living and able to do what we want when we want and living in a nice house with nice things is the dream of every living human but sometimes difficulties and challenges can help you advance yourself and your creativity more than being comfortable can. Setting some challenges or pushing yourself through difficulties will make you look at life and things slightly differently which will of course, once again, improve your creativity!
5. Study new things you’ve wanted to learn
Want to be an ice skater? Learn how to do it. Want to fly a plane? Do it! New experiences open up new creative avenues for you that haven’t been tapped before. Push your boundaries and be determined to learn something new you never know where new skills will lead you even if it isn’t directly related to creative professions.
6. Travel to new places
When you travel to new places it really does open your mind, my solo journey to Colombia a while back was an eye opener and this year’s travel to Norway and Mexico. Travelling opens you up to new people, new ways of living, new beliefs and new cultures and new art. These experiences will stay with you once you return back to your studio. The world is a huge and fascinating place and if you don’t at least attempt to travel to some destinations I believe it will keep your mind shut, they do say, ‘travelling broadens the mind’.
7. Believe in yourself and keep going
It is really easy to get demotivated, particularly in January, many people get the January blues straight after Christmas, it was so much fun and very relaxing but don’t worry, you will get over it!
To try and help you get over the feeling of sadness that the Christmas fun times are over put your favourite music on, get some positive vibes flowing and shake that booty, Stevie Wonder needs you!
8. Turn the TV OFF
Our lives are becoming more and more full of constant distractions! TV, computer games, smartphones, social media ( although handy for business I admit… ) and gossip…it is all endless! Take some Zen time and turn away all that nonsense and focus within, thats where the creativity resides and once you stop focusing on mind-numbing media you will find you have acres of time to improve your own skills and creativity.
9. Study the works of others
When it comes to painting and drawing I try not to study the works of others as it can influence the way I work myself but sometimes when the creativity is dried up it can be helpful.
Whether we like to admit it or not all creative professionals are influenced by each other and each creative develops a ‘style’ and usually in the style of something that has come previously by those with more experiences in life. It may not be an exact representation but studying other artists and designers that you admire it can help boost your own creative thinking and your own processes.
It really is not a bad idea to take elements of others’ ideas as long as you can add your own touch to the finished product ( and of course, you are not breaching copyright! ).
10. Do things that make you (and others) happy
It’s no rocket science to figure out that if you are happy it is easier to be creative and become motivated to act on your creative impulses and likewise when you make people happy, even a complete strangers, it is a feeling of satisfaction that you know someone is feeling good.
That positive vibes that you feel after your good deeds or just generally doing things that make you happy give you the motivation you need for the creative sparks to be ignited within you and who knows, helping others may just inspire your creativity and artwork in a theme for a painting or making a connection with a like mind you may even work together on a project!
How do you find your creative sparks when you have a creative block? Please share your own ideas of how you stay creative below.