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How to Be Creative

Have you ever wished to look at the world in a different way than you do now? Have you ever watched someone paint and longed to follow in their footsteps? Though the question remains unanswered on whether or not creativity can be taught, no one can claim that it is impossible.

Some people have always held on to the belief that you are born creative; that, somehow, if you are not ingrained with the ability, it is impossible to grasp. This is definitely not true. Everybody has a bit of it in them, even if they never come to realize it. Or, even if it is brought to their attention at one point, they choose to shrug it off and move on with their lives.

Creativity is not only exclusive, it is exceedingly hard to use, they believe. This may stem from low self esteem, or their idea of what a creative person is. Sometimes what is seen as a flaw can become a deep advantage in some aspects of life.

Becoming creative does not happen overnight. You cannot expect to suddenly be the next popular writer or artist in the blink of an afternoon or even a year. It is slow moving process, one that requires patience for anyone who wishes to keep at it. However, the results will be worth it, no matter how long it takes. You will know a thrill that you did not before, something that hits you at the very core and makes you smile.

How can you spot a creative person?

  • Creative people tend to let their minds become lost in a daydream. Perhaps they are stuck in a particularly dull class, and choose instead to stare at the wall and think of an upcoming vacation. Or maybe they spot a color in their environment and it reminds them of a story that they have been meaning to read. When their mind is not otherwise occupied, other things will take its place.
  • They have an active imagination. A tea cup becomes a bathtub for the bugs and rodents hiding in a home, or an old chair becomes the throne of a mighty king. A crayon is not just a stick made of wax; it is a great weapon. To them, nothing is ever as it seems, and nothing is set in stone. These are the people that write the stories members of society enjoyed as a child, and may still enjoy even as age and cynicism sets in.
  • Environments that freely allow the use of creativity are a good place to find someone who excels in creativity. After all, if they are creative, a workplace that encourages the opposite could be quite stifling for them. There would be nobody to talk to and very little would be available to fuel their urges.
  • They are not afraid to admit to people that they enjoy being creative. In fact, they will likely want to exclaim it from the mountaintops. There are few, if any, obstacles in their path of life; somebody could go out of their way to discourage them, and it would perform very little damage.

How can you harness your own inner creative genius?

  1. Do your best to ignore the passing trends. You may not understand the reasoning behind this, but it is important, nevertheless. Tapping into what is popular at the moment, and ignoring the design aspects that you enjoy, are a surefire way to damage your creativity. Instead of trying to figure out what will get you the most money and attention, stay true to your own feelings. Stay on the path that is yours, without copying others. After all, just because it is popular, that does not guarantee that it is of any value.
  2. Get plenty of sleep. Many people do not realize this, but the amount of sleep you receive at night can determine just how well your thought process functions. If you are lucky to get four hours a night, then you will find yourself so tired that being creative just isn’t on the agenda. Take frequent naps, choosing areas that are out of the way from any loud sounds, and let the mind and body get its much needed rest. If you typically stay up late, go to bed early. If you eat many sugary foods, cut back so that you will not be too wound up later on.
  3. Do not pay attention to what others have already put together in the past. This does not mean that you will be going out of your way to copy exactly what they did, as if you came up with the idea yourself. This is meant to push you to distance yourself from those things; to not use what has already been made in your projects. In your mind, they do not exist and have never come to be. They do not influence you. Should they appear at all, it is not on purpose.
  4. Do not watch television; at least, do not do so on such a frequent basis that you are unable to get the creative juices in your mind flowing. Spending several hours a day on the couch, watching a soap opera and eating popcorn will do you few favors. Turn the television off before it consumes you and takes precious time away. If you believe this will be difficult, ask a friend or family member to act as the person who cuts you off from it. Have them turn it off for you, despite any protests.
  5. Do not limit the amount of materials you use when putting together your masterpiece. Just because you have always focused on pastels, that does not mean that crayons and markers are out of the equation. Just because newspapers dominate your projects, that does not mean you cannot switch to colored construction paper in the middle of working on it. You are never truly stuck in your chosen ways, and should not treat the idea of it as such. It is fine to explore different options; how would you be able to grow if you did not?

What should you look for in your special area for creating?

Everybody should have a place set aside for their creative process. What works best varies from person to person, but many would agree on certain characteristics and requirements.

  • It should not be cluttered. If the place you wish to use is full of dirty laundry and piles of forgotten papers, it is not likely that you will be able to fix attention. The smell from the lack of clean, or even the awareness that you are surrounded by such things, could act as a great deterrent. If you must use the space, consider cleaning it first.
  • There should be few, if any, distractions present. If there is a television or computer, have them removed as soon as possible. You may not be able to work if you are aware that a television show you watch will be coming on soon. Having the very thing that can bring the show to you nearby will only cause lose of concentration and many wasted hours. You will end up feeling guilty, and that never assists positively in anything. It is safer to never have had such things around in the first place.
  • The area should feel welcome and opening; you should never feel trapped in any way. This is supposed to be a space that makes you happy and inspired; a prison cell-like atmosphere would hardly cause a person to want to pick up a pencil and dream. If inside, fill the place with stimulating colors; whether the color is simply bright or it is your own personal favorite, be sure to include it. You can also choose to do your thinking outside; just make sure that where you go is safe. The middle of the road, for instance, would not be a terribly proper idea.

What creativity exercises can you do?

There are a number of activities you can do to force your inner artist to get out and play.

  1. Taking a box of crayons, select three colors and place them in the area in front of you. These are the only colors you will be allowed to use in order to create a picture. It does not need to be of anything specific, nor are you expected to complete the drawing in a certain amount of time. Take time off if you so wish and go off to do other things. You will be surprised at how you are forced to rethink when you are limited in what you can do.
  2. If you have never owned a diary or journal, consider the investment. Fill the pages with whatever might creep into your mind, even if inspiration should occur in the early hours of the morning. You can discuss what you had for breakfast, what somebody sitting next to you on the bus was wearing, and so on. The options are limitless, and only take a few moments to create at a time. Soon you will have a written work of art on your hands, to enjoy for years to come and share with others.
  3. Listen to music in a language that you are not fluent in. Some people find this rather strange, but it can work wonders for those who give it a try. When you cannot understand the words, you are forced to listen to the music in the background; you are free to make up your own lyrics and let images float through your conscience.
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