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Making Space for Creativity

As a graphic designer, creativity is essential to my job. I have to conjure up creative ideas at a moment’s notice. So how can one make creativity consistently happen when it seems it should only come through inspiration?

I will share a few ideas I have about making room for creativity so it can be conjured up when needed. These ideas only take a few minutes of the day. I practice them regularly and they help me keep the creativity flowing.

Idea 1:  De- clutter the mind space

Find your routine.

Routine seems counterintuitive because creativity is supposed to get you out the box and not into one. Our natural state as humans is to be in routine. You eat regularly and sleep regularly amongst other things that are necessary to survival. Having a routine opens up space.

I like to reduce the amount of decisions I make in the day. It opens up my brain to think about other things. For instance, I try  to do about the same sequence of general activity each day. In doing this, I not only reduce the decisions I am making, but I am creating what I call muscle memory for creativity. Each day, I wake up and have a drink of water, get ready, eat, write and pick up my desk. And only then am I ready to sit down and design. Because I do this same sequence of events every day my brain and body are ready and open creatively .I have given routine to creativity and given myself cues that it is time to be creative other than just sitting down and trying to force it out.

Practice!  Journal every day. Journal for 5 minutes. Write everything down that comes into your mind whether or not it makes sense.

Find your desk.

Decluttering the mind space begins with decluttering your workspace. Having a clean and organized work area is essential.  You know the old adage, “cluttered room, cluttered mind”? This is true.

Every single day, if needed, I take the time to pick up, but not necessarily deep cleaning my area. Getting my desk situated and working area clean, opens me up for creative thought.
Practice!  Pick up your desk every day before you start working.

Idea 2: Banish fear

Fear is the enemy.

Fear is the killer of all things creative. If you constantly fear that the your idea is not good enough,or that what you are creating is not aesthetically pleasing, then you have taken all of the space you have made for creativity and given it to fear.

All ideas have potential to develop into something more. So at first, do not judge the ideas rather get as many written down as you can. I like to start with pen and paper and get down as many different ideas as I can without developing any of the ideas at first. After this process is complete, go ahead and decide which ideas are best but resist critiquing them until later in your process.

Practice! Scribble. Make a scribble everyday of how you feel. It doesn’t have to make sense and please, no drawing. Do not worry about meaning to anyone but you.

Idea 3: Get curious

Become an observer of things.

Make learning and observing new things a part of your daily life. Cultivating curiosity is key to opening up room for creativity in your life. Great ideas, works of art, and accomplishments come on the shoulders of other great ideas, works of art, and accomplishments.

Becoming an astute observer will enliven your ideas. I like to practice observing by being mindful of details in objects or noticing the light and shadow on an object. Trying to figure out how a work of art was painted or constructed helps me to observe. I also like to learn multiple points of view to an argument even if I do not agree, this develops empathy and empathy is the one of the keys to opening up creativity in your life. If you can easily empathize you can also imagine.

Practice! Find something that peaks your interest and spend some time a day learning.

Making space for creativity in your life takes a bit of time and effort but is well worth it. I hope you find these ideas help you to open yourself up to creativity whether you are a creative professional or just looking to infuse creativity into your life.