Creativity? I haven’t got time for creativity!

paintbrush-art2

If you’re chasing small children, changing nappies and juggling a smartphone all at the same time, the chances are creativity isn’t one of your top priorities. If I’m honest, it wasn’t that important to me in my LBK (life before kids) either. The tools of my trade were spreadsheets rather than paintbrushes!

Creating a business is a kind of creative pursuit. But creating a business is usually a logical series of steps that lead to an outcome – at least that’s what you’re aiming for. Admittedly some days it’s much more haphazard than that! But the outcome still matters – if your product isn’t good then nobody will buy it. If your customer service is bad then your customer won’t return.

Even if your product is creative, such as a logo or even a canvas to hang on a wall, ultimately someone has to like it enough to buy it. You’re not one hundred percent free to do whatever you choose.

So why does creativity matter so much?

It’s easy to have the life sucked out of you by all the stuff that needs doing, whatever you do for a living. In a job, you can just go with the flow and do what’s expected of you, but as a business owner you need to keep sharp and look out for new ideas. You need to innovate. And unless you do something to keep your creative spark alive, you start acting more like a machine than an innovator.

A shift from one type of activity to another, say a verbal activity to a written one, can boost your ability to think creatively according to this study. Which is why it’s important to step away from the computer sometimes and do something less boring instead.

Creativity is also fun. And a regular dose of fun is very good for you. 🙂

But I haven’t done any art since primary school!

If you’re thinking “but I haven’t done any art since primary school!” then don’t panic. First of all, producing something that is pleasing to the eye is not the point here. The purpose is to let go and allow yourself to be creative. And secondly, you already have at least one expert in abstract surrealism in your house – your children! So if you’re feeling all stiff and grown up, just let your kids lead you. Often we fall into a supervisory or teaching role with children, so why not get fully involved and play instead?

Get out whatever materials appeal to you and just create something. Here are some ideas –

Collage – you don’t need any talent with a pencil or a brush, just cut or tear and stick.

Go big – get a roll of wallpaper or one of those rolls of paper that fit at the top of children’s easels. Working  on something bigger than an A4 sheet can give you a real sense of freedom.

Pastels – good because you can draw then smudge colours together with your fingers.

Clay – salt dough, self-drying clay or even Play Doh! Squishing and squeezing can be a good stress reliever, too.

Upcycle – making something from junk can be very satisfying.

Remember, it doesn’t matter what the end result looks like. The purpose is creativity for its own sake rather than to produce a work of art.

Over to you – what do you do to keep thinking creatively?

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