Exploring Creativity
Tips, Ideas and Resources to Engage Your Creativity

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Do you think of yourself as creative? Or do you think only artists can be creative? Everyone can be creative!

 

‘The Artist’s Way’

In the book “The Artist’s Way” Julia Cameron suggests tools to enhance creativity, including morning pages— starting each day by daily writing three pages. Chris Armstrong, a certified yoga therapist, says, “I spill out things in my head.”

Cameron also suggests going on an artist date—a weekly solo outing of your choice. “Expose yourself to different things,” says Armstrong. She shares examples, including craft shows, live music, festivals in small towns and making things.

Focusing on creativity

Armstrong read the “Artist’s Way” three-book series with her niece during the pandemic, meeting weekly on Zoom. Beginning in the summer of 2020, they read and discussed one chapter per week for 36 weeks, 12 weeks for each book. Armstrong explains, “We’d share what was most moving and ask about our morning pages and artist dates.”

Armstrong notes, “My niece did bullet journaling and floral designs on her artist dates. It gave her confidence, a creative outlet and perseverance to pursue her dream and hone what she wanted for life.” Armstrong shares that her niece recently started aesthetician school.

“As ‘The Artist’s Way’ says, we are all creative,” says Armstrong. “Some of us have gotten blocked for various reasons along the way.”

Christy Cass, co-lead pastor of Echo Church, says, “Creativity to me is letting go of expectations. It is the act of doing something fun, carefree, an expression of yourself. Creativity makes me come alive.”

“I use creativity in everything that comes through our church,” Cass explains. “I love creating concepts and sharing them with others. I love using color, imagery and design every day.”

 

Takeaways to enhance creativity

Armstrong says, “Getting back in touch with our creativity is easier than it sounds because we don’t have to learn something new—we  just need to remember what creativity feels like and go where it takes us.” She suggests asking yourself what you used to do as a child or trying new and old things. “Look for opportunities to be creative—they are all around you!”

Cass notes, “I think we underestimate what is around us. Pay attention to what inspires you. Try something new. Start a new hobby. Pick up an instrument. Take a class. Make a mood board or start a board on Pinterest of things you find beautiful, create curiosity or captivate you. Is there a theme? Do you have anything that is jumping out at you?”

Armstrong comments, “Find your believing mirrors—the people that believe in you. And let go of your inner critic.”

Cass also suggests, “Journaling. Writing any idea down. I have notes, photos, quotes, images, design ideas. Every day I look for ways to see things that inspire me. It all starts with a thought or image. Don’t overthink it. Just start.”

Armstrong agrees, sharing, “People feel that creativity is something they’ll do after they finish their to-do list. But it should go first. Once people open the door to creativity, they’ll say, why didn’t I do it sooner? Creativity improves the quality of life.”

 

:: resources

  • “The Artist’s Way” and other books by Julia Cameron
  • “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • “The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level” by Gay Hendricks
  • “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield
  • “Walking on Water: Reading, Writing and Revolution” by Derrick Jensen
  • “How to Style Your Brand? Everything You Need to Know to Create a Distinctive Brand Identity” by Fiona Humberstone
  • “Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All” by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
  • “ReWork” by Jason Freid and David Heinemeuer Hansson
  • “The Shift Creative”  instagram.com/theshiftcreative

:: get connected

Local Creative Outlets

Art Heads Emporium
artheadsemporium.com

Rochester Art Center
rochesterartcenter.org

The Loft Literary Center,
Minneapolis loft.org

Rochester Community Education
rochesterce.org

125 Live
 125livemn.org

Learning is ForEver (LIFE)
learningisforever.net

“The Listening Path: The Creative Art of Attention,” by Julia Cameron, 6-week

Zoom class in 2022, contact Chr

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About Author

Alison is a writer and editor living in Rochester, Minnesota, with her dog and cat.

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