5 exercises to help you get creative


The pandemic has prompted us to re-evaluate our approaches and philosophies to work – not just our work-life balance, but our work life as a whole. If the world could change so suddenly, what do we value most?

In August 2021, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs, another dramatic step during the so-called “Big Layoff”. I’ve explored a variety of creative avenues over the past few years, from creating music to an online design shop to NFTs. When I tell others about my various creative endeavors, many people respond that they “wish they could do something like this” and tell me that they don’t believe they are a creative person. Creativity is a skill that can develop over time and can take you down paths and into careers you never thought of.

Create for yourself first

One of the biggest barriers to creativity is fear and worrying about what others think of your work. When I used to make music, I asked my friends what they thought of it. I latched on to any feedback and was hurt when someone didn’t like the artwork I had worked so hard on. It would put me off releasing songs and the music would turn into something that didn’t feel authentic. I quickly learned that when you create art, you don’t ask for feedback, you do what feels authentic and true to you.

Octavia Goredema, author of Prep, Push, Pivot: Essential Career Strategies for underrepresented womenShe echoes the feeling and says, “Don’t hold on to validation. Often people don’t understand what you’re doing while you’re creating something, or even after you’ve created something. That’s okay. Validation often comes long after the hard work is done. Not all opinions are created equal.” Assess your own opinion and you will feel confident in everything you create.

Try new skills that you think you’re bad at

We tell ourselves we can’t do things before we even think they’re possible. Then it becomes a habit, involuntarily: “I’m not musical”, “I can’t paint”, “I don’t understand poetry”, etc. We believe these things because we may have tried these things once when we were school children and did not immediately excel or show any talent. I can vouch for this idea of ​​preloading. I started making music with zero experience just because I love music and now my songs are being considered for placement in TV shows and movies.

practice visualization. Mehta Mehta, creative director at an international agency, suggests: “In your mind, visualize the moment, the position, or the feeling you want to achieve. Look at it in detail, move around it, realize it in your mind and explore the many possibilities.”

Build a community of other creators

Although people often view creativity as an individual effort that creatives can undertake for themselves, many creative people I’ve spoken to have a community of creative peers that they engage with at one level or another. These circles are made up of cohorts they trust to share ideas.

Justin Gignac, Founder and CEO of Working Not Working, a community for creatives, says: “My most successful personal projects have been ideas that I’ve sat on for months, even years. The ones that kept coming and I couldn’t shake them. I’ve been telling my friends so much about the ideas that they’ve finally been like, ‘This is great man, but when are you going to do this?’”

Inspiration can come from those moments when your friends push you to try something new. Collaboration can also drive this process forward.

“Learn from the best,” says Meng Kuok, founder of Bandlab, an app that helps people with no musical experience write their own songs. “Hear, see, consume everything you can find online. Imitate, copy note for note, line for line from your favorite artists – the more colors you add to your palette by learning from the best, the more ideas and options you have when trying to paint your own picture. ”

Take time for yourself

Creativity requires daily practice, and it’s important to put in the work. Dedicating some time each day is ideal, but it’s not always conducive to everyone’s creative process. Whether it’s a small daily exercise or spending entire days to yourself, it’s important to make the time.

“Every day I challenge myself to create a list of 10 new ideas to grow my business,” says Ajay Yadav, founder of Simplified, an application that empowers non-creatives and creatives alike to create their own graphics. You don’t have to lift heavy weights every day, even a little quick exercise can help keep your creativity fresh.

Gradually build up to greatness

You will find that even the smallest steps can lead to great progress. Chase Jarvis, CEO of CreativeLive and author of Creative vocation, stresses the importance of patient effort: “Don’t underestimate the power of creating something small every day, whether it’s a photograph, something interesting in the kitchen, or that dusty guitar in the corner. Even just for a moment.”

No matter what your schedule or what you have in mind, it’s possible to bring your dream projects to life. As you immerse yourself and take on new challenges, you guide yourself down the path of a more purposeful career and life. 5 exercises to help you get creative


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