1. Coloring Books for Adults
2. Take a Class In Person & Online
3. Write in a Journal
4. Go outside
5. Check out an Art Show
Take yourself on a field trip and check out art in person. Even if you’re not particularly fond of some of the pieces, it’s nice to see someone else’s craft. The bookstore is also a treasure trove for good creative ideas. Pick a postcard and put it on a mood board to remind you of your visit.
On our trip to Vancouver, I reconnected with my creative spirit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Color combinations inspired me and there were a few installations that reminded me of how I wanted to be an installation artist when I was in my early 20s. I got to see a few shadow boxes by Joseph Cornell in person. I totally forgot how enamored I was with his work when I was in art school!! That recalibration was what I needed. It helped remind me where I am now and where I was then, creatively.
I guess what I’m saying is that you can find another perspective when you go see art in person.
6. Spend time in a Library
There’s nothing like being surrounded by books. If I feel like bringing new ideas/thoughts into our house- like if I need to feel inspired by a new cookbook, I check it out from the library. Cooper is really into books as well, so we try to have a library date once a week. My only problem is returning things on time… In the end, it costs less than buying a book and I don’t have to find a permanent space for them…but sometimes I overdo it and bring too many books home. It’s a balance.
If you don’t have a museum nearby, you can always go into the Art section of your library. While you’re at the library, check out some art books. I like to have a rotation of several different inspiring books on my nightstand so I have something fun to look at before bed. It’s interesting to see what creeps into my dream life.
7. Give Yourself Little Creative Challenges
I’ve been shooting a lot for other people and sometimes I lose myself / own style in the process. I forget what it is that makes my photography different and unique. To counteract this, I give myself a few creative challenges before I am shooting recipes for others. I try to find something interesting in the ingredients I’m working with and put my own spin on it. Here I spilled some salt and then decided to turn it into a way of saying hello to my followers on Instagram. It lead to a whole conversation about salt puns and I loved connecting with others through that photo.
8. Take a Trip to the Nursery
There are at least three nurseries on the way home from picking up/dropping off at school. Sometimes I take a little detour and spend 15-20 minutes to be around plants. Sometimes I leave with a new friend and other times I leave with a fire under my butt to get our backyard together. Remember how I said how important it is for me to be outside? Well, being in a nursery is like taking an espresso shot. I instantly feel better when I’m around plants.
9. Get Your Hands Dirty & Try Something New
I’m going through a dying/bleaching phase right now and I can’t wait to show you. It’s been fun dabbling in another medium and I’m getting my hands dirty in the process. Like…literally. Things may not be 100% perfect, but I have to remember it’s all a process. Sometimes it’s important to get your hands dirty to realize what it is you’re looking for. Perhaps you can bring new life/repurpose something? You never know unless you pull up your sleeves and do the handiwork.
I’m notorious for spray-painting things on a moment’s notice. When the inspiration strikes, you just gotta run with it! Try not to make tooooooo big of a mess, though.
10. Look for Signs
11. Document the Process
My Everyday Life has been a way for me to document my life. I’ve been working on this project since 2011! I created this creative challenge to help keep me constantly looking for things that catch my eye. I want to find beauty in the mundane and figure out a way to elevate the everyday. I do this through photography and the words that I use to describe the image I post.
The more you train your brain to see how beautiful everyday moments are…the easier it becomes. As a result, you have a visual history of your life and so many little moments to reflect upon when you look back. This has been easier for me to do than scrapbook (which I failed miserably at). I love looking back and seeing what I did a year ago…two years ago, etc. Sometimes I’m doing the exact same thing on the same week or sometimes I remember how I was in New York…and how it feels like I was just there yesterday.
If anything, it’s helped me realize how fast time goes by and how grateful I am for my life.
12. Give Yourself a Break
Some days you need to abandon your plans and focus on creating good energy/recharging your creative battery. I call these Mental Health Days. I purposely leave my phone in other parts of the house, so I am not doing any anxious cyber loafing. You know…that dangerous trap of Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat. It sucks me in and I get really antsy because it’s never-ending. Plus the leftover feelings from what I experience online trickle into my life and I can find myself getting all weird when I’m around other people because I have these weird nagging feelings of OMG I GOTTA WRITE ANOTHER EMAIL. How can I possibly do something that’s never been done before??
I fall hard into the comparison game trap.
I’m learning how to set boundaries and figuring out how to respect them. It’s been one of the biggest creative challenges so far. Because this life online is work…but it’s also my creative life and how do I balance that with home life, family life AND make time for a social life?
Giving myself a break and being kind to myself allows me to be more creative with my time. I am happy that I am finally realizing this. It’s about working smarter, not harder and If I can do it with a little more compassion for myself, I’ll be a happier person.