As far back as I can remember, I enjoyed making things. When I was a small child, our family’s home backed onto Lake Ontario and I remember walking over the countless number of smooth rocks that lined the shore, collecting broken glass pieces that had fallen between the cracks. Glass from broken beer bottles, clear glass jars and my favourite, those coveted and rare green and blue glass pieces from who knows what. After collecting the glass, I would smash the pieces between two rocks and pour the glass powder into a glass jar. Over time, the powdered glass filled my jar and I enjoyed looking at all the colours in those layers of powdered glass.
I’m not sure when it happened exactly, but I somewhere along life’s way I pushed creativity away. It just didn’t seem as important anymore. I brought it back here and there, through writing (this blog!), photography (for this blog!) and a handmade soap business I ran for a few years in my twenties. But for the most part, branching out into other creative areas and trying new things were sadly not a priority.
Carve Out Some Time For Yourself
It seems once we let go of creativity, it becomes an intentional road back. Over the past couple of years, with my job stability wavering, I have had extra time and have been in a frame of mind to tap back into that side of who I am. I started dabbling in different creative areas that interested me. I started paying attention to that part of me that I had been starving.
I had the time, but in future I may need to make the time. As many have said before me, we all have 24 hours in the day. How we choose to spend our time is up to us. If you are looking to be creative again, maybe start with a half hour a day or a week – whatever you can carve out. Perhaps it’s the first half hour following dinner, or at a specific day and time each week, like Sunday nights. Committing to a regular day and/or time to be creative will help make it a habit.
Try Anything and Everything!
Don’t spend a lot of time deciding on what you want to do, creatively-speaking, as this can become a roadblock to starting. Try the first thing that comes to your mind. And then the next. You will figure out what you enjoy the most over time. When I started, I wanted to paint. With a mother and brother who both paint (you can click on the links to see their work), I guess this was a natural starting point for me. Here was my first attempt at painting with watercolours:
Then I tried sketching with pencils. I signed up for an online course and it helped me establish a routine time to practice. I wasn’t very good, but it was fun! Here are my first couple of sketches:
Then I attended a “doodling” workshop and found that I loved this more than painting or sketching. Here is one of my doodles:
Eventually I also starting making batches of handmade soap again, and officially launched my business! Here’s a photo of a citrus soap I recently made:
When Will You Start?
Choose a date not too long in the future to start. Gather your supplies, whatever they may be for your first dive in. If it’s painting, go out and purchase some paints, a couple of brushes and paper. If it’s sketching, get a sketch pad and some pencils or pens. Or, ask around to see if any friends or family have the supplies you need and would let you borrow them.
Some other creative activities you may want to try include pottery, mosaic tiling, painting furniture, candle making, sewing, knitting, ceramics (making or painting or both), calligraphy, card-making, learning to play a musical instrument, and cooking. There are so many creative endeavors you can try, and many online videos and courses to help you get started. There are also events where groups gather in public spaces to create, such as Paint Nite or various writing workshops, depending on the area you live in. A quick Google search will reveal a whole world of creative events taking place. These events are especially ideal if leaving the house and getting together with others is a motivator for you to get started.
I titled this post How to Be Creative Again because I believe children are naturally creative, but somewhere along the way many of us lose focus on that part of us and push aside creativity. Getting back to that mindset takes time and most of all, intention. So go ahead, set aside some regular time, try anything that tickles your fancy and set a date to start. Now go!