How to Stay Creative
“I JUST want to DO my ART!!!”
Ever feel like this?
I don’t believe you.
Don’t you ever feel creatively stifled?
So often as a performer - even if I’m working on a project - I don't feel creatively fulfilled.
All of the big paying (and small paying!) jobs are the fulfillment of someone else’s vision.
To get through this, I’ve realized that I have to create my own work.
And I highly recommend that you do the same.
Anything from a cute ukulele cover, to a one-person show,
to that feature film that’s been sitting in the back of your mind.
But how to get there?
I’ve put together some easy tasks and questions to get you into that creative space.
1. Ask yourself: “What is the story I want to tell?”
Don’t overthink this! Everyone has a story. It may change throughout the creative process. And if you don’t have any ideas, don’t worry: see #3.
2. Ask yourself: “What is an art form I want to explore?”
Don’t overthink this either. But if there is something out there you’ve always been interested in creating, explore it! Who knows what it can turn into. Always wanted to learn the drums? Go for it. The mod podge trend that you saw on TikTok peak your interest? Try it out. Your feature film idea could inspire you to create an art installation. WHO KNOWS!
3. Free Write
I know. This sounds annoying. Unless you’re a natural journal-er (I’m not), this can take some getting used to. However, I’ve found it soooo wildly helpful. The popular way to do this is “morning pages” made famous by Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.You’re supposed to write a few pages in the first moments you wake up. It gets all of the junk out of your mind, onto the page and makes for a more productive day. It took some getting used to, but turns out I love morning pages.
Another way to free write is to give yourself parameters. Write about a certain subject. Maybe it’s the subject you want to create some art around, maybe it’s a feeling, maybe it’s a family member. So many ideas come out through the pen. This can help you expand on ideas or narrow down to specifics.
I recommend writing. Like actually writing with your hand. Not typing. There’s something personal about it and helps me to connected with myself on a deeper level.
4. Talk it out
I’ve found I come up with some of my best ideas by chatting with a trusted friend. Who knew! Maybe it’s something to do with the back and forth of conversation. Maybe it’s the brain-storming. Or maybe it’s seeing my friend’s reactions. Whatever it is, the ideas start flowing and it helps to build confidence.
Life moves so quickly. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to clear your mind. Try to find time to meditate for at least 10 minutes a day. “Oh, but I’m too busy!!!” Lies. You have 10 minutes. Which leads me to my next point:
6. Step awayyyyyy from the phone
A casual survey was taken in a class I was in: Where are you the most creative? Everyone said they did their best thinking in the shower. I’m one of those people. And why? Because I’m not near my phone!!!!! I’m not scrolling and filling my head with nonsense. It’s just me. I’m not distracted by music, traffic, or people around me. Let your mind wander. Put. Your. Phone. Down.
7. Voice Memos and Notes
Write it down. Make a memo. That amazing idea you think you're going to remember? You’re not. I keep my phone by my bed and will leave myself half-conscious voice memos if I come up with an awesome idea while going to sleep. Sometimes it even makes sense! If you say something funny to a friend and you want to remember it? Jot it down. Right then and there. You’re an artist. Your friend will understand.
8. Get Moving
Go on a hike. Take a walk. Get out of the house. Do some yoga. Get the blood pumping to your brain. Your brain is where the ideas are! Don’t just sit on your couch waiting for the cool things to pop in there. Go do life.
External deadlines are huge for me. It may help to get yourself an accountability buddy who makes you turn in pages or make the videos. Without deadlines I tend to get into the “I’ll do it at one point” cycle - and that doesn’t get anyone anywhere.
10. Be like Nike, and Just Do It
Remember that nothing is permanent and things can be re-done. You can re-write the script, you can re-film the video, you can try the painting again. I’m a perfectionist and I sometimes get caught trying to make it perfect the first time. Just get it down on the page, and fix it later.
I hope these pointers are a help and get you to do something for you and only you.
Your life will feel way more fulfilled.