Sunday, May 20, 2012

Guest Post: Simple Steps to Creativity with Terry Holliday, Part 2

I googled "creativity is everywhere" and this
is what I found. Um, I want one. Via
For The Love of Ink and Paper (from a
great post about creativity! Go look!)
Part 2 of Simple Steps to Creativity with Terry Holliday is here!
Missed Part 1? You can read it here!

A quick recap of her intro:

Creativity is everywhere.

Because we live in such a creative world I find it humorous when I meet someone that says they are not creative at all. I believe creativity is inherently a part of the human psyche. I
believe creativity not only surrounds us but dwells within us. I believe it is a God given trait and that we are all creative beings.

Whether you are an artist, teacher, mechanic, or banker; you can enhance your life with creativity. Enhancing your creativity does not have to be difficult. You can become inspired in the strangest places and ways.

This week, fifteen more fabulous suggestions!

11. Play a game with a child.
Jericha says: I actually kind of hate kids. Sorry, all you wonderful parents out there; it's not your kids, just kids generally. However, occasionally I am called upon to be around them. Believe me, there is nothing that makes me think creatively like having to entertain small creatures I want to run screaming from. If you like kids and you're naturally good at playing with 'em, I suggest imagining playing a game with an alien. 
12. Go for a walk or exercise.
Also, sometimes walking fills your brain with
stupidly beautiful stuff, like this hike at the
Point Reyes National Seashore. Photo: me!
Jericha says: I used to scorn "taking walks" as a creative stimulus, because I'm not generally the kind of person who gets inspired by trees and moss or trash in gutters. What I've come to realize, though, is that I can seriously block my creative flow by staying holed up in a corner too long. Exercising, and especially getting outside, is sometimes an absolute necessity to keep your brain from atrophying. Give yourself some room to stretch physically and you're likely to find it happening mentally, intellectually, and/or spiritually, as well. 
13. Carry a notepad or sketchpad everywhere so you can doodle, write down ideas, or draw
when you have a moment.
Jericha says: DO THIS. If you think the idea will be as fresh when you get home, you're wrong.
14. Add a bright new color to your surroundings.
Jericha says: it's kind of amazing how little credit we give our surroundings. Bright colors have the effect of galvanizing the mind. Looking at them, especially if it's a newish thing, is like a little jolt of energy.
15. Let go of perfectionism.
Jericha says: seriously! I suffer from perfectionism to a foolish degree. It will not make your work better to obsess about it being perfect; it will make your work impossible. Perfectionism is not an asset; it is a sneaky, evil, treacherous form of creative procrastination. 
16. Go on a photo excursion with your camera.
Jericha says: even if your camera sucks and you're a terrible photographer (like, um, me), seeing things in the shape of a frame can really make you look at the world differently. And altering your perspective is always useful. 
17. Imagine creatures in the clouds.
This is an excellent example for #17
and #18. This book rocks. Via The
Spectacle Blog's post on twists on
modern fairytales.
Jericha says: I'm bad at creatures, so I imagine cities, landscapes, oceans. Then I imagine how I would describe them if I had to embody them in some way. I end up thinking in new color languages. It's pretty cool. Also, you never know when you might hit upon the next Wild Thing or Gruffalo staring down at you and become a mega-successful children's author.

18. Read a book.
Jericha says: I find this is most helpful for actually enlivening my own creative practice if I can find a book that makes me feel awake and alive inside. Neruda's poetry, for example - or my favorite books from childhood. Man, kid's books are magical.

19. Refrain from listening to the news for a week.
Jericha says: I definitely find that the more news stories I read, the less creative I feel - mostly because I'm feeling upset and outraged. For some people that's absolutely a creative wellspring, but I don't find that anger makes me creative, except in my incredibly eloquent and furious rebuttals to evil politicians that I compose in the shower and forget by the time my hair is dry. It just kind of yanks me out of myself, and I lose touch with the deep-down parts of me that actually want to create, rather than react.

20. Take a day off from your job just to paint, draw, sew, make jewelry, etc.
Jericha says: in my family we call these "mental health days" and they are very, very important. Sometimes you gotta take a sick day; sometimes you gotta take a well day, and make sure your spirit is healthy and alive.
21. Search for a new creative technique on the internet. Study the technique, watch “how
to” videos and then try to do it yourself. My daughter learned how to crochet this way.
Jericha says: I designed and built my entire website in Dreamweaver this way. The internet is sometimes a dire enemy, but sometimes it is an awesome friend.
22. Go to the library or local bookstore to check out the art and photography section.
Jericha says: I found a huge catalog of vintage posters at my local bookstore for six bucks. They've gone into almost every collage I've made for the last two years. I don't recommend doing this with library books, of course, but the principle is the same.
23. Meditate.
Jericha says: if you're "bad" at meditating, which I have always felt myself to be, find your local meditation center! Most of them have free classes and simple instruction. Learning techniques for clearing your mind even a little bit gets you past the clutter and down into the really important, quiet voices in yourself. 
24. Go through old art projects that you gave up on previously. Looking at them with a new
outlook may inspire you to turn them into something wonderful. What have you got to lose?
A Brian Dettmer altered book. I've raved about him before...
he's SO COOL GUYS ZOMG. Via Lost At E Minor
Jericha says: this is a totally rad idea. I have a tendency to hate on things I make as soon as I'm finished, and throw them into corners and such. Coming back to them later, though, often I find that time has clarified the ideas I was trying to work with, or I've refined my skills and can do things I couldn't then, or else it just turns out that the thing I made would be awesome if I ripped it up and used bits of it in my new project. Old art is like a slightly complex form of raw material.

25. Keep an old book next to you when you watch television. Make the book into a work of
art by altering it, folding pages, drawing in it, or gluing things in it. I call this an altered book.
Jericha says: there are a million reasons to do this, but probably the best reason bears the name of Brian Dettmer. Look at this guy. He is AMAZING. I want to be him.


  1. No time to comment at the moment, but I was here.

    1. I see you there, sir, riding by on your flashing steed.


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