As a child, you drew portraits of your family, birds, bees, butterflies, flowers, trees, and anything that caught your imagination. It didn’t matter if they weren’t recognizable. Abstracts were good. What mattered were those playful acts of doodling, stroking, coloring, erasing, cleaning up, and everything in between. They were fun and exhilarating.
You were an artist. You never doubted it nor gave it a thought. Creativity flowed naturally. You were in that zone.
Until you grew up!
Now, you doubt your creativity. You deny having a creative past. You convince yourself that you can never be an artist.
Yet, deep inside is a persistent yearning and longing to let down your hair, kick off your shoes, and release that locked up inner child, your creative self.
It’s scary, isn’t it?
Your hands feel stiff. You don’t want to lift a finger. It’s impossible to draw a figure.
You hold off. You need to send that email. Something important crops up. You promise to do it later. Later becomes tomorrow.
Then, you buy every artsy stuff you find and swear you’ll start that project you’ve been holding off. ASAP.
If you think that’s you, you’re not alone. That’s me too and even if I may have inched away from the shackles of fear and doubt, I still face them occasionally.
I’m scared. I’m not good enough. Even if I am doing it, I feel I can’t.
When we bombard ourselves with negative images, these thoughts grow into us until we live them.
But there are doable ways to defeat fear by proving it wrong.
Free Your Creativity in 10 Playful Ways
You can always come up with your list, but for starters, here is one to consider:
1) Draw a dot.
If you can’t draw a stick, let the tip of your pen kiss your paper. You just made a dot.
A dot ends a sentence, but it also marks a start of something big.
Now, draw two dots. Connect them and you have a line.
Proceed with more dots and see your dots unravel.
In art, it’s called pointillism.
“Pointillism a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image.” ~Wikipedia
We often hear the term doodle these days?
What does it mean to doodle?
A doodle is a drawing made while a person’s attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be composed of random and abstract lines, generally without ever lifting the drawing device from the paper, in which case it is usually called a “scribble”.~Wikepedia
You can doodle just about anything, with or without meaning, random or purposively. There’s no need for you to focus. Doodle while attending a webinar, talking over the phone, waiting at school for your child, or watching TV.
Forget your fear. You can do this!
3) Use your left hand.
“Left-handers are wired into the artistic half of the brain, which makes them imaginative, creative, surprising, ambiguous, exasperating, stubborn, emotional, witty, obsessive, infuriating, delightful, original, but never, never, dull.” ~James T deKay
I’ve tried this method many times in the past and it worked at waking up my dormant creative self.
It’s a bridge to the inner child and subconscious.
One way to do this is by doodling with your left. You’ll observe things happening as you go along. For instance, you’ll notice yourself thinking up novel topics to blog on, writing effortlessly, identifying new ways of fixing a problem or getting inspired to paint.
Another way is using the question and answer method where your left-hand writes down answers to questions or prompts.
You may ask the following:
- How are you today?
- What do you dream of becoming?
- What hurtful, negative experience can you not forget?
- What do you love doing?
- What are your plans for the future?
At first, writing with the left can be hard as this is something you’re not used to. Some written text would be illegible. You can get frustrated, but don’t give up. You’ll succeed soon.
In my experience, I noticed emotions swelling and surfacing. This is normal and is part of healing suppressed thoughts and emotions.
If you want to take the question and answer method further, use both hands consecutively. Let either one start then alternate with the other. It would be interesting to know what your left (creative mind) and right hand (logical mind) “think.” For sure, they’ll present themselves differently.
4) Dance and sing.
Dancing and singing release your happy hormones. If you think you have two left feet, dance privately where no one can lay eyes on your clumsy moves. Sing as loud as you can in your bathroom.
Release your energy. Be free.
5) Play on the trampoline.
This is really fun!
The first time I did this was with my husband. We were like kids jumping up and down and bouncing around. We could not contain our laughter and the joy afterward.
6) Go where your feet take you.
Have you tried just wandering around by yourself or with someone, without a care of time and space?
I recall doing this often as a child. It was scary and adrenaline-pumping each time, but I sure had the time of my life.
These days, my adventures are mostly predictable and not as exciting.
I should do this more often. I’m sure it would fire up my imagination to new heights.
7) Be grateful each day.
Being thankful for one’s blessings releases negativity and allows creative flow.
A great way to practice thankfulness each day is through journaling. By recording the things that preoccupy you, you’re able to get on with other important stuff in life. You’re able to focus more on the essentials, including opening up yourself to creativity.
8) Write fiction.
Fiction writing requires the use of the imagination. It doesn’t matter if what you write are fragmented, incongruent, or makes no sense. It would be great if all the pieces fall together because then, fiction writing could be a career path to explore.
But don’t worry about that for now.
Just write. Soon, you’ll get better at being creative.
9) Do Brain Gym.
Brain gym is a system of short and simple exercises that are designed to stimulate and boost brain functions.
I’ve done this with my family in the past and it worked at calming the mind, keeping focused, developing sharpness in thinking and reflexes, generating creative ideas, among other benefits.
I should add that Brain Gym is good for hyperactive kids or those with attention deficit. I saw this a number of times in kids I know. My sister who teaches dance to pre-schoolers use this before the actual class and noticed marked improvements in their behavior.
An example of brain gym exercises is the cross crawl that mimics the movement of young children who are trying to walk. This crawling movement creates or connects neural pathways in the brain that enables smooth and normal functioning of the body and mind.
Watch this video to see how Brain Gym is done:
Learn more about Brain Gym in this video here.
10) Embrace your creativity.
Change your mindset about yourself and your creativity. It only takes a “yes” to the idea that you:
- are creative or have the potential to be one
- need to let go of everything that blocks your creative soul
- deserve to express yourself freely
- are capable of developing artistically if you want to
- creativity is not to be feared
- can do it now!
Enjoy the ride with your creativity.
The heck with your inner critic. No one can tell you what to do. Let not your fear hold you from reaching your dreams that creativity can help you achieve.
I hope these simple ways would help you move forward in your journey towards creativity.
Let me know what you think of this post and feel free to add yours to the list.