Ways to Be Creative When You Don't Think You're Creative

I hear it all too often, "I'm not creative"

And I get it.

Many of us live with the message that to be creative, we have to be skilled or enjoy the fine arts.

We don't receive the messages about how creativity encompasses much more than the fine arts and that we are all creative beings.

We wouldn't have most of the things we have today if someone didn't use their imagination, their natural creative mind to think of something in a different way.

But creativity is like a muscle and in able for you be think more creatively, you have to just do it.

So lets talk about ways to be creative (and yes, fine arts is included). Many of these might just seem like small "no duh" ideas but the more you do them, the more your creative muscle is flexed!

Fine Arts

  • -Color in a coloring book but don't go for what makes "sense". Make that flower brown and the grass purple.
  • -Draw a mandala and then color it...make copies and color it multiple ways
  • -Paint something...anything with any sort of paint on any sort of surface. Don't force it and let it happen.
  • -Get some clay and experiment with it. Some clay you can dry in your oven. 
  • -Take photos and experiment with filters, subjects, spacing, lighting...many of these can even be done with a cell phone camera.
  • -Write a poem. Poems don't have to write, they don't have to fit into any sort of pattern. They can be short, they can be long. They don't have to be about anything specific nor do they have to be shared with anyone.
  • -Sing. Sing anything. Sing children songs, sing with the radio. Sing about what you are doing Change the words of a song (like some of those 90s songs where you couldn't figure out the words so you made them up yourself...especially when you didn't have the internet to look up lyrics).
  • -Dance. You can just free dance if making up a routine isn't your style. Feel the music and move your body!
  • -Make up a skit with your friends. Now this will require your friends being game but most of the time children are game. Another option here is playing charades with your friends. (This is in fine arts because of theatre, yes, I spell that with an "re")

Innovative Thinking

  • -Create a new recipe or a twist on a well loved recipe
  • -Rearrange the furniture (yes, this is creativity)
  • -Find something that isn't working efficiently in your life and brainstorm ways to fix or change that. While I am sure that sounds silly (who wouldn't already be focused on something), sitting down and actually focusing on a problem makes a huge difference.
  • -Ask "why". Children show us how creative human beings are from the beginning....and they ask "why" all.the.time. Its part of life (no matter how frustrating to a parent it may be) but this is how we learn how things are done, how we fix things that aren't work, and increase our knowledge. Asking why can also help us see things differently, which can help us problem solve in other ways.
  • -Look at zero waste living. This is whole other world which requires that we look at EVERYTHING in our lives. We have to figure out how to use and reuse something multiple times, where we are still creating waste...and how to change that. Zero waste is a journey, not an end goal...so you can explore up and down the spectrum freely.
  • -Garden. This requires a lot of thinking...when to plant, nutrients in the soil...and of course, where to plant things. Add a level of difficulty by growing medicinal herbs and try to make designs or themes with where they are planted.
  • -For those who are using essential oils right now, create new blends. Stop relying on store bought blends and use your nose and your knowledge about aromatherapy notes....or just even personal preference.

Games

  • -Play board and card games. You can even make up your own.
  • -Do puzzles...including word and number puzzles.
  • -Play drawing games like Dots and Blocks or Pictionary
  • -Play with Legos or wooden blocks
  • -Play word association games (I say "apple" and you say the first thing that comes to your mind"

I think you can see what I am getting at here. Being creative has nothing to do only being good at fine arts. All of these ideas make you work your brain to see things differently or create things that you don't normally do. It uses your creativity and the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

Now, I do think that everyone should try a fine art of some sort, especially if they think they aren't good at it BECAUSE it works a different side of the brain. Studies have shown how learning and playing music affects the brain and how art in general is beneficial.

But is also teaches us to step outside our comfort zone but still remaining in a safe atmosphere. Many people struggle, myself included, stepping outside our comfort zone because it feels like we will have to compromise on our values or puts us in a dangerous situation. Stepping out of our comfort zone is different than ignoring our intuition. We can step out of our comfort zone without having to leave the house. No one is judging you (besides yourself but we can work on that). Even if you decide to post your adventures publicly and you get criticism...just know that it has nothing to do with you (easier said than done).

So what sort of creative adventure will you be getting into today?