As creatives, you are always looking to increase your pool of creativity to draw on.
We can fill up that pool. It’s filling passively even as we live life, but we can fill it up faster if we are willing to put in some effort.
But first, before I get to that, one aspect of creativity that is very important.
Creativity is connecting ideas and seeing relationships between them. These abilities we can improve at and as we do, we increase our ability to make our unique self expression by the way in which we make connections. This connecting will be different for everyone, not just the way in which we connect, but our our pools are so different to start with.
So how can we make more connections?
Well first we have to fill ourselves up with stuff.
We need a steady stream of new ideas, experiences, thoughts and feelings to be able to draw on to do our connecting and relating work. We are born as fresh slates, and our life experiences and the work we do fill us with resources from which we draw and combine and recombine, making new relationships between the things swimming around in our pools
What sort of stuff can we fill ourselves up with?
Everything and anything. The more time you spend filling up, the better, but this is only the first step. You can fill yourself with:
Do something new, something fun or crazy. Experiences fill our mind and body with new sensations and ideas. It’s exciting and engaging. They can make deep impressions or they can be the start of new hobbies and interests. Be sure to seek these out on a regular basis. They offer all sorts of possibilities for growth.
Our emotions are one of our greatest resources. We can draw on them as we create our art. All of them are available to us at any time we want to call them up and use them to convey something through our work. They can be emotions that you value or they can be emotions that something in your life has brought to the front. Explore them and connect them with other ideas that you have inside you.
skills and knowledge
Feed your mind every day. There are opportunities to learn all over now. The internet, books, classes, new hobbies.. there are so many opportunities to learn just about anything you wish. A little ambition and commitment is all that is required. All this provides so much new information to draw on in your creative work. Of course, any thing technical will require much knowledge and skill, which will require updating, but also consider how some your knowledge could be applied to a totally different area or how learning something new could give lead to some new connections.
Keep current with new ideas and research coming out in your field. Test yourself with some ideas that are foreign to you or that you don’t like. Keep your mind open. There is something to learn even from things that you disagree with.
You can go to a new place or stick with something familiar, so whichever you choose, slow down a little and spend some time noticing things around you. Be curious and use your wonder. Notice the shapes of trees or faces. Notice patterns and textures. Whatever catches your eye, notice and enjoy it. Also take note of what types of things catch your attention first. Then try to notice something new and appreciate it.
new points of view
Out and talk to people! You can easily get all sorts of new points of view. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Test them out and understand how they feel. Read books about people too – novels, biographies, memoirs. They all provide an opportunity to experience life from a new perspective.
The second step
This is a vital step, so don’t leave it out.
Now that you have spent your time making sure to fill yourself up, the next step is to start creating.
You must practice making connections from your pool of resources. It will lead to new and better ideas as you do it more and more.
You’ll find yourself also filling your pool more frequently because you know you need it to grow your creativity, and as you put them to use, so your ability to use them will grow.
When you start to feel confident, you will find a whole new plane of expression opens to you where those connections and relationships start to flow so much easier. Your mind and creativity will be open to you. To have this ability requires steady effort and work.
So, take a walk and notice the birds and trees or the sounds of the day. Take that class you have always wanted to. Or try that new hobby. Don’t put it off! Take action and grow yourself. Spend some time thinking of how to connect your new information to what you know and don’t worry if it’s silly or outrageous or wacky! Have some fun with it!!