I’m guessing that like me you have more than one creative area of interest. I like to be creative in all sorts of ways, not just through art, and I have found that how much I’m flexing that muscle is mostly a mindset.

The more I actively cultivate the creative mindset, the richer my creative life becomes. In fact, the richer my LIFE becomes.

The following are all ways that I have used, or use regularly, to keep my creative muscles toned. {Don’t let the exercise metaphor put you off! Creative muscles are FUN to tone. ;) }

Some are specifically art related, some can be used across the board. You can do them once, or make habits of them.

Many of them take very little time, and with the development of that mindset I was talking about, it can be very easy to begin to integrate little creative habits into your life.

Just pick one, right now, and… go!

*******

1. Ask more questions. ‘What if I tried…. instead of….?’, ‘How can I make this easier?’, ‘How does this work?’

2. Start a daily project. Start with a target of a week if you’re not always good at sticking with things, and then just keep going.

3. Make a terrarium.

4. Get outside into nature – balcony, garden, park, beach, garden centre, anywhere that has some nature in it! Bonus points for being able to go barefoot and meander about allowing new ideas space to come in.

5. Join a creativity group for sharing and accountability. I recommend Leah Piken Kolidas’s Creative Everyday. Plus every November she runs the Art Every Day Month challenge.

6. Hop onto YouTube and learn how to do something new; crochet, monoprinting, simple jewellery making, art journaling…

7. Write a haiku about your favourite place in the world.

8. Dive into your recipe books and find a new recipe. Even better ~ if you find one that uses ingredients you already have, make it for dinner. My favourite online cooking blog {simple, quick, easy, delicious, and she offers alternatives for all sorts of dietary requirements} is Stone Soup.

9. Find an art gallery or museum near you and visit.

10. Paint a five minute imaginary landscape.

11. Go for a photo walk around your neighbourhood, photographing anything that catches your eye. Don’t overthink it, just snap away and go through them looking for potential paintings or DIY ideas etc later.

12. Revamp an old piece of furniture. I like Annie Sloan paint because you don’t need to prep the surface. I painted this dresser and waxed it and it was easy and deeply satisfying.

13. Make a card for someone and send it with love. It can be really a simple collage with stamped lettering or a little watercolour.

14. Keep a little sketchbook and pen you really love on the coffee table for drawing, doodling, lettering or Zentangling when you’re chilling out in the evening.

15. Look around your home for unusual things you could use in your art, both tools and things to collage with, for example.

16. Pull out a book, open it at random and see what wisdom it has for you. Fun to do when you have a particular question.

17. Decorate stones and leave them around for people to find.

18. Go through your wardrobe and put together a completely new outfit.

19. See how many things you can think of to do with washi tape. {When you get stuck, try Pinterest!}

20. Cut out your own stamp and use it to decorate plain paper for wrapping gifts.

21. Make easy air drying clay bowls. They make great jewellery holders or gifts.

22. Take yourself on an artist date {as Julia Cameron would say} and visit some local art galleries. Don’t forget to take yourself for lovely lunch with a book too!

23. Take your favourite quote and your favourite photo and use Picmonkey to put them together to share on social media or your blog.

24. Go to your local farmers market and treat yourself to a colourful array of fruit and vegetables. Have fun photographing/painting them before you have fun eating them!

25. Listen to a TED talk for inspiration or a new perspective. Here are my top ten favourites.

26. Go through your art supplies and find something you can use in a different way.

27. Try drawing something with your non dominant hand.

28. Clear out an area in your home. Even if it’s just the bedside table, it feels so good and shifts energy to create space for something new.

29. Remake a previous painting in a new medium. {I vote for ink and a feather.}

30. Do something that raises your heart rate. Dance wildly to your favourite song {I recommend ‘Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard’}, go for a run or a swim or a hike, anything to get the blood pumping and your energy rising.

31. Create a Pinterest board for a very specific thing that interests you. Drawings by Schiele? Tiny houses? Swings?

32. Rearrange your furniture.

33. Write morning pages {Julia Cameron again}, or your own version. Do a brain dump so your head is clear.

34. Paint to music. Here are two playlists I made that you can use: contemporary eclectic, and classical.

35. Go to the library and peruse the art, craft, cookery or gardening section; whichever you’d usually NOT go for.

36. Sit down for the length of time it takes to sip a cup of something you love, really savouring it, being present, noticing things around you, listening, sensing. Being quiet and still allows you to hear the ideas.

37. Make a deck of oracle cards or affirmation cards.

38. Subscribe to a daily email for quick drops of inspiration, food for thought or upliftment in your inbox. Some to try are Brian Andreas, Notes from the Universe, or Daily Peace Quotes.

39. Try something you’ve never done before.

40. Draw a simple five minute mandala.

41. Daydream. SO important to the creative process. Imagine your perfect day, or your next tattoo, or yourself in a desired situation.

42. Make a mobile. {I made a fish one here but you could use any shape you like.}

43. Brainstorm with a friend.

44. Listen to podcasts from other creatives – great for when you’re busy doing something creative yourself. ;)

45. Read some poetry and roll the words and metaphors around in your head. I LOVE Bentlily and Tara Mohr.

46. Cover a whole page {or back of an envelope} with doodles.

47. Sew something simple ~ prayer flags, lavender bags, or swap the buttons on a cardigan for fun mismatched buttons. {I did this on an old grey cardigan and it became one of my favourites.}

48. Play in your sketchbook.

49. Make tiny origami stars.

50. Take an inexpensive and fun course to refresh your artistic skills and energy!

So, which one will you choose today? Let me know in the comments or over on Facebook, or even better, let me know AFTER you’ve done it! So important to share our wins and steps forward, however tiny. And feel free to add your own ideas to the list!

 

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