I often find that when life gets that much harder or complex, I need to exhale and go back to the drawing board. There is so much negativity and difficulty surrounding us daily, that if we don’t make a concerted effort, we can drown in it.
I like to constantly be on the look out for inspiration & creativity, especially in the industry that I work in. Being creative on demand can be a bust if you aren’t constantly looking for what is out there and seeking ways to feed your creative brain.
I thought I would share a few tips that help me along my way:
1) Stay curious. Stay inspired.
That’s a motto I live by. You often don’t realise how much you utilise from your daily life to come up with ideas for your work. By daily life, I mean, things you see or experience in your life outside of ‘work’ and sometimes at work (at least in my experience) that actually influence your work. The more I sit in brainstorming sessions at work, the more I realise that my ideas stem from what I see and experience in my life.
Staying inspired requires that you do things that you enjoy, go to places that are of interest, engage in conversations that are enlightening, read up on aspects that interest you, try new things… There are many ways to be inspired. The key here though is to keep on doing those things. It makes it that much simpler for you to be ‘creative on demand’ in your 9 to 5 life.
I know I mentioned this above but it needs to be its own point here. By read, I mean having a thirst for knowledge and for challenging your mind. Read different kinds of books/articles/blogs/whatever that may or may not fall in line with your line of creativity. I’ve learnt not to inhibit myself to one genre. I really enjoy biographies and African literature, but once in a while, it’s good to open oneself up to a more challenging read. It helps with perspective and to see things that you may not have seen before.
3) Make Notes
I always, and I mean ALWAYS, keep a notebook/phone/tablet or something to write my ideas down close to me. This whole blog post came to me in a moment of inspiration. It just took a couple of minutes for me to put my thoughts down in my Notes for fine-tuning later.
It helps you to harness those great ideas while they’re still fresh. You can always go back and review them at a later stage.
Some of my best and most inspired ideas come to me as I fall asleep at night. I no longer play the tomorrow game. I always whip out my phone and take down my ideas before knocking out. I hardly ever remember my great ideas the next day if I don’t put them down.
3) Write. Paint. Sing. Take photos.
Aside from putting down your ideas, you need an outlet for your thoughts and feelings. This may not always be in the form with which your finished product is relayed. I’m not a photographer, but I love to capture things that inspire me.
An outlet is so important as it enables you to cultivate your creative skills and it often provides moments of clarity. Remember my post on the little birdie I captured in a pic that left me inspired?
I don’t mean this in the literal sense, but something I have recently found myself doing is Scrapbooking images and articles that resonate with me. Kind of like an inspiration board.
You won’t always know when you’ll use it, but you resonate with what you see and want to capture that in a capsule for future reference.
5) Follow the Fundis
In the era we live in, it’s much easier to keep up with those who inspire you and not have to wait for an opportunity to meet with them.
Read up on those who you look up to or who have paved the way before. Follow them on social media to get a sense of what they do and how they do it. There’s a maze out there which you can get lost in. Just be sure to remember the way out.
6) Take time out with you
Part of being a creative is harnessing your uniqueness and using that as a differentiating factor in what you do.
Sometimes we can get lost in the world of inspiration. It’s important to take time out and connect with yourself. Highlight things that inspire you and what you’re about and what your current focus is. As much as being creative allows for freedom, that freedom needs to be guided productively and channeled into the right areas. Decide for you what that focus will be and how you intend to go from strength to strength whilst staying true to you.
What are some of the things that keep you going as a creative? Do share in the comments below!