1) Changing your mind set.
We all get stuck in a rut at times don’t we? We are generally creatures of habit who follow routines. Structure in our lives is important as we all have responsibilities however, if you do the same things day in, day out you will not be doing your creative self any good whatsoever.
To be creative we need to connect with ourselves on a subconscious level. To do this we need to be relaxed and give ourselves time to just BE. Have you ever gone to bed thinking or worrying about a problem and then when you’ve woken up, suddenly you have the answer. Well that’s because your mind has been working through that issue whilst you were sleeping. We don’t have to be asleep to tap into this part of our mind though. We just need to do something we enjoy and helps us to calm down our thought process. For some this can be meditation but for others it can simply be taking a walk and noticing everything around you. It’s Spring, so there are signs of new life everywhere. Stop and notice the different colours and how nature combines them.
Personally, I like to take a walk along the beach with my dog and just watch how she explores and enjoys the environment. Watching the waves constantly washing in and washing out makes me realize that nature goes on no matter what is happening in your life. It has the power to make me feel secure and relaxed. That’s when I often have some of my better ideas!
Another favourite pastime of mine is to sit in a café and people watch. Actually, I prefer to do this outside whilst on holiday in Portugal but that can’t happen all the time! There is something very satisfying and often amusing about observing human nature.
Listening to music can instantly change our mood and mindset. When ironing, which is one of my least favourite house chores, I put my favourite radio station on and before I know it I have whizzed through a pile of crumpled clothes as my mind has been whisked away to a different place.
2) Choose a New Hobby or Interest
Leading upto Christmas 2014, I was feeling very overwhelmed with difficult family events on top of all the usual Christmas preparations. I wasn’t feeling creative at all. In fact in the Summer of that year I had just got my degree and I felt like had gone into “creative block” – very like “writers block”. Every time this happens I think I’ve lost my creative self forever! It sounds dramatic, I know, but it is an awful feeling when suddenly those creative ideas seem to switch off. In hindsight I know that it happens when I am stressed and busy but it doesn’t make it any easier. My solution was to be proactive, instead of reactive and I started by simply deciding to make some new decorations for the Christmas tree. I did some research on line and decided to try my hand at origami. Something I hadn’t done since I was a child. Before long, I had paper stars, everywhere! And I suddenly felt creatively alive again! I even gave some of my stars as gifts. This simple change in my routine meant that I kept going with origami and came up with some designs for CobaltMoonDesign too.
“White origami with yellow butterfly and origami coloured letters images on both sides of cushion” available at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/CobaltMoonDesign
3) Mistakes aren’t Bad
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Making mistakes is how we learn. If we gave up every time we faced a challenge we would never develop and move on. As an artist, myself and my colleagues would often talk about “happy mistakes” which literally meant that you’d have a certain plan of where you wanted your painting or piece of art to go and you’d make a mistake and you would discover it actually made your work look better and you liked it. Of course that doesn’t always happen and sometimes that mistake would lead to starting again but the second time we would avoid what had happened the first and hopefully our work would turn out the way we wanted it to. One of my most difficult lessons during my art course was learning to experiment with my work and allow it to lead the way. It meant letting go of control. Interestingly now one of my preferred painting styles is expressive and this is about letting go of your inhibitions and trusting that your visual and creative senses will work together to produce something unique and full of emotion.
I would like you to watch this You tube video “Being Wrong” by Kathryn Schulz.
4) Information Overload
We live in a world where we are bombarded with information and it is accessible 24/7, via our mobile phones, i-pad and computers. This makes our lives richer in many ways but the negative effect is that we can be overwhelmed by too much information. When we are opening ourselves up to thinking creatively my formula is to research a little, and do a lot. So, for instance when I was looking at origami on-line there are infinite videos and articles about it. I could have so easily spent hours and hours reading up before I even picked up a piece of paper. What I did was read as much as I felt I needed to get me started and then I worked with the paper and when I felt I need more tutoring I would refer back to the internet for help. It takes discipline to learn how to filter what you need and discard what you don’t. I made mistakes but learned and found other videos or sites which helped me understand better how I could move forward with my piece of work. Everyone learns at a different pace and in a different way. You must find your preferred method.
5) Your Journey
Just as you are unique, your creative journey will be unique to you too. Creativity doesn’t follow the crowd and therefore is found in many forms.
I to express my creativity through various mediums, such as paint, drawing, knitting, baking, interior design, origami and the list goes on. You will find your way on your journey. There aren’t any maps, just guidance.
My eldest son recently said to me “I’m not creative at all.” He doesn’t do any form or art with paint or draw like me however, I pointed out that he uses his creativity every day at work as a Sales Consultant for a multi international sports company. He writes presentations and presents them in an interesting way that will help his audience to connect with his company and his product.
Mothers, you are amazing!! You are a carer, teacher, nurse, counsellor, phsychologist, home maker, cook, cleaner and 24 hour on hand assistant. – What a job! Your creative mind is finding ways to juggle everything all the time. So, give yourself a well earned pat on the back and some well earned chill time to bring out your creativity.
I work from home and so I know the challenges this brings. There are often so many distractions. The phone rings, the washing machine beeps when a load is ready, the oven beeps, the door bell goes, the dog barks etc. etc. The preferred way to allowing yourself to be creative is to have no interruptions at all. So, make sure you have a quiet place where you will not be disturbed, put on your favourite relaxing music, pick up a pad and pen. Think about something you would like to start with to help you on your journey to being creative. It could be a new hobby or something you did years ago and would like to pick up again.
If you are still not able to decide what you want to do then I will give you a little exercise to get you warmed up.
The Origami Star
Example of origami stars I made for my Christmas tree.
I mentioned earlier in this article that I got back into being creative recently by starting origami.
I would like you to make an origami star. You can make it as plain or as patterned as you want. You can also decide to finish it off so you can hang it up or just leave it as a 3D piece of work.
What you need:
1) Square white printer paper or square patterned paper. If you don’t have a square piece you can use A4 and by folding one corner diagonally, make a triangle and cut off the excess. Normal print quality paper, folds very well.
3) If you are going to put your own images on your paper then choose your desired tools, i.e pencil, coloured pencils, acrylic paints.
4) If you have a home printer then you can download and print some free designs onto your paper too. Another good tip, and one which I used for my stars was to go onto Wordle or Tagul and create a world cloud. Once you are happy with your chosen design, print it out and use this to create your star. As my stars were for Christmas I did one for each of my family and used Christmas greetings but you can add inspirational words, words from a poem or song. Basically play around with ideas until you are happy with the result.
5) Now, as I said before, everyone learns differently so, I am going to now ask to watch this you tube video of how to make your origami star, BUT don’t despair if this doesn’t work for you. Search for more tutorials until you find one that works for you.
Top Tip: Save ribbons in a jar from gifts of chocolate boxes, presents and if you cut out the ribbons on the inside of your clothes like me, as I find them irritating, save them too and you will always have an interesting selection to choose from for projects such as this.
6) Once you have made your star, you can use a needle and thread to put a hanging loop on it and then perhaps add ribbon so you can hang it up and display where you wish. Once you make your first star, I’m sure your imagination will start to think about all sorts of ways you can adapt them. You can use newspaper, sheets of paper from old books and so on and so on.
Please leave your comments, or send your photos of your stars to email@example.com
You can connect with me on my facebook page: Cobaltmoondesign
and you can find more of my work available at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/cobaltmoondesign