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10 Easy Steps to Jump Start Your Creativity

By Jen Brown
Ten Imaginative Steps to Jump Start Your Creative Mind! We can be inspired to create, by many things all around us. We just have to take the time to recognize it and focus. Many people view and receive inspiration from all different types of sources. Triggers of inspiration may visual, verbal, physical, sense driven, information based. No matter where you get it, it still remains a creative device with which to grow. Here are ten free and easy idea starters for creative people to add a little spark to what you already have going on within you. Even if only one tip, idea, and/or exercise helps you, we will have succeeded in creative growth. Growth is good, so lets get this started.
1. Creative Visual Journal If you don't have one already this is the best way to keep quick ideas at hand. Find a nice hardbound journal at a bookstore and/or craft store on the cheap. You can label and date each one as you go along because once you start with this process of idea documenting you will continue. Any idea big or small, sketches or written, should be put here in your journal, and at the end of each week do a review of all the writings and sketches captured throughout. With this at any point in time you can focus on and expand any idea from ten years ago to today. I find a journal to be priceless, some of my best ideas have been re-visited ideas with fresh eyes and mind.
2. Sponge of Nature Walk Spend some time to soak up the sun. No iPods or Mp3 just you and the great outdoors. Take a 15 minute walk, breathe deeply, and soak in your surroundings. Look at nature a little more closely, the pattern of bark on tree, bird nests, the color of pavement, the sound of birds, vehicle, and children's laughter. Find a place to sit and absorb the sound and movement around you. Clear your mind of any outside influence and just be a sponge of your surroundings. Look at the cloud formations of the bend of tree limbs, look close and will start to notice more than ever before. This is also a good thing for your body and healthy for your mind. You can call this a walking meditation if you will.
3. Shapes Recognition This focus exercise is about recognizing shapes that surround us each in everyday. The entire world and beyond is composed of shape, form, and mass. Some forms rely on other to create forms. Take a pencil and a piece of paper, select a spot, and start viewing everything around you and acknowledging the shapes. Cylindrical cans, sphere lights, rectangle books, all common recognizable forms. Not all are so common. Look at shapes that repeat themselves more frequently and those that do not. Recognize the difference in shapes in nature and man made shape, document the differences in your journal. What shapes do you enjoy? Why? What do you notice?
4. Color Collector - Color is all around us Everything in the world is comprised of color and light. Without color life would not be as lively and loud as it is. There are over a billion color and our eyes process the smallest difference in colors. We are a magnet for colors the are an active part of our everyday life. The dictate our actions at times, traffic lights, danger, health, fashion, recreation, night fall, etc. Use colors you don't like for a change. Ask yourself why don't I use of like a certain hue write it down them give that color a shot. Go get some swatches of color from the paint shop and match it up to some inexpensive color at the craft store. Work with it, make it work for you. Maybe hints, at first, to open yourself up to conceptual color usage. In my workspace I keep swatches of colors that inspire or move me and this encourages me to start a project or two. Let color inspire you.

