“That light’s gone out!”
“I don’t have time to make dinner let alone anything else!”
“I don’t know how to [insert craft.]”
“I just don’t have the money for supplies for what I want to do/create!”
Sound familiar? I totally get it.
Just this month alone…
- 4 birthdays
- bad storms almost every afternoon
- I’ve been having bad headaches
- QA (Quality Assurance) inspector prep work + they came into work this Sunday/Monday (I work at a hotel, this is a big deal!)
- my sleep schedule has been off for some reason
- my fiancé has been home more lately so we’ve been spending more time together (yay for schedule changes!)
Needless to say, I’ve been totally off my normal routine. I also haven’t had any time to be creative and it’s been a bummer and honestly kinda stressful on a subconscious level. There’s been no outlet to create, design or physically make anything. I’ve been so exhausted, I haven’t even had the energy to color!You know you’re exhausted (aka an adult) when your inner kid is too tired to color. Click To Tweet
We all have days or weeks or maybe even a month or two like this, life happens to all of us. However, if you’re noticing this trend for say 6 months or longer, perhaps you should look at the creativity factor in your life. If you’re asking yourself what is creative word you speak of or if you’re struggling on how you think creativity is in your life, then never fear, I’m here to help you find your creative spark.
The official definition of creative, as determined by Webster, is:
1: marked by the ability or power to create : given to creating <thecreative impulse>
2: having the quality of something created rather than imitated : imaginative <the creative arts>
3: managed so as to get around legal or conventional limits <creativefinancing>; also : deceptively arranged so as to conceal or defraud<creative accounting>
When I think of being creative or creativity, these words come to mind: art, beads, beauty, blog, chaos, color, dance, design, draw, fabric, garden, jewelry, madness, messy, neat, negative, order, paint, paper, patience, photo, photo shoot, plan, positive, pretty, print, read, scissors, scramble, scrapbook, self-care, self-love, virtue.
What words resonate with you about being creative or what is creativity to you? (Just like art, there is no wrong answer or wrong way of thinking!) Jot them down real quick on a piece of paper, don’t worry about putting them in order, just let it flow. When you’re finished writing out your list, take a look back over what you’ve written down. Do you see a trend or maybe multiple trends? Do you see your favorite art/craft or your particular favorite way to be creative on there?
The first step to gain [back] your creative spark is to see what makes you happy, whether viewing it or doing it. What makes you feel good? What makes you happy and glow inside? What do you appreciate the most? What do you like creating, designing or making the most? Once you have that, think about why do you like that particular craft? Do you like the feel and smell of paper? Do you like taking 100 individual beads and crafting it into a beautiful necklace? Do you like the way words flow? Do you like the way the brush stroke looks on canvas? Do you like the way a small needle and a spool of thread makes something that you can wear everyday? Do you like the way music compels your body to move, your heart to race and the endorphins to kick in? Do you like the way that you’re able to express yourself digitally via blog, store or website?
Once you’ve decided on what and why that it makes you happy, the second step is to make 2 columns on the same paper as before, on the back side or on a different piece of paper. On the 1st column, write down what is holding you back from doing what makes you happy and being creative. Is it time constraints? Is it supplies? Is it financial? Is it space? Is it trying to be perfect and you’re just not satisfied with your work? Is it something you thought you’d liked but really didn’t in the end? Is it people holding you back (family, friends, coworkers or strangers?) Once you have that, I want you to list on the 2nd column how you think you could work around these obstacles. For example, for time constraints and perhaps even people, perhaps you could work on [you name it] on Saturdays [between this and that time]. You could mark it off on a calendar or planner that you’re unavailable elsewhere. Having it written out and blocked out for time will also boost the chances of it being accomplished because you carved out the time (just don’t forget to do it!). If it’s space related, write down what you need to make more space (string and clothes pins for a wall, a small (or large) file cabinet, a bead organizer, trays for scrapbooking paper, wheeled large roll-arounds with drawers clearly labeled, a planner or dry erase board to plan out blog posts). For every problem, there is a solution.
