Things you can do right now to fuel your creativity
Chances are if you are a photographer, you consider yourself at least a creative person. You appreciate the dreaming process — the perfect photo. You enjoy the activity of creating an image. And you feel excited by the finished product when it meets your vision.
Yet the most creative person does not feel constantly inspired. Close on the list are dishes for folds and laundry. Living a creative life under a pile of day responsibilities is not always easy!
However, it is possible to make creativity more easily accessible. With a few simple ideas, you can find small ways to boost creativity in your day.
Switch up your routine
Many times we get caught in the rhyme of equality. We take the same route to work. We check only one item from our to-do lists. Places, places and people meet us as we move about our days.
While the routine may be relaxed, such monotony can chant creativity. This is why it is important to be intentional in changing things from time to time.
Should not be rigid for routine changes. Instead, consider the small activities that you do daily.
Do you spend the morning driving the children a mile away from their school? Maybe one day everyone can ride or ride a bike instead. Do a class at the gym instead of the same treadmill routine. Let the farmer's market go instead of the usual grocery store routine. Take a walk after dinner or work from a coffee shop instead of at home.
These simple tasks of change can help you feel inspired. You will find yourself looking at everyday spaces in new surroundings or new light.
Photograph something familiar in a new way
It is said that the best photographs are made by photographers who repeatedly visit the same places. By looking at the same spots again, you can know the environment, lighting and behavior of the environment at different times of the day.
You will be able to notice the subtle textures and patterns in a subject and how to highlight that subject more powerfully. You will also give yourself the opportunity to differentiate your images so that the same place and subject feel refreshed with each frame.
Consider the things that you regularly take pictures of. Think of new ways you can approach these familiar topics. Perhaps changing your lens will give you the variety you are looking for. Maybe it is changing your camera settings to shoot or will spark creativity with some motion blur. You can change your perspective by putting a picture of your familiar subjects from new angles.
Make mental notes as you change each of your habits. You may be surprised how much you like when you change things!
Try a new hobby
Creativity gives rise to creativity. When you are feeling inspired in a hobby, you can often lighten a spark of inspiration in your other creative activities.
Since taking photography seriously, I have also taken classes in cake decorating, weaving, creative writing, and calligraphy. I started building houses, learned to garden, and became a birdwatcher. I have studied the weather, tidal patterns and behavior of animals. I have decorated and rearranged, learned to install hardwood floors and backplash tiling.
While each of these may not directly affect my photography, they are a way to enhance and sustain creativity. These pursuits, while they may not be personal passions like photography, ignite the artistic side of my mind.
Consider a hobby outside of photography and take time out for fun. You will undoubtedly find it inspiring you in your photography and beyond.
A few years ago, there was a study that I found so fascinating. This indicates that immersion in nature and disconnecting from technology increases an individual's ability to perform problem-solving tasks.
Previous studies have also shown that exposure to nature helps with attention disorders, increasing a person's ability to concentrate. Similar research has also shown that spending time in nature enhances creative thinking. A simple 25 minute walk through a park is enough time to relax your brain time and enhance your cognitive functions!
Despite the research, I know that I feel recharged and revived after spending time in nature. I become more attentive, more focused on what is right in front of me, and less distracted by technology and personal concerns.
Whether you take a weekend camping trip or take a walk through the neighborhood, taking time to enjoy nature is going to make you feel more creative.
Play tourist/take a field trip
It is no secret that you are feeling refreshed and recharged by taking a vacation. Moving to new locations and having new experiences provide a wealth of shooting opportunities.
Unfamiliar sights and sounds of new cultures are sure to spark creativity and that's why I recommend packing your bag every chance you get! Having said that, a big trip is not always a possibility.
However, it is possible to discover new experiences closer to home. Ask yourself "If someone was coming to visit, where would I recommend them to go?"
Historic sites, museums, state and city parks, and other tourist destinations. Check your local calendar of events for upcoming performances, parades and festivals. Take a day to explore the nearby city, try a new restaurant and see your world like a tourist.
Connect with others
We are blessed to be constantly connected. Social media offers a lot of potential for bringing people together. I feel that using these online tools has greatly improved my day-to-day life because I use it to socialize with people I might not otherwise see.
I have created and made some of my best friendships through online forums, Instagram and Facebook groups. We were brought together online through our shared love of photography and my photography friends leave me feeling inspired, inspired and confident.
I always turn to a friend when I am struggling to find inspiration, working through a slump, or trying to move past creative insecurities. I chat through the things that are weighing on my shoulders and it relieves the burden a bit.
If connecting online is not the best option for you, reach out to a friend who leads a creative life and gets together for coffee. Consider joining a local photography meet-up group or club. The key is to connect with other creatives who understand the process and can best support you.
Move your body
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve your health both physically and mentally. Physical movement causes the body to release endorphins which leads to feelings of happiness and overall well-being.
Studies have found that exercise also encourages the growth of new cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that contributes to long-term memory and creativity.
It can be some heavy lifting in a brisk walk, a yoga class or a CrossFit gym. Find out the physical activity that you enjoy so that you are often motivated to do it instead of adding it to the list of work. The benefits will impress you creatively and beyond.
Make creativity a priority
While it is not easy to maintain a constant flow of motivation, adopting habits to boost your creativity will help ignite your imagination. When you prioritize your creative activities, adding activities that sustain your creativity should also be a priority.
Let us all know how these activities inspire you and what other creativity-building activities you enjoy in the comments below!