Think about this: Daily life almost always requires some amount of creativity – from making a dinner with ingredients in your pantry to organizing a virtual holiday in lieu of your typical traditions. Whether or not you work in a creative field, you are likely flexing those muscles everyday.
But creative thinking, research shows, involves making new connections between different regions of the brain. That’s why it’s also important to develop a daily creative habit outside of your typical acts of ingenuity. Recently, we sat down with founder Amy Voloshin to get her advice on how to develop a daily creative habit.
The worst thing for hurting ones’ creativity is to have long breaks without working on a creative project. It makes expectations too high. You've got to do something for at least 5 minutes each day. Everyone has 5 minutes – just put your phone down. It's a willpower thing, not a time thing, I promise.
Develop a Private Practice
The key here is to do this for yourself – resist putting it on the internet! Let this activity be a private practice to allow you to build confidence, grow your creativity and increase your resilience. As tempting as it can be, don’t share what you are working on with anyone, keep it for yourself and it will be even more pleasurable.
Why 5 Minutes?
Limiting this activity to 5 minutes is both practical (like I said above – everyone can find 5 minutes) but restrictions and boundaries often force us to test our creativity in different ways. It also keeps you from thinking too much about what you are doing. By restricting yourself time wise you can also increase your sense of spontaneity, leaving self-conscious thoughts behind.
The hardest part is often just to get started, so I try to practice activities that don’t require a lot of setup or materials. Here are 9 different activities I practice, using mostly things I can find around my home, in my kids’ supplies or on my desk:
1. Write stream of consciousness in a journal.
2. Sketch. It can be anything, in any medium.
3. Collage with bits from your recycling bin and whatever glue you have on hand, just layer colors and textures and tear them by hand.
4. Pull some random pages out of a magazine and quickly collage them together.
5. Save old tea bags and paint on them (they are a nice small canvas to work on and it’s free).
6. Finger paint. Paint feels fantastic on ones’ fingers and it can make really interesting results.
7. Crumple a piece of paper and then paint into the lines and creases that were formed as a roadmap for your painting.
8. Play with drips. Dripping ink, watercolor, or any liquid medium can be incredibly fun to work with.
9. Collage layers of tissue paper. You can make beautiful colors as you layer the paper with watered down glue or a gel medium.