When I was about 8 years old, I fancied myself an artist. Though I never learnt how to paint, I often dabbled in pencil/crayon art. But I always felt like my work couldn’t compare to that of Monique Brown, a girl in my class. She could summon people out of her head and immortalize them on paper with the stroke of her hands.
In the years that have passed since then, I’ve realized how much I like to create, whether it is a homemade card or book marker with a few words of poetry. Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve felt even greater desires to create.
An assignment at work led me to the discovery of web tools that could help me edit or create my own images. I’ve been exploring these tools for a few days now and decided today to share a few insights I’ve gained in the process.
Bring a notebook everywhere
Sometimes we look at creativity as a gift we never received or a task we cannot accomplish. But this week I’ve learnt that getting creative is easier than we think. And it all starts with a notebook.
I own several notebooks but there’s this tattered, paper-filled hardcover that I bring everywhere. I jot down ideas that come regardless of my location. When I’m leaving work at night, I sit in the bus and even if the lights are off I open my notebook and jot down ideas. Sometimes these ideas are titles for short stories desperate to be born or lines that would make great poetry. Whatever comes, I write it down.
Before my job as a content writer, I didn’t really embrace technology. I saw popular gadgets as short-lived fancies that were hardly worth my time. I wasn’t prepared to spend tons of money on wants instead of needs and risk owning devices which would become snatch-magnets for criminals. An experience in 2010 taught me that thieves weren’t afraid to hold me up in broad daylight or in crowded spaces.
But things changed when I got my job. I had to learn about technology—embrace it in a way I’d never done before. Since I write technology articles on a weekly basis, I’ve been discovering new tools like Pixlr. I’ve been using it to create images like these:
Recycle everyday items
Sometimes we’d be surprised to discover that our scraps are someone else’s treasures. Take for instance a church sister of mine. A few weeks ago we had a women’s meeting in celebration of Relief Society’s 172nd anniversary. One of my church sisters displayed bouquets that were so beautiful I asked her what type of flowers they were. I was stunned when she told me they weren’t real flowers. They were made from breadfruit leaves which she later dried and painted. I couldn’t believe that the dried up leaves that clutter my yard could result in such beautiful creations.
You can use everyday items around your home to rekindle the spark of creativity within you. I’ve often recycled gift wrapping, tissue paper and cartridge paper to create cards. A quick perusal of the Internet and the content of your home could inspire new design ideas.
Take time to meditate
When’s the last time you took a minute to sit down, cross-legged like a yoga guru, and relax? Rewarding yourself with the quiet time you deserve — even if it’s only a few minutes — is one way to rekindle the fire within you.
Sometimes we burn ourselves out in our attempts to make life, to have success and all its attachments. But in the process we often forget about the things we love, the creative endeavours that we wanted to pursue.
Meditation gives us time to think, to breathe, to remember. Like sleep, it rejuvenates us so find a quiet space and allow your mind to drift into the world of new discoveries.
Be confident regardless of your talents
You may believe that you lack the talent or skills necessary to create but don’t despair. Believe in yourself and be brave enough to explore the world around you. Even if your creations may not be a masterpiece by the world’s standards, remember that the more you act upon your innate desires to put your personal touch on things, the better your creations will become.
A leader in my church said it best in this video:
If you’ve been having success when it comes to being creative, let me know. I’d love to hear your stories.