Getting creative is really quite easy, just begin. Below, I list 45 suggestions to help get you started. Have fun and enjoy the process!
* Text = online suggestions during times of isolation, such as the Covid-19 Virus or for other reasons, such as chronic illness.
· Obtain an Art /Photo/Sketch Journal *If you don’t have one at home, make one from found materials. I know the thought can be intimidating, but it’s a simple collection of how God can and will use your creativity to draw you closer to Him, and possibly bless others. Collect and document beauty, hope, and joy.
· Create an Inspiration Station/Board Google ‘vision board’ and you’ll get the idea. However, for our purposes, we aren’t looking for a vision, but rather inspiration, hope, beauty, creativity, God’s Word, whatever we find beautiful. Displaying items from within the journal mentioned above allows subtle progress towards purpose. The word inspire comes from the Latin word inspirare, which means to breathe into, to excite, to instill.
· Notice Color Pick a color a day and then look for it as you go about your life. With this simple exercise, you are planting the seeds of noticing beauty, everywhere.
· Collect Images that Stir your Soul Whether you have a favorite magazine, Instagram feeds, Pinterest boards, Flickr – go to the sources of your creative bliss and study. Take it in, think about what you love and what you would like to create in your way.
· Go to the Water *Keep your distance or search for webcams or Youtube videos. Visit area lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. If you’re lucky enough to be near the ocean or Lake Superior, please take in the sights, the sounds, and the beauty for me too.
· Play with Watercolors
· Visit a Garden *Visit online, in books, in magazines, in your own photos. Most cities have beautiful public gardens. I love experiencing beauty in this way. Being surrounded by God’s creation and then seeing how others combine the elements to create such awesome settings, is very inspiring.
· Have Courage to Try New Things
· Visit a Zoo *Look up Zoo Webcams to watch the animals. Notice the animals, the plant life, the people, the children. Yes, magical moments of beauty are present at your local zoo. Whether it’s the animals or the joy in children’s faces, or mother’s loving their babies, inspiration is present.
· Create Backgrounds Play with color, lines, shapes, shading, abstract, texture just for the fun of it. If you don’t have any idea of what you’re going to make, that is ok and actually very freeing. Just play with whatever medium you like and with whatever size and shapes you have available. Cardboard boxes, cards, canvas, paper, metal, wood, – the options are endless.
· Play Classical Music
· Learn about a Composer Read about his art, his faith, his life. Beethoven story is one of inspiration and overcoming.
· Notice the Birds Watch them. Pay attention to their comings and goings. Listen to their calls and songs. Notice the vast colors within their feathers. Just amazing. If you can, put up a bird feeder.
· Do Life Different Take a new path home, walk in a new place, shop at a new grocery store, get up early, stay up late, just be open to new experiences.
· Watch a Sunrise
· Learn Photography Most of us have cameras on your phones or a quick point and shoot. I recommend taking pictures as often as you can. They are an excellent way to capture inspiration and spark creativity. With a DSLR, this is a whole new world of learning and capturing. The possibilities for creative, artistic expression are endless. That is the beauty of photography, it’s always changing, and there is always more to explore.
· Watch a Sunset
· Visit a Museum or Gallery * Online Access to Virtual Tours
· Look for Shapes and Notice their Role in Design and Nature For example – the triangle sections within a round orange when it’s cut in half between the stem and the bottom of the fruit.
· Explore Black and White Photography Learn about Ansel Adams. Take some of your own black and white photos. “Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.” – Ansel Adams “No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” – Ansel Adams
· Doodle with Colored Pencils
· Try Origami
· Play with Lines Notice them in life, everywhere, literally. Sketch or photograph lines in nature, the city, your home, your work. Draw them just for fun in various sizes, thickness, length, and curves.
· Make Paper Flowers
· Discover and Play with Alcohol Ink Alcohol ink is about color, in my opinion. How you get them to flow where you would like or to see what designs and combinations appear, is so cool.
· Choose a Psalm per Day and Create from the Beauty of God’s Word.
· Take a Photo a Day for One Week
· Spend Time in Nature Relax and enjoy the sounds of the birds or the trees blowing in the wind. Allow the warm sun to warm your bones, similar to a cat ( use sunscreen ;)). Observe all the activities you usually wouldn’t notice.
· Texture Examine the texture of things. Take pictures and/or sketch the designs that appeal to you. Learn macro photography which will expose you to a tiny, secret, world by magnification.
· Have Fun! This doesn’t have to be art related in any way, although art is quite fun. However, giving yourself permission to have a little crazy fun now and then is perfectly healthy and good on so many levels. There have been many times in my adult life I’ve had to make myself stop and have some fun. I honestly couldn’t remember what it felt like to have a good time. It was hard for me to let go and enjoy much of anything. The life of turmoil, pain, strife, etc., almost robbed me of all joy. Now, watching an episode of I Love Lucy gets me every time.
· Make a List of 5 Ways to Nurture your Creative Spirit
· Learn About Impressionist Era Artists Two of my favorites are Claude Monet and Pierre AugusteRenoir. Study their work, life, and where they found their inspiration.
· Read a Book *Order a book or two from your local bookstore. See if they ship. A different kind of book. If you love fiction, read non-fiction or a biography and vise-versa.
· Gather & Collect Textiles One of my favorite discoveries as I grow as an artist is my appreciation for textiles. Beautiful fabrics, threads, lace, ribbon, old clothes that now have a new purpose in mixed-media art, the possibilities are endless. It’s so fun to use them in journals, mixed-media, and collage.
· Listen to Hymns as you Create
· Visit a New Art Store * Browse them online and shop if you can. Every business needs our support right now. I have my favorite, one-stop art store. However, I’ve discovered that each of them offers a better discount on certain items and they each have their strengths in particular mediums.
· Make Homemade Cards
· Observe Insects After admiring butterflies and dragonflies, there has to be a painting or a sketch waiting to happen.
· Work with a New Medium Try something new, just for the fun of it. Do not stress about perfection; simply enjoy the process.
· The Four Seasons Create the same scene in each season or create something from each season as inspiration. Think about mood, color, and the feelings each season can evoke.
· Play with Clay On your own or with some friends at a local Paint It Pottery store.
· Go for a Walk Explore nature – inspiration is always there. Fill your soul in awe of our Creator.
· Be Kind to your Creative Self Just have fun and enjoy.
· Be a Kid Again Through Art The Bible tells us to remain child-like in our faith, always looking towards the Father for guidance. Do the same with your creativity. In whatever you do and no matter how insecure or silly you may feel, try new things. Find what stirs your heart towards beauty and trust He has a plan. The plan could be ways in which your hurting body discovers moments of peace or how you may bless others with your creativity.