Creativity is a necessary skill in many fields of life. Finding a creative solution to any number of unanswered questions is a talent that not many people have. Being able to be creative and harness your skills is helpful, yet immensely difficult.
Seeing the illusive nature of creativity, it might even seem somewhat hypocritical and paradoxical to write this.
But, creativity, despite being difficult to find, can be discovered easier with practice, inspiration, and time.
The time and practice aspect of most artistic or creative fields is one of the most frustrating parts since of art since it is never guaranteed. While creativity does not have a scientific equation to ensure it will reach a maximum percentage everyday, there are still ways to find what makes you creative and help you, in turn, create something incredible.
As previously mentioned, practice can be and is frustrating, especially since the results brought by practicing are so small and incremental that you don’t even notice them at first.
But, eventually, after writing every day for a month, playing the same passage of music for a few hours, drawing the same portrait, or framing a subject with your favorite lighting, you can finally nail your talent.
Creativity is found when rules are put into place, discovered once one starts looking at the same techniques they have been using and formulating new ones.
It is somewhat ironic that my first tip for creativity is to practice the same thing over and over again, but it is certainly true that being forced to work around limitations is one of the greatest ways to get started. Even if it’s just one step forward, you can couple that with another. Then, you’re getting somewhere.
Be Aware and Accept Feedback
Listening to other perspectives is an immensely helpful way to kickstart your own ideas.
Even just hearing how one person views one thing differently from you can change your entire view on art, on the world.
I know from personal experience that stepping back and remembering the individual voices that my characters have while I am writing them is important. It is important that I make all of them strong characters that are distinct from each other, especially in terms of their ideologies. It is in between the gaps of each other and the gaps of logic that perspective is formed, and from this, new ideas, an extension of creativity itself.
Accepting the feedback of others is important, too. Being aware and accepting others’ thoughts often go hand-in-hand, but I also think that what one person may consider as ‘being aware’ is not what another person might. So, listening to other people and accepting feedback is important. Seeing where you agree and where you disagree allows for you to go back and make changes on your work. It also lets you stand firm and make decisions on your own art. For example, if someone suggests a change you disagree with, it is always in your power to explain your perspective so that you can change together.
Since I do a lot of my writing, photo editing, and music creation online, I always have a lot of eyestrain. I always feel tired from working at my computer, too.
Sometimes, you just need to take a break. Maybe not even just from the computer but from your art as well.
That’s fine. You don’t always need to be working if you find yourself feeling more burntout by it.
To me, art is about having fun and finding enjoyment in the world. While I’m sure not all artists feel this way, it is important that everyone stays true to their own principles. Being chronically exhausted and burntout because I have spent too much time being stressed over writing will never be part of my creator perspective.
Sometimes, stepping away from something is the smartest choice you can make. Heck, it took me five days just to write this because I wasn’t inspired right away! But then, I sat down and finished it.
All that matters, at the end of the day, is that you are proud of your creation and your work. If you need to take one year to write a six-letter-sentence, it doesn’t matter. So long as you are happy.
Never Be Scared to Be Inspired
I’m not scared to admit that my best ideas have come from what I’ve seen other creators do. I think it’s important.
Art has many stepping stones, many building blocks which can be used to reach your ultimate end goal.
Now, it’s important to note that inspiration is different from stealing.
Inspiration is noticing the way that one author places their commas and trying it out in a sentence or two. It’s looking at the way that they use a certain word within a sequence and trying it yourself, too. Inspiration is finding what makes a story unique and growing from it and with it.
One of the best ways to be creative is to surround yourself with as many other creative things as you can. Because, gradually, you will look around at the art that is just over your shoulder, listen to that new song your friend has been playing, or read that book you’ve seen all over the Internet.
And even if you learn just one new thing, that is something you can take with you for the rest of your creative journey. It will help you build until, suddenly, you have a novel full of ideas, with new thoughts of your own, ready to be shared with the world.
Writing and photography by Hazel J. Hall.