To live creatively is to tread upon unknown territory, to live a life full of adventures. It’s a way of being that bursts with exploration, discovery, invention, originality and self-expression. Unleashing your creative spirit on the world demands a deference to the rulebook – except for ours! Here’s our manifesto to living a creative life.
1. Embrace your weirdness. Express yourself freely without wondering how it looks or sounds.
2. Let yourself go. Be open to ridicule, new ideas, wild ideas and strange places. The magic happens outside your comfort zone.
3. Color outside the lines. Don’t box yourself in. If something makes sense outside the lines, take a step out.
4. Doodle freely but be conscious of your doodle. Pay attention to your marks, strokes, shapes and compositions. Draw on any surface you can, wherever you are.
5. Work with your hands. Forget about skill and experience and let your hands guide you through material and form. Take a pottery class, make a block print, create an installation, dab a paintbrush around, embroider on fabric.
6. Investigate the obscure. Gather inspiration from everywhere. Look for the overlooked, the forgotten and the different.
7. Explore the physical. Look at how things are made and at their textures, forms and details. Observe how things come together and what makes things what they are.
8. Immerse yourself in your environment. Observe the people around you, the changes in nature, the road-side smells that drift by, the new store opening a few streets over. Be mindful of what’s happening around you.
9.. Follow your curiosity. Questions lead us to new places and new ideas. If you ask lots of questions, you’ll get interesting answers.
10. Let yourself daydream. As Bert Dodson, painter, author and illustrator, says, “Creativity is a lot like happiness. It shows up when you’re thinking of something else.” Sometimes, the best solutions unexpectedly arise from letting your mind wander.
11. Look for the edge. Find the balance between a task being too easy and too hard. It’s hard to solve problems when an activity is frustrating, but there is no invention when something is too easy.
13. Play. Indulge in activities of pure joyfulness. For some, this is cooking, for others, it’s jumping into a ball pit.
14. Dismiss the rules. Forget the way things are supposed to be done and give yourself the space to make mistakes, be wacky and eventually, find new ways of doing things.
15. Hang out with creative people. Creativity is contagious and seeing how creative people work and see the world can shake up your ways of doing and thinking.
16. Immerse yourself in culture. Stimulate your senses by hitting up local music shows, gallery openings, workshops, culinary classes, festivals and whatever else your city has to offer.
17. Trust your instincts. Act upon your creative impulses without analysing them.
18. Indulge in spontaneity. Creativity comes from breaking out of patterns. Let the roll of a dice or the flip of a coin make your decisions to keep things interesting and take you off the path well worn.
19. Look for the connections between things. Creativity is about connecting the threads of experiences and ideas to weave something new out of their unity.
20. Make a mess. Constantly examine and revise your surroundings. Take things apart from your furniture to your ideas and put them back together in a new and different order. Creative destruction brings continuous improvement.
When you put your imagination to work, it builds the world. As you embark upon a more creative life, let the words of the writer Maya Angelou light your way. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”