Monday, March 29, 2010

Make- it Mondays: Boost Your Creativity

photo shamelessly doctored by buenahelena

In a rut? Ideas gone stale? We all need a creative boost from time to time. As a high school art teacher, I draw creative blood from stones everyday.Here are a few tricks that really work.

  1. Keep a pocket sized journal and pen with you at all times. Jot down ideas as they come, quotes you overhear and your observations of people throughout the day. Everyday happenings make strong springboards.
  2. Get outside of YOUR box. Take an alternate route to work and listen to a new radio station. Pick up a magazine, a book, or rent a movie that has nothing to do with your style or interests. You might just find a new one. In the worst case scenario you might hate what you get and spend an evening fuming about creative ways that you would change some horrendous movie's plot.
  3. Get a soundtrack. Sites like pandora and can help you customize an art making mood album. Some people need the speed of dance music, while others need the storylines of good songwriting.
  4. Hire a Craft Coach. Or coaches! Get a friend or colleague you trust to give you their honest two cents and bounce ideas off of. Our monthly street team meetings are flooded with ideas once 5 or more creative people start talking over coffee.
  5. Get a healthy dose of competition. Joining Etsy challenges, taking classes and acquiring a secret arch nemesis can bring out that fighting creative spirit. Pressure can be a great motivator as well as accountability to a person or group.

Things that DON'T work:
  1. Comparing yourself to others. I'm very guilty of this, so take it from me. Pouring over other Etsian's pages and blogs can bring you down when you have a measuring stick out. Plus these down days are generally not productive days.
  2. Experimenting with "enlightening" drugs. Everything you do will seem you. To the rest of us it will look a piece made by a person on drugs. Plus it will probably be covered with Cheeto dusted fingerprints.
  3. Jumping into a pile. Sometimes you just throw all of your supplies and half finished projects onto a table...and stare at it...and stare at it...and...that just doesn't work. Do one thing at a time in small chunks of time over a period of days.


  1. oh and writing a blog! this is better than any sketchbook!

  2. GREAT tips, Carol! I really needed to hear these! Am definitely feeling in a rut that I need to get out of QUICK! Will be trying these this week!

  3. Oh, and i recently heard this tip that goes along with your pocket-sized journal idea: take a half hour and write down the ten things you've always wanted to create and then choose one of those and JUST DO IT! You never know what you'll come up with if you take a risk!

  4. I started the pocket journal this week. Will try others too! Thanks so much...really need these do's and don'ts.