Everyone is creative, but sometimes you can give your creativity a boost. Here are some things that work for me. Maybe they will also work for you:
Sleep – Nothing stunts my creativity more than fatigue or being overly-tired. A good, refreshing sleep, or even a nap, can do wonders for my creative expression. I’ve found that it’s a mistake to burn the candle at both ends for too long. Eventually, the rate and quality of my creative output diminishes. Sometimes the most important thing you can do to foster creativity is to rest.
Laugh – I don’t know why, but as soon as I feel the joy of laughter and can play with the absurdities and contradictions that underlie all good comedy, I feel more adept at juggling artistic concepts and synthesising original combinations of the seemingly unrelated. It feels good to laugh with friends. Feeling good has something to do with it. The better you feel, the more able to create you feel. At least, that is how it is for me.
Love – Being a loving person or being loved by others is undoubtedly a good feeling. Just loving the world and the amazing things and people that are in it can bring about that good feeling. The more you love humanity, the biosphere and the universe, the more connected you feel to them in a good way, the easier it is to bring forth your most cherished creations. You’re bringing them into a place of safety and support. Beauty is not skin deep, it goes all the way to the very core of the universe. And love will save us all. I’m sure of it.
Learn – There is so much wonderful information to find and to learn. People know things that you can’t even begin to imagine. I find that nothing stimulates my own creativity more than learning new things, especially things that were first known by creative people. Talk about a role model and fuel for the intellect. Learn voraciously. There’s a lot of great information out there and somebody has to know it, live it and pass it on. Why not you?
Share – I’ve found that the more I share what I know and what I create, the more I know and create, whereas when you become obsessed with protecting your best ideas from the thieving plagiarists, the more narrowly focussed you become, until your own paranoia overtakes your creative faculties and you become a full time guard, instead of an artist. I don’t think you should just work for free and give away everything you do, but sharing it with people that return your gifts in kind (and often in greater abundance) is a powerful thing. Have the confidence to know that people will come back to you with their commissions, if they already like the things that you freely share.
Give – Whereas sharing implies something that you still have possession of, but which you make available to others on a controlled basis, giving is much more powerful. That is an act of parting with a creation and giving it into the sole custody of another. You may not ever see your creation again. It’s a big moment of trust. It is a test of your generosity. It makes you want to fill the gap where the creation used to be with something even better that you create. Giving is a gift to yourself as well. Generosity makes you feel good, which as I have already pointed out is fuel to the creative being.
Play – Dabble. Meddle. Improvise. Jam. Mess around. Just take some materials and see what you can make of them. Do it just for fun. Do it for the sheer joy of playing. Do it because it’s a lovely way to spend time. The more fun it is, the better you feel and the better you feel, the more your creativity wants to come out. Works every time.
Practice – Whatever you create and however you create it, there seems to be a lot to be said for doing it over and over again and sticking with it. If you keep on doing it, you keep on refining it. Your technique improves. The stuff you have to think hard about initially, eventually becomes second nature and instinctual, freeing you up to think harder about higher level challenges. The more you create, the better you become at creating.
Respect – Pay attention to the inner creative being that makes it all possible. Cherish it. Love it. Let it have its way. Don’t criticise it. Don’t force it to follow fashion or trends. Let it blaze its own trail. Appreciate the authority of the inner creative being over the things it creates. Nobody knows more about what it creates or how to create those things better. Don’t do drugs. If creativity were available in a pill for a few bucks, there would be no reason to do all of the other things above. Drugs simply don’t deliver creativity. Ever noticed how somebody on drugs seems less coordinated and altogether more clumsy? What’s the point of having a brilliant, creative idea, if you have impaired the means of actually expressing it in the real world? Talk about a flush.
So that’s what works for me. I hope it helps you.