Summer is when we have a little bit more time on our hands. The hustle and bustle of hurrying to class, going to club meetings and making sure you get in line for basketball tickets is over. Summer is a time to explore new places, taste new foods, step out of your comfort zone and reinvent yourself. Being creative brings you closer to who you are born to be.
Creativity is defined as, “the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.”
- Some key words in that definition: Original and production. Creativity is a product of a conscious expression from a genuine place inside yourself.
Here are 10 ways to bring out your creative side:
1. Let go of your summer routine.
Seek days that don’t follow a pattern. Mix it up. These changes to your daily routine will allow for new perspectives and a fresh outlook; a perfect canvas for some creativity to be sparked.
When the mundane is broken, we can then reach a comforting place of honest, creative thought. Take advantage of days when your agenda is empty. Fill your time with creativity versus resorting to your Netflix account. It’ll be worth it, I promise.
2. Find a place where you feel open to express yourself.
A welcoming space can help you transfer what is in your mind into what you create. Use these spaces as sanctuaries for your creativity to speak. A traditional example of an artistic space would be an art studio, but whatever creative outlet you are experimenting with, that space might come in a different form. Maybe it’s a garden. Maybe it’s a rooftop. Maybe it’s surrounded by people who love you. Maybe your creative sanctuary is when all the lights are out in your house and you’re the only one awake. These spaces can be created or discovered so be aware of how your expression is encouraged or discouraged when you step into a new space. As long as it welcomes a new flow of thought, it is your space.
3. Just Do It
Similar to Nike, you need to just do it. Want to paint? Go out and buy a canvas and some paints. The hardest thing to do is to start. So much of our lives are spent doing things because of the pressure to constantly be productive. Summer invites us to slow down and enjoy. This sometimes means choosing to play instead of work. So just pick up the pen, paint brush, chalk, or headphones and get creative!
4. Create Your Colors
When I think of creativity, painting comes to mind. I guess that’s because when we think of artists we think of painters. Paint, draw, or sketch to be creative with your colors. Remember that paint doesn’t always have to go on a canvas. One summer I went for a hike, gathered sticks and decided to paint stripes on them. You can find inspiration through the world around you or visit an art museum to get some tips from the pros. Let you imagination free and use your creativity as a journey to better understand yourself. Drawing brings our thoughts to life.
5. Create Your Music
Everyone listens to music, but when we truly listen to what the song is telling us, we each get a different message. Whether you’re making music or listening to music, it’s a window to who we are meant to be. Music seems to express the inexpressible. Savor each note and lyric of your favorite song. Use this summer to try some new music and build your personal taste in music. Create playlists on programs like Spotify or Pandora. There’s always a song that reveals something new to you no matter how many times you listen to it. You can give that soul-shattering experience to some one else by sharing your music. Let new musical discoveries reinvent how you see the world and how you view yourself.
6. Create Your Words
We all can write, but we don’t get many chances to write creatively. Buy a journal and carry it around with you. Let your mind run freely through out your day. Some of our best ideas come to us at random times. This journal can be a home for poetry, stories, lists, letters or just thoughts that swirl your mind. Last summer I wrote in my journal my top 5 favorite summer nights and I still look back to that list to get that feeling of summer bliss again. Being creative with words can lead you to learn a new language. Who says you can’t learn Portuguese in a summer? Create personal challenges this summer to learn a new word every day or write a letter to someone you love each week. As you explore different ways to be creative with words, you’ll soon discover the power of words.
7. Create Your Adventure
This summer challenge yourself to be creative in where you choose to adventure. Give in to your wanderlust. It’s so easy to fall into going to the same places that you know already. Creativity can be sparked by going to a place you’ve never been before, even if it’s just down your street or a place you always walk by but never go into. Allow yourself to take risks and be bold. Try biking to work instead of driving. Who knows what you’ll discover. The unknown is a simple invitation to be creative.
8. Create Your Food
Cooking is an art form. It takes a creative mind to make a memorable dish. The colors, smells, sounds, textures, and tastes of food all contribute to the art of cooking. Let your passions and skills shape how you cook and how you want to share a meal. There’s a mechanical engineer who just graduated from Gonzaga who built his own smoker and now smokes his own meats for his friends. What a wonderful skill to be able to share with others! There’s nothing more inviting than sitting down with some friends to share a delicious meal. Whether you dining at a restaurant, strolling through a farmers market or whipping up a cake in your kitchen, know that cooking feeds the soul. Not inspired yet? Check out food blogs, cooking magazines, the food section in your local newspaper, or cooking shows. The opportunity to be creative with food is everywhere! My mother always told me, “If you can read, you can cook.”
9. Create Your Lens
A sunset happens every single day, yet millions of people take photos of sunsets. Looking through a lens brings an acute perspective on colors and light. A photo can capture something that you might not have seen through the naked eye. Consider the colors that light up in front of you. Observe how shadows change at different times of the day. Photography has now expanded to anyone that owns a phone. Yes, I’m talking about Instagram. New platforms are popping up for people to share their photos. If you’re just starting out, maybe start a personal photo challenge where you take a photo of something that inspires you everyday or go on a fun photo shoot with a friend. Many professional photographers started their careers by just playing around with their camera and challenging themselves to be creative.
10. What does our creativity say about us?
If you think that you’re not creative, guess what? You are creative. Creativity is a gift that lies within all of us. It just takes an invitation to bring it out. Some say that our souls are captured by creativity. Take your unique gifts and talents and bring them into existence by living creatively. Creativity proves that we have something to offer. It sets us apart from others, yet still draws us together. Creativity helps us understand a deeper sense of ourselves.