Photo By: Alice Dietrich from Unsplash

Creativity is an often underutilized skill that has many benefits. Despite being linked often with imagination and art, creativity is actually a lot more than that. It’s used differently in many settings, which is important to point out because some people might be discouraged as they feel they aren’t creative enough when in reality, their creativity is manifesting in unconscious ways.

What’s more important though, is that it is a skill that can be inculcated and learned. But just as any skill, it also requires lots of attention and nourishment in order to develop into something bigger. Going through a creative slump is totally normal, so it’s important not to get discouraged during this time and accept that it is only temporary. 

Without further ado, here are some ways in which you can maintain and increase your creativity:

Keep it simple

Sometimes less is more. When you’re trying to come up with a good idea, a simple one is often the best choice. Being creative doesn’t always mean creating something complex, it can be something accessible to the intended audience.

Know your audience  

The audience also plays a big role in the creative process. Sometimes the idea of putting your work out there can be stressful and lead to perfectionism. However, when it comes to creativity, the best audience is always yourself. Don’t have all your focus on making something for others. Art is subjective, there will always be people that might not enjoy your work, but as long as you do something you are passionate about and proud of, then the quality will speak for itself.

Take breaks  

One way to pick yourself up from a creative slump can be to take some distance from the creative project you’re working on. Taking a step back could help put things into perspective. Going on a walk or even doing meditation are ways in which you can get a spark back or uncover that idea you were missing.

Declutter and personalize your environment  

Setting up your creative environment is also helpful. Our surroundings have a lot of influence on our work; keeping your place clean can help to declutter the mind, and having a source of inspiration nearby can be motivating. Whether it’s a picture, quotes, or a poster, having that visual helps you remember why you’re passionate about what you do.

Gain social insight 

Talking with peers outside of or from the internal discipline can provide much-needed insight on the project you’re working on. Having an outsider’s perspective can spark an idea or a path not thought of before.

Be patient 

A way to maintain creativity is to nourish it and put your time in. The saying, ‘everybody starts somewhere’ is a good reminder that everyone started off as a beginner at one time, only practice and time devoted to your form of creativity will help maintain it and improve it.

These are just a few ways to incorporate creativity into your life. Everyone has their own methods, so I encourage you to find and utilize what works for you. 

The benefits of creativity were recently discussed in the article about art therapy, where a few Brock students and an art therapist described how it has helped them deal with stress and their overall mental health. You can read their testaments here.