Five Things to Unleash Your Creativity Today by Joanna Aird
Lockdown can mean we’re all in a bit of a hamster wheel with the same routines and repetitive chores. Add to that the fear, and you find yourself facing a creative block. Good news, that needn’t be the case. As an artist and special needs assistant I spend a large proportion of my day with the most creative people of all – primary school children. Here are my five ways for us all to unleash the creativity of our inner child, today:
- Rock Your Daily Walk. It’s scientifically proven that walking boosts creative outputs by up to 60%. JK Rowling and Steve Gates are creative walking fans and I’m never happier or more inspired than when I spend time outside. Never has fresh air been at such a premium, so leave your headphones at home and use your time to let your mind go for a wander with you. You’ll be surprised by the thoughts that spring when you give them space to breathe.
- Get Uncomfortable. Like any part of your body, your creative brain is a muscle that needs exercise and warming up. Set yourself daily challenges that break from your usual routine. This could be as simple as a game to see the alphabet, spotting things in order.. ‘an apple, a brick, a carpet, a dog… all the way to Z’. By the time you get to the end your brain will be making all sorts of creative somersaults to fill the gaps and the more you do it, the more you’ll start to make other surprising connections.
- Do Oodles of Doodles. Carry a crayon or pencil in your pocket as ideas can come when you least expect them. If a thought comes to you, try to sketch it out rather than writing it down as this connects with a different part of your brain. Allow yourself to daydream by looking out of the window and draw the first thing you see in a cloud – a unicorn, an aeroplane – by doing this, you’re encouraging your brain to see things that you otherwise would have missed, and this fuels the creative process.
- See Trash As Treasure. When you’re restricted from going out, you need to work harder to find creative sources. Think more like a child and seize opportunity from the mundane. Where we see a cereal box, a child sees rocket ships and adventure. Sticks become dens. Yoghurt pots become DJ headsets. Be more of an inventor, see things not for what they are, but what they have the power to become. If you’re missing something, be creative with substitutes – no pipe cleaners, use string; can’t find tissue paper, turn to magazine cut-outs. Adversity fuels creativity.
- Give Chaos a Space. Einstein said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”. As adults, we spend too much time trying to bring order from disorder and focusing on what can’t be done. Imagine if that wasn’t the case? Call time out on your tidiness and create a space where you can embrace the chaos (the junk modelling table is always the most sought out place with children for this reason). Allow yourself the freedom to break from expectations, as it’s only by suspending judgement that we can truly give creativity a permanent home in our hearts.
Joanna Aird created The Arts Hub UK – a creative studio offering kids workshops, art tutoring and private commissions. Joanna has a passion for inspiring others, both adults and children, through Creative Arts. Joanna’s main aim is to enthuse and inspire keen and aspiring artists. During the holidays, she is running a series of 5-minute masterclasses at facebook.com/TheArtsHubUK. She can also be found on Twitter @theartshub1. Come join The Arts Hub UK and discover the talent that lies within you!