I don’t often use the word ‘should’, but if you want to live more creatively, more fully, more authentically and ‘feed’ your Creative Being, there are some things that can really help. I asked a few of the creative people I know what their essential practices were, to help me compile this list.
For anyone who either wants to make more art, get more inspiration or just wants to live more creatively, I recommend a regular and balanced diet of several art forms.
If you look at the life of most famous artists, poets and writers you will see that they had a broad range of creative interests which stretched beyond their own particular discipline. Leonardo da Vinci painted, sculpted, played music and was also a scientist. John Lennon painted and drew, and had a huge interest in the visual arts (how do you think he met Yoko Ono? Up a ladder at an art gallery, according to one story!). Jane Austen was a skilled needlewoman (I’ve had the honour of visiting her house and seeing some of her beautiful work on display there) and Maya Angelou has also been a singer and actress.
Many of us are on tight budgets and may feel unable to do the things we need to to nourish our creativity – I know I did for many years. Creative activity can be expensive to access, but that’s not always the case. These are things that are (mostly) free, but some may take some investment in yourself. This may mean tighter budgeting to ensure there is a little set aside for your creative activities each week, but it is a worthwhile spend.
What better thing to invest in, after all, than your own Creative Being?
Here’s an essentials list, for artists of all types:
1) Journal and record. Keeping an observational record of your day to day life, noting down ideas and exploring themes is a must for any artist. This isn’t the angst-ridden confessional of your adolescence, but a place where you hone your ability to observe and interpret your world.
2) Get to art galleries , particularly private views & openings. Far from being exclusive events, you can usually join the mailing list for any gallery to get invitations to these events and they are a great chance to meet artists and other people interested in the Arts. What’s more, these events are usually free and there is sometimes free wine (always a bonus!).
You can also often visit artist’s homes (once they’re dead and they’ve opened them up to the public – I believe it’s called stalking otherwise!!) which can be very inspiring.
3) Go and see art live as often as possible. TV and film are both good mediums for art, but nothing beats a real-life experience. From visiting your local music venue for an open mic night to going to the theatre, it’s essential to your creative self to see art up close and personal.
If you are on a tight budget, many theaters need volunteers and will let you see show for a discount or even for free, or you can sometimes join a ‘friends’ or other scheme to get discounted tickets (these schemes make great birthday and Christmas presents, too!). Live music events are often free or low cost.
Again, set aside some money each week or month for these activities, regarding them as vital to your creative health and happiness.
4) Get outside. Nature is the best inspiration for any artist – always has been from the first cave paintings to contemporary land art, nature is a great teacher and muse. Local artist Kate Woodley Smith
Writer Harriet Stack says “….walking is essential, as is writing for fun as well as for whatever purpose I have that day. I need to meditate and to be present. I also need to fill up, have plenty of fun, get inspired and connected.”
5) Try new things. An artist should never be static but keep moving forwards, trying new materials, techniques and artforms to keep ideas flowing and fresh.
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