Finding Your Creative Thing

Raise your hand if you remember being really creative as a kid, but now, not so much. 🙋

Creativity is a puzzling, contradictory concept. When we look at great works of art or revolutionary technological advances, it can seem like some individuals have an innate creativity and others do not.

Research, however, disagrees. In their book, Wired to Create, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman and researcher Carolyn Gregoire say, “....we are all wired to create. The key is recognizing that creativity is multifaceted.” They describe creative people as being able to activate and deactivate what they call the “imaginative” and “executive” networks in the brain. Basically, they can juggle both the emotional (play) and deliberate (work) modes of thought.

Is creativity something we’re born with? A learned skill? It’s a little of both. Humans are inherently creative, but we’re not always willing to work at it. We also get in our own way by comparing ourselves and our work to others or feeling we're not good enough. Let's make a deal to stop selling ourselves short, ok?

“Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.” - Kurt Vonnegut

Tips For Finding (& Doing) Your Thing

If you haven't found your creative outlet, or want to jump back into a previous creative pursuit, you may not know where to start. Don’t worry, we got you! Here are a few tips on finding and maintaining your creativity:

Reconnect with the past
Many childhood activities are transferable to adulthood - think adult Lego sets and coloring books. What did you like to do when you were a kid? Did you enjoy arts & crafts? Drawing? Playing a musical instrument? It might be time to dig out your old paint brushes, dust off your piano, and try again!

Try new things
Remember we talked about standing in our own way? Try challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Check out some virtual improv groups, start a daily journal, or enroll in a woodworking class. You just might find the creative outlet you were looking for!

Watch, read, & listen
To be creative doesn't mean you have to reinvent the wheel. Whether you're into theater, visual arts, dance, music, or writing, someone else has done what you are doing. Look at their work, practice their techniques, then do your own thing. As writer/illustrator Austin Kleon says, "Steal like an artist!"

Image: austinkleon.com

Make it a habit
As legendary painter Chuck Close once said, “Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.” Creativity is all about coming back to your work even when you don’t feel like it. Make a plan, set aside some time, and do the thing every day.

Rest your brain
We’ve all experienced that a-ha moment while taking a shower or out for a run. When the brain is not focused on a problem, its background processes are free to do their thing. Give your brain the rest it needs by turning off your devices and enjoying some quiet time: go for a walk, get out in nature, take a bubble bath.

Be Creative, Win Stuff

We recently announced the Visva Photo Challenge hosted by the 35mm tribe. This is a great way to kickstart your creativity - and win some cool stuff!

Check out our previous blog for all of the details, and join us on the Visva app and on the web to submit your photos!

That's it for now. Let's get out there and create!