Everyone has a creative side. Contrary to what you may believe, you don’t need to be an established and celebrated artist in order to create something incredible. All you need is an inspiration, a vision, and the means to achieve that vision. Everything else is hard work and effort. If you’re willing to put the work in, then you can realise your creative vision. Of course, you won’t be able to do so without inspiration. Here are ten sources you can look to if you want to unleash your creative side.
Some of the greatest works of art ever created were inspired by spirituality. Whether it’s George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” or The Life of Pi, spirituality informs a great deal of human creativity. Tarot and numerology are also great sources of inspiration; understanding your numerology numbers can open up new methods of storytelling you hadn’t considered before. It’s definitely worth getting in touch with your spiritual side if you want to be creative.
2. Your family
Creating indelible characters that leave a mark on popular culture isn’t easy, but you can do it by looking at your family. Unfortunately, this means you’ll have to put some of their quirks on paper. Involving your family in creative works is a delicate process, and it will take skill to inform them that they’re present in the story, the piece of art, or the poem. If you draw from your own life experiences, though, you’ll find your works are all the richer for it.
Many studies have suggested that exercise is a great conduit for your creative energies. This is likely because of the way exercise releases endorphins into your bloodstream, lifting your mood and galvanising your thought processes. If you’re struggling through an idea – the words aren’t coming, perhaps, or you can’t put pencil to paper – then try going for a walk or even a light run. You’d be amazed how quickly the ideas can start flowing when you exercise.
4. Other creative works
As the old saying goes, “talent borrows, genius steals”. Of course, you should make sure you’re not plagiarising, but there’s no shame at all in being overtly inspired by other people’s creative works (as long as yours is distinct enough not to be a carbon copy). Indeed, every work of art is inspired by other works; the best creative endeavours are those for which the inspirations are obvious but not in any specific place. We’re all inspired by our favourite stories.
5. Life events
Naturally, the best place to get inspiration for creative works is from your everyday life. Did something happen to you that simply seems stranger than fiction? Incorporate it into a story. Make sure to change some of the details around so that’s not potentially harmful to real-life figures (unless you have their express permission to include them, of course). Drawing from real-life experience is the best way to get inspiration when you’re creating works of art, as you’ll know how it feels to be in that moment.
Research indicates that travel can inspire creativity in you. Perhaps by changing up your surroundings, you’re opening yourself up to more and different experiences, thus making your creative endeavours more worthwhile. Maybe there’s something about travel that releases endorphins or chemically lifts your mood. Whatever it may be, everyone seems to be agreed that one of the best ways to help yourself creatively is to get out there and see the world.
7. Group work
If you have others that you can ask for feedback and improvement tips, you’re only going to grow as an artist. Developing a thick skin when it comes to constructive criticism isn’t easy, of course, but if you want to be successful then you’ll need to develop a strategy to deal with it. Good constructive feedback genuinely seeks to help you and isn’t intended to upset you or disparage your work. You can only improve if you know where you need to improve!
8. Your imagination
It might sound obvious, but one of the most effective ways to employ your creativity is by drawing on your imagination. You’d be amazed how much you can conjure up simply by thinking of it. Of course, if you’re imagining situations close to real life, it will pay to do your research; the worst thing that can happen is to be accused of writing a book that’s poorly-researched or painting a piece that isn’t close to life. Trust your imagination and don’t be ashamed of what you think up!
Sometimes, you can get inspiration simply by the act of creation itself. If you’re a writer, try just freewriting on the page and see what you can come up with. As an artist, sketch anything and everything that you see and before long you’ll start seeing inspiration for complete pieces. Keep up your creativity every day and before you know it you’ll have improved significantly. You might find a sentence, a part of a drawing, or a piece of sculpture that speaks to you more significantly than the others.
Extensive worrying and double-checking is the enemy of creativity. Of course, when you do create something, it’s a very good idea to double-check it and edit it for clarity and consistency, but you shouldn’t constantly second-guess yourself. When you’ve created something, ask someone else to take a look at it and try to resist the temptation to keep re-examining it. Leaving your work alone and coming back to it many months later will give you a fresh new perspective.