7 Ways To Ignite Your Creativity


Creativity is such a strange bedfellow. It warms you, occasionally. It guides you, sometimes. It frustrates you, most of the time. It thankfully refuses to leave, always.

There are plenty of days when I wish that my creativity would take all its disparate parts and bring them together into a cohesive whole. Instead, creativity somehow finds a way to horde the pieces and then mercilessly taunt me with them.

Just when you think your partnership, this messy intertwining catastrophe, can’t survive another day, creativity relents, wraps itself around your sullen, beating heart and turns those partial ideas into tangible living reminders that you just might pull this off.

If you are reading this post, you’re helping me pull it off, so thank you!

Are you in need of some kindling for your creative fire? Here are 7 ways to ignite your creativity. Have any suggestions for more? Let’s chat in the comments.

One thing that always gets me out of my creative doldrums is great art, so I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you. All the art you see in this post is from Inaluxe. Inaluxe is an Victoria, Australia-based art studio showcasing the colorful work of Kristina Sostarko and Jason Odd. They’ve been inspiring art lovers with their retro-modern creations since 2006. I cherish the prints I have from Inaluxe and your will, too. All the images are linked to their shop. Go and support this talented duo. (If you want to really get inspired, check out their groovy house tour.)

*Some book links take you to Bookshop.org, the best place to support small booksellers. I make a small commission on any book purchased through my link. It’s a great way to support indie bookshops and this indie blog.

Embrace New Experiences

IGnite your creativity

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone.

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Take a class in a different art form, travel to a new place, or simply try a new food. New experiences can open your mind to new ideas and ways of thinking, which can spark creativity. What new experiences could you explore? Simply going for a walk everyday, even if it’s just a few minutes, may be enough to spark your creativity. Don’t forget adding new music to your life. (The IAMTHELAB Playlist on Apple Music is a perfect place to start. We’re on Spotify, too.)

Here’s a suggestion for getting started: Make a list of new things you’d like to try and start adding them to your calendar. I find that putting a date to my future adventures makes them more likely to happen.

Book suggestion: The Story of Tools via Hole & Corner

INALUXE – Wonderland Botanical Fine Art Limited Edition

People-Watch

IGnite your creativity

Just Don’t be Creepy About it.

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This is one of my favorite suggestions. I used to live in New York City and people-watching was a favorite pastime. Oh, the people you can see in New York! Seriously, you could make a career of people-watching, just like this gent did. Milan also looks like a good spot for watching fashionistas en place.

Where else could you go to people-watch? Sit in a local park or cafe and observe the people around you. Pay attention to their body language, clothing, and interactions. This can help you to develop characters and stories for your work, or just fill your head with fanciful versions of all those precious souls.

Book suggestion: Bill Cunningham: Style on the Street via Bookshop.org*

INALUXE – Giant Flower Fine Art Limited Edition

Keep a Sketchbook

IGnite your creativity

Doodles Definitely Count as Art.

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While we almost always have our phones with us, there are some unique advantages to sketching.

From cultivating empathy to expanding your creative thinking, regular sketching is a must for the artistic soul. Even if you’re not a great artist, a quick sketch can help you to remember an idea or feeling.

Sketchbooks are not just for art. I find that a sketchbook is great for poetry, recipe ideas, blog posts, and outlining your creative process.

Sketchbook suggestion: Studio Sketchbook by CW&T

INALUXE – Well Hello Sun! – Limited Edition

Collect Interesting Objects

IGnite your creativity

You Just Might be an Omnimalist Like Me.

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Like I mentioned in my post about omnimalism, I’m a fan of collection things that bring joy and provide inspiration. That’s how I feel about my pottery collection. These handmade pieces remind me of places I’ve been and the beautiful people who make these tangible treasures.

What about you? What can you collect? Find objects that inspire you and keep them around your home, workspace, office, or studio. Take some time to pick them up and remember where you’ve been and where you’d like to go.

Collecting suggestions: ceramics from Jono Smart, Florian Gadsby, da Forma.

INALUXE – The Way Back Into Love Fine Art Print

Read Books about Creativity

IGnite your creativity

Build a Library That Makes You Feel Alive.

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The simple act of reading about creativity might just be enough to get you going. This was the inspiration behind my Creativity is Essential essay. I have found that getting lost in a great book about architecture, art, craft, or design can really pull me out of a slump.

Building a library of creative resources is essential for fostering artistic growth. I’m building one here on IAMTHELAB that I hope will give you a head-start. What are your go-to books for creative inspiration and insights?

Book suggestions: By My Hands: A Potter’s Apprenticeship, by Florian Gadsby via Bookshop.org*

Run, Studio, Run by Eli Altman,

The Monocle Book of Entrepreneurs via Bookshop.org*

INALUXE – The Helsinki Bloom Archival Print

Collaborate with Others

IGnite your creativity

Connecting and Cooperating is Essential.

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Working with other creative people can be a great way to spark new ideas. Being a creative can be lonely at times. Even the most introverted of us needs to have quality time spent connecting with others.

What are the benefits of collaboration? A creative tribe can be your brainstorming community. Finding folks who can offer kind feedback and who can hold you accountable for your creative goals is a gift.

On this note, I’m starting a virtual community that I hope will be a place for connection and collaboration. Stay tuned!

Podcast suggestion: A Deeper Listen: Everything But The Girl on their 40 year collaboration.

INALUXE – The Kiss Ii Fine Art Archival Print

Make Time for Brainstorming

IGnite your creativity

The Surprising Benefit of Scheduling.

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Schedule some time each day or week to brainstorm new ideas. Even if you don’t come up with anything earth-shattering, the act of brainstorming can help to shake new ideas loose from their hiding places and get your creative juices flowing.

What do you do with any new ideas? Try mind mapping. Creating a mind maps is a great way to get your brainstorm in order. What is mind mapping? A mind map is a visual diagram that helps you to organize your thoughts and make connections between different ideas.

I haven’t found a specific mind mapping app that is design-forward enough for me to recommend, but I did find an app that I think will do something similar: Mymind. It’s gorgeous and independently owned.

INALUXE – Spring Rain Fine Art Limited Edition


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