On Practicing Creativity

I consider myself to be a creative person, but it’s hard for me to practice creativity every day. I ‘binge’ on being creative: I’ll spend long hours completing a piece of work, then I won’t create anything for months. Does anyone else relate to this?

I think it’s important to practice being creative. Just like any other skill, it’s almost impossible to get better without practicing often. The greatest athletes didn’t reach their peak by training once in awhile –they trained every day. Creativity, I believe, is the same way. If you don’t take the time to train your creative skills, you might never unlock your full potential.

I was in a major creative slump. I hadn’t made any art in about 3 years. So, I set out to force myself into being creative for 15-20 minutes per day, in hopes that I could eventually reach a natural flow of creativity.

At first, it was really hard. I felt like I had no imagination. I doodled carelessly and begrudgingly, like a child having to do chores.

sketchbook1

My drawings were so random and it was hard to spend even a whole 15 minutes drawing. The work was agonizing. As a child I could draw for hours and never run out of ideas. Now I couldn’t conjure up a single fantastical image to draw and it made me feel like turning my back on being an artist. Maybe I didn’t have ‘it’ after all.

Then I visited some galleries and gained a little inspiration. I was able to draw in my sketchbook for a whole 20 minutes without looking at the clock. My sketches looked like this: (geometric sketches)

But slowly those fantastical images I couldn’t conjure up earlier began to emerge. And I felt that I was drawing something interesting, something that I enjoyed bringing to life from my imagination.

And after about four weeks of struggle, going from sketching once or twice a week, now I’m drawing for at least 2 hours each day. And each day I can’t wait to get started! I’m most recently inspired by an upcoming exhibition about breasts –I think I’m going to enter these two pieces:


So I guess creativity really is like a muscle: you have to stimulate it to grow stronger. When I began, it was painful. But I forced myself to do it, and I’m so glad I did. I’m regaining my sense of imagination and feeling excited to create every day and share it.

Nikki DanceComment