Now knowing what is hindering you, it’s time for the third step which is making a plan. Remember how your teacher said the 5 W’s + 1 H will always follow you in life? Ok, maybe your teacher didn’t but mine did and they were right. For each problem you have listed on the 1st column, I want you to write out the What (covered in the 1st step), Who, When, Where, Why (also covered in the 1st step) and the How (covered in the last step + this step). If you paint, write out all the supplies you need: canvas, paint, brushes, easel, counter space, finishers, etc. If you scrapbook, write out all the supplies you need: album/book, paper, pencil, pen, stickers, glue, scissors, photos, ticket stubs, menus, etc. If you do jewelry, write out all the supplies you need: beads, clamps, cutters, board organizer, bead kit, Ziploc bags, scissors, paint, string, ribbon, chains, etc. If you dance, write out all the supplies you need: shoes, clothes, music, friend, partner, timer, etc. If you are blogger/online store/website, write out all the supplies you need: internet, computer/tablet/phone, planner, printer, calculator, mouse, stylus pen, camera, certain websites (examples: Canva, Twitter, FB, Pinterest, WordPress, SquareSpace, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, LeadPages, etc.
If you don’t know what supplies and/or have the supplies you need, how can you create to your fullest potential? On that note, supplies can get costly and I know that I don’t have a money growing tree handy. If supplies you need (or want) are costly, write out how you can accomplish obtaining them. Do you have a family member, friend or coworker who shares the same love and is willing to split costs together? Can you trade with someone (supplies, time or services)? Does the store you get your supplies from have a loyalty rewards program or frequent sales? Can you save up to stock up on supplies on the store’s annual/semi-annual sales? Do you HAVE to get the $14 brush when a $6.99 brush will do just as well if not better? I’m not trying to hold you back from expressing yourself or enjoying the supplies you bought/want, but try to be a little realistic about what you have, what you want and what you want to accomplish. Just because it doesn’t come in green or blue doesn’t mean that it won’t work just as well (unless you have a very specific design of course!)
Now that you know what supplies you have, need, want (or will in the future, obtain), make sure that you have the space for everything. This is always my “hindsight sucks” moment. I like to do jewelry and scrapbooking, but in a small space, storage location is key. I have stuff in organizers, bags, bins and even under the couch! Sometimes out of sight out of mind factors in and I’ll buy something that I already have, but you can always keep a running and up-to-date list on paper, on your computer/tablet or on an app on your phone to help you manage this. Also, keep up to date who is helping you or who do you owe or what favor/service you owe. You could consider a person a “supply.”Will return. Going shopping to maximize my creative spark. Anybody want to go with me? Click To Tweet
Having the supplies and knowing the space you need, the 4th step is deciding on acting out the how. This step depends on what level you are in your craft. If you’re just getting started, buying from your nearest bookstore or renting from the library tutorial books isn’t a bad idea. If you’re more visual, watching YouTube videos or looking up step-by-step pictures on websites would be good. If you’re already into your craft, maybe getting on Pinterest would help you learn more about the project you’re working on or how to be more efficient/quicker at it. Also, it could inspire you for future projects. There are all kinds of local and online “support” groups for crafts. Check out websites like Meetup to see what’s available in your area. You never know when you could gain a friend and mentor. Don’t forget to make sure you’re allotting realistic time to accomplish your craft. You don’t want to get discouraged because time ran out and you didn’t finish/get to stopping point where you want to. It’s gonna be rare that you’re going to get a painting done in 2 hours or that you’ll have a necklace cranked out in 15 minutes. Leave yourself enough time, too much time is better than not enough. If you finish earlier than expected, congrats! You have accomplished a fine piece of work and you have the rest of the time you allotted yourself to do what you wish with it! Take that extra time and show it off! Take some pics and put it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.I will accomplish a fine piece of work. Click To Tweet I have accomplished a fine piece of work. Click To Tweet
I hope that these 4 steps helps you make goals to [re-]find your creative spark. It’s easy to get caught up in our daily lives and we more or less end up sacrificing creativity to get things accomplished and checked off our to-do lists. In doing so, we tend to get distant and unappreciative. Creativity works in so many outlets that it’s easy to forget the beauty that surrounds us as well as appreciating it. Even those in the design world, trying to create and sell it to make a profit can make us forget the real reason why we create, design and make.I have a plan to make my creative spark shine bright. Click To Tweet
Share with me your thoughts!
What does creativity mean to you?
What do you like to do?
How can I help you accomplish your project(s) or help you get started?
Do you want to be available to others to help out/trade?
What kind of tips do you have to plan your creativity or for your particular craft(s)?
Comment below, send me some tweets, share some links on Facebook and send me some Pins. I’d love to see your creativity spark into glowing.