Top tips for developing creativity

WEA tutor Shaun Kennedy is giving us some advice for tapping into your creative side - from trying new things and getting in the zone to joining like-minded communities. Take it away Shaun...

Everyone is creative in their own way. Whether you’re trying to find that spark within or you’re a regular struggling with mental blocks, here are some ways to develop your creativity.

1) Establish your vision

Consider your ideas and how you would like to realize them. Some people are more visual in their thoughts, others are quicker with words or emotions.

2) Choose a craft

In order for your ideas to become a tangible reality, you'll need to choose a medium to express it. Whether it's writing, drawing, sculpting, songwriting, sewing or something else; ultimately, it should be something you enjoy.

3) Acquire essential tools

Once you've chosen your craft, you'll next need the kit. But this doesn't have to be difficult. In writing, for instance, all you'll need is paper, pen, and a hard surface.


4) Secure comfortable workspace

One of the easiest ways to be more creative is to construct your surroundings so that they promote maximum creativity. I'd suggest an ambient soundscape and environment with a cool color scheme, light should be low, preferably natural, and the temperature should hit a cozy 70°F/21°C.

5) Approach the task

Maintain ‘intrinsic’ motivation (from within); seek to work so that you may express yourself creatively and/or meet curiosity and enhance personal learning. Do it for you.

6) Maintaining effort

Apply structure whilst allowing for active breaks (ie make a cup of tea). Visualize success. Recall your motivation & goals


7) Overcome barriers

Set up the potential for inspiration. Take drawing an ‘anime cat’ for example; I could google this and see what others have produced. I could then piece together what I like and what I deem within my skill range, before returning to the task with renewed motivation. Ideally, I have been hit with inspiration and feel energized.

8) Appreciate the result

Congratulate yourself for completing your task! Rephrase any negative thoughts that may have arisen. Instead of ‘the eyes look terrible’, I could say ‘next time I want to work on drawing eyes I am happier with’. Show it off to loved ones and on personal social media.


Further Tips

1) Think creatively

Stay cognitively engaged and stimulated. Experience a variety of media (ie podcasts) and discussions specific to your ideas/craft or general topic. Expand your knowledge.

2) Join a community

Seek special interest groups online or face-to-face. Exchange stories and tips with each other on how to be more creative.

3) Consider other crafts

How to boost creativity? Try new things! Most writers enjoy drawing, finding it helpful and enjoyable.


4) Develop habits

Practice your craft for at least half an hour every day. Note down all your ideas, keep any unfinished projects and organize your inventory.

5) Avoid distractions

Even if this means turning off everything except ambient music!

6) Practical purpose

Artists could design posters for their office. Those of you who sew could fix clothes and give cross-stitch as gifts.


7) Self-improvement

Attending courses can bolster knowledge, experience and confidence while also potentially providing a qualification.

8) Be adventurous

Take opportunities, network, experiment; collate, evaluate, & re-constitute.

9) Positivity & wellbeing

You’re less inclined to apply yourself when in a negative space. That’s okay. Utilise forgiveness and self-love. Seek professional help if needed. Establish a support network of people who encourage positive vibes. Eat healthily, exercise, and sleep well. You can do it!


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