5 Simple Ways to Bring Creativity into Your Life
A look into the power of creativity and how you can introduce it into your life with some simple activities
With the pressures of modern-day life weighing on us, it can be easy to think "I don't have the energy to be creative right now" or "I'm not feeling creative today". I think we probably all go through such thoughts and feelings. A 2016 survey by Adobe showed that less than half of people (41%) would describe themselves as creative. The same survey also showed that only around a quarter of people "feel like they are fulfilling their creative potential". (ideatovalue.com, 2022) This is concerning if we consider that creativity has been shown to improve people's emotional health. It can increase our levels of positive emotions, decrease depression and anxiety and even improve the function of the immune system. (diversushealth.org, no date)
If you ever need creative motivation, a particular quote by the beautiful Maya Angelou really puts the issue into perspective:
"You can't use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have." (Maya Angelou Quote, azquotes.com)
This quote hits me hard; the more you shy away from creativity the less inspired and motivated you will feel. The act of creating really taps you into your creative abilities; one creative idea inspires another. Also, creativity can create such a buzz that it becomes hard to stop. It's a cycle that you need to keep going. If you feel like you have fallen out of this cycle, or just don't know how to begin, here are 5 simple activities to get you on track:
1. Creating Vision Boards
A great way to raise your mood through creativity, whilst raising your level of motivation, is to create vision boards. I decided to start making them after seeing a video by the Youtuber Kenna Marie (@KennaMarie on YouTube). I've included the latest video in which she discusses vision boards below.
Whilst most information online about vision boards seems to be in reference to New Year boards, I feel like they are positive for other areas of life too. For instance, if you wanted to make one for a particular season or a vision of the career you want to have. Below are the vision boards I made for New Year 2022 and 2023. The 2023 one is currently my laptop screensaver. I included images that motivate me and also images that make me happy (like images of animals). I found the images on Pinterest and then assembled them in Microsoft Publisher. I also really like Canva and they offer a free trial, have vision board templates and allow you to upload your own images.
Another creative activity mentioned in the video above is journaling. The choices of what to put in a journal are extremely varied. For instance, you can focus on writing, draw diagrams, draw pictures, use stickers, add photographs and stick in cut-outs. If you want to focus on making a writing journal, ideas I like include:
Making a gratitude journal. This involves listing things that you feel grateful for and allows you to view your life with more appreciation. For instance you could aim to write three bullet points a day or five every Sunday.
A dream diary. Whilst writing down every dream you have could be a lot of work, you could write a description of dreams that have particularly stood out to you.
Writing about your hopes for the next week/month.
Writing an account of a trip/visit that you have really enjoyed.
Quotes that you feel inspired by.
I like the idea of incorporating numerous ideas and themes into one journal. It's something that doesn't necessarily require a great amount of dedication as you have the freedom to add whatever you want whenever you feel like it. Below is a video by Lavendaire where she shares more ideas of what to write, inspiration and tips. She emphasises the benefits of journal writing with a positive outlook.
Below are some Instagram images of visual journals for inspiration:
Collaging is a process that can be incorporated into journaling or done separately. I really like the process of taking cuttings from newspapers and magazines and using them to create birthday cards. It's a simple way of showing someone how much you care about them, and you can use cuttings that remind you of the person (colours they like, images of their favourite things). Adding cuttings of quotes and pieces of fabric can also look striking. Using lots of small cuttings can create a really detailed image, and you can even incorporate other mediums such as painting and drawing into the piece for extra creativity. Whilst collages are often made digitally (with software like photoshop), I really like the more traditional look of physical ones. I've shared some of my favourite examples below:
Watercolour painting is something that can be quite simple to do but really allows you to express creativity. A watercolour painting doesn't need to be complex and you don't have to fill the whole sheet of paper. A painting of one object with a white background can look beautiful. I also really like watercolours because, compared to other types of painting, you don't need lots of expensive materials to do it. Just a small paint palette, a brush, a cup of water and a watercolour paper sketchbook are all you need. Painting flowers is a great place to start. I really like the flower watercolour painting by Taylor Swift below:
Below is a watercolour painting I made of a turtle. I made this picture freehand (I didn't lightly sketch/outline with a pencil first) as I personally prefer this method. I like the free, flowing feeling of using paint from the very beginning. The first two/three times I painted with watercolours as an adult I actually allowed myself to get frustrated. It's important to remember that if you practice you will get better with time. One tip if you want to build up colour and detail is to let one layer fully dry before adding another on top. Or, like in the picture above, you can experiment by mixing two similar colours together on the page (for instance orange with red). It can also be useful to tape the edges of the paper down with washi tape to prevent the water from crinkling the page.
5. Oil Pastels
Like with watercolours, when using oil pastels you don't need to cover a whole page with colour in order to create a beautiful image. Pastels are also really effective for blending colours together. I have a set of twenty-five colours by Seawhite of Brighton, but I'm hoping to get a set with more colours in the future. You can buy paper that is especially for pastels, but I just use normal A4 paper and find that it works fine. Watercolours and oil pastels are both mediums where you could start off by making simple pictures and potentially build up to doing larger, more detailed and complex pieces of work.
I hope you like my suggestions for simple, creative activities. Please share in the comments any thoughts you have on the topic and if there are any activities you would add to the list.
Non-Linked Image Sources