Finding time for your creativity


Finding time for creativity in our busy lives can often be a very difficult thing. Often I get so busy with work, family, friends, and playing poker on facebook, that productively being creative falls right to the bottom of the list of priorities.

Below are some tips that I hope will help you in finding time for your creativity. Some of them are things that I currently find useful, and some of them are suggestions that I am working towards at the moment.

Carry a sketchbook with you at all times

The main thing to consider is the fact that we are all busy! 24 hours in a day never seems enough. Carrying a sketchbook around with you is a great way to incorporate creativity into all aspects of your day.

My memory is like a sieve and if I don’t capture inspired moments on paper, more often than not they are gone forever. Carrying a sketchbook at all times is the perfect resolution to this problem, it enables you to capture ideas and concepts at any time, any place, because it is always in your pocket or in your bag.

I tend to carry with me a cheap small notebook made by Muji, and a larger Moleskine Notebook. When I first started keeping sketchbooks, I was very OCD about the exact content of each notebook, but over time I have got more relaxed with that. I would say experiment and do what works best for you. In my sketchbook I draw, I paint, I stick photos that I print with my beloved Polaroid PoGo, I do creative writing, and probably most of all, I just write new ideas and concepts that I think of as and when they come. Writing ideas as and when they come in a quick, raw format works fantastically when I finally have some time on the weekend to sit down and spend a specific amount of time being creative, because I can then just refer back to my notebook and decide on a particular idea or concept to work on.

Put art materials on your desk at work

Ok, this is a great one. Obviously we all have different work situations, and for me, currently I do spend a lot of my life in an office, working on something completely uninspiring and uncreative!

A couple of months ago I pimped my desk, I got a load of original artwork and cool postcards and stuck it around my desk. Then I had this idea, why don’t I buy a set of coloured pencils to keep and use at work! Trust me, it was one of the best things that I ever did. I know it seems simple, but it just meant that whilst I was speaking on the phone, or in quiet moments, I could sit there and draw, in colour! Since then I have made loads of sticker designs, and created different cool little drawings, at work, during a time where before creativity was non-existent.

Set weekly creative goals

This is currently something I am working on myself at the moment. I used to keep a creative blog and frequently upload new images to a photo blogging service. In the last couple of years this has completely made its way out of my routine!

I think setting creative goals is important, and it really does help you get things done! Set realistic weekly targets: that could be complete a painting each week, or filling a certain number of pages in your sketchbook each week, if you are musician it could be to write the lyrics for a song each week. However big or small your creative goals are, the most important thing to make sure is that they are achievable!

For visual artists, if you don’t already, I strongly suggest doing some photoblogging. If you are just starting out a good thing to do would be to set up a Flickr account. Then set yourself the goal of uploading an image at least every other day, that will keep your creative juices flowing!

Incorporate creativity into your quiet time

This is deep. Some of the best times that I have spent alone in prayer and worship to God have been when I have incorperated creativity. You see, as creative people, this is how we communicate! God understands it because he is the ultimate creator! I suspect that for most people reading this (and everyone writing this!) that actually, not only would this help you find time for your creativity, but actually, it would help you greatly in your time spent with God. What I am not suggesting you do here is replace your time spent with God for creative time, what I am suggesting you do is bring the two together in beautiful harmony. This will probably look different for all of us, but give it a go, and see if it a) helps your communication with God and b) opens up doors for more creativity.

I hope that these tips help you in finding more time and space for your creativity. A lot of it, I have found, is less about freeing up time for your creativity, but more about incorperating your creavity into your everyday life to a greater extent.

If you have any tips then please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

– James

How to Set Up a Flickr Account

Flickr logoIn  the first of our series about online exposure for visual artists, we will be looking at a service called Flickr. We will be looking at how to set up an account, and the various benefits of using this service.

What is Flickr?

Flickr is an image and video hosting website that’s main use is to neatly store and organize photos online. As well as being able to upload your images onto Flickr, you are able to browse other people’s images, and make and receive comments on your images. This makes Flickr not only a service you can use to display your images online, but almost a mini social network where you can communicate with other creative-types from all over the world.

The other great thing about Flickr is that there are various tools and widgets that you can use for doing neat things like displaying your flickr images on your blog, although, if that sounds a bit daunting to you, don’t worry, stay tuned to our RSS feed to keep up to date with all of our articles, where things like this will be explained!

Ok, so, lets get to the point, i’m going to walk you through how to set up a Flickr account.

Continue reading