5. Recommended Reading - Some of Interest Does not have to be art or design related, just something you like, want to learn more about, or have been interested in at one time or another. Whether it be a book of Alice in Wonderland, Edgar Allen Poe, or a reference guide for vintage typewriters, it doesn't matter what it is, just that you want to explore the subject. You see the funny thing about creative inspiration is that it can come from anywhere, sometime unexpected places. Reading is a playground for the mind and imagination. It is a wonderful magical place where things can become very real once the seed is planted.
6. Dedicate Time to Your Craft/Art This tip I cannot stress enough: "Make time for yourself -art/craft!" If this is your passion, time is like a lover. YOU can NEVER put in ENOUGH TIME for your creative endeavors! Get up an extra 30 minutes to hour, if possible, a day & spend that time doing what you love and are passionate about. This is an investment in your creative potential. You deserve this time, you are a vessel of creative force this will help grow and strengthen your craft. If you cannot do a half hour a day, on your day off take time at least a two hour block uninterrupted to get some writing, painting, sculpting, singing, dancing, whatever you do,
make time for it. YOUR HEART AND SOUL WILL THANK YOU.
7. A GOAL - Have one! If you don't already, start setting goals for yourself. Realistic obtainable goals. Start with small quickly visible goals. Purchase your journal, take your nature walk, find time to get up early and dedicate time to your craft. Every time you accomplish a goal document it in your journal. No goal is to small. Then start a page of things your hope to accomplish and write a step by step plan of execution. Every step count as a success in getting closer to fulfillment of your goals. If you can see it coming to fruition, you can believe anything is possible. Focus + Energy + Desire =Success!
8. Visit Exhibits - Check out your local newpapers' Arts & Style pages and see if their are any gallery, design trade shows, exhibitions, bead show, garden show, or art show currently showing in the area. Try to attend one or two month just to see outside of yourself and experience other artist work. You may not like all of the art but even in that there is purpose in relation to how you view and express creatively.
9. Verbalize Your Vision - Open Your Mouth! Who knows your vision better than YOU! You know how to express yourself visually now it's time for your mouth. Learn to verbalize your work, who you are, what you do, and how you do it. First start by summing up who you are and how you see your work in your journal. What your trying to express through your work. How you feel when you are activity working on it, your emotions, your goals, your focus, and how you feel when you complete your project. This is valuable to personal realization of purpose both personal and professional. You need to get inner pulse on who you are in order to do this this is where you have to look within.
10. Share Your Vision - Tell people what you do, share your passion with those around you. With journal in hand; work on interpretation of your vision. And yes, as time goes on your vision may reshape itself, become grander, more passionate in spirit, deeper and more heartfelt. Be aware of the changes and document what brings the change and share. Starting a blog can be a great way to express yourself and your vision and growth process. Your journals will prove to be the greatest archive of all over the passage of time. But making time is how it all begins to get bigger for you. Invest the time you are worth it and your creativity is within, what are you waiting for!
Jen is a craft activities and event professional and a mixed media artist. Her passion is visual facilitation and coaching encouraging people to reach their creative potential. Jen's key passion is her art as it relates; to her life, balance, and the enrichment of life. An advocate of the Arts for Children and Growth Through Inspiration. Check out some of her beautiful designs at: http://wonderartstudio.etsy.com and also contact her via etsy conversation link. Also check out author link for more venues & blogs.

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Comment by Pamela Shadwick on September 12, 2009 at 3:55pm
I love the step making time for your craft. I make time for my family and their needs, my crafting relaxes me but I do not give it time each day. I am going to start this week with a new attitude.
Comment by Vee on September 10, 2009 at 3:49am
The ten ways to develop and jump start your creativity is marvelous. I needed this especially since I retired and do not want to complete another re'sume. I am an on and off entrepreneur and need to be busy. Thanks for the inspiration.
Comment by Marlene on September 6, 2009 at 9:17am
The creative journal sounds like a wonderful thing. I have a hard time getting started. Breaking it down into steps, although it is not a new idea, is a great one. It is good to be reminded of positive steps to take in life and creativity! Thank you.
Comment by Susan on September 6, 2009 at 7:57am
If you do a search here at SWN for "fused bags" you will probably find links to some videos. Also look in the recycling group.
Comment by Gail Grange on September 5, 2009 at 2:20pm
Pamela, you say:
(I would love to start a blog, but feel like I'm just not ready to take that step at this time)
what you have just written is the start, it is a Blog. will look at your site. xxx
Comment by Nicolette MacCallum on September 5, 2009 at 12:04pm
great article - thanks for the tips. I do keep a couple journals - my trouble is not going back to them enough to follow through on my ideas! I find I often have my best ideas when I'm lying in bed, or out for a run.
Comment by Patti Medaris Culea on September 5, 2009 at 11:46am
All of this is so true. I'm going outside my comfort zone today and taking a class with Michael deMeng. That will definitely jump start my creativity. I think it is important to do something totally different from our own work.
All of the above are excellent ways to keep us creating.
Comment by Pamela K Morrow on September 5, 2009 at 11:16am
This is an absolutely wonderful article and so well written, I have just hung on every word and love the idea of keeping several journals. I have one notebook that I keep with all my ideas in, but what great advice for having several for different subjects. I would love to start a blog, but feel like I'm just not ready to take that step at this time, but hopefully sometime in the future. Jen I checked out your Etsy shop and found it filled full of so many creative items...very beautiful! I too have an Etsy shop and I hope this does not offend anyone, but I would like to add the link here: http://www.theonlygirl.etsy.com. I would love for you to check it out and let me know what you think.
Thanks again for such a great article.
Comment by Reisha Webb on September 5, 2009 at 11:15am
This was very helful, thank you so much for the valuable information!

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