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1. The million-dollar question: INSPIRATION
Inspiration is that split-second where there's motive to engage in the creative act. The idea appears and we start to get excited, we then want to get going.
You and I both know it is not as ideal as it sounds, and that it can be difficult to gather ideas that inspire us to create.
In my case, I seek to be open to inspiration at all times. To, when it presents itself, take it as an absolute and act on it immediately.
I say yes to most of the ideas I get, that's how I keep 'em flowing.
Also, it is true that many times the decision to create precedes the idea and inspiration itself, so I compel myself to come up with something and to try new things.
2. Focus on good, not on perfect
By creating an expectation about our creative output we are actually limiting ourselves to real possibilities which often may take us to places that surpass our expectations.
For this reason, when we concentrate on perfect we often hesitate, and end up f*ing up and feeling sory for ourselves.
When we concentrate on good, meaning something we can do, yet presents a creative challenge and the possibility to learn, we loosen up, feel more confident, and make better work.
3. No rubber = no mistakes
Although it may seem contradictory or too simplified,
this is something I use extensively, especially when I draw.
If you can't go back and do it again, meaning that you can't make a mistake, you will build confidence in your immediate ability to produce the results you want.
On the contrary case, you may end up re-drawing it, re-writing it, re-making it endlessly without a clear way out: you get stuck.
4. Fast and flowing
Perhaps your creative endeavour requires a slow, patient approach, but even so, when you accustom yourself to work fast and flowing, you connect more dots.
5. No thinking / Intuitive approach
I believe, because of my own experience, that the true creative feeling is not conscious in the usual sense: it's unconscious, you're in "the Zone".
That is why I advocate for a Non-thinking manner of creative act. In other words, I see that thought often kills execution, and that once you have the Idea, manifest it and don't think twice.
The contrary to conscious thought in this case is intuition, which I associate much more deeply with creativity. Intuition is like a subtle whisper of the wind, that, even not knowing how or why makes you take a decision and a certain path. That Is the whisper of creativity.
6. Try new things
I know what you're thinking, but oftentimes I have found myself repeating the same processes over and over again, even when creating.
This tendency produces stagnation and goes against the stride of creative energy.
This is why I'm telling you now to try new things: new techniques, new mediums, a new instrument, a new genre, a different objective, a different message, a different reference.
When you feel yourself getting stuck on that old rut, it's time to get creative.
7. Gather inspiration + copy
If you're a musician, listen to new music. If you're a writer, read new writings.
As art isn't created in a vacuum, we must keep re-invigorating our relationship to the work that Inspires us, which will broaden our sensitivity and help us create new and better work.
Copying work that inspires us is also a good way of integrating it. In the case of music, or writing, we may study a certain piece, listen for certain patterns, try re-creating it in our own voice, etc.
8. Set limits and exercises to get you going
If you create a self-imposed limitation, it may help in order to concentrate on a different aspect of creating, or simply to come up with a different solution.
Try establishing the colour palette before painting the picture, the number of words before writing a poem...
Also, these challenges and exercises may be helpful to get you going into the creative flow.
9. Don't judge what you can create by what you've created before
This is pretty simple: if you know you can draw faces, or make a certain type of song or poem, you will most likely stick to it.
Also, if we assume we are only so or so skilled in an activity, we will likely not venture into things we consider out of our reach.
That is why we mustn't judge, and remain open to new and better creative challenges.
10. Have fun!
I can assure you that if you dread thinking about the creative task you will encounter that feeling as you create.
But, if we look deeply, we find that the true creative energy is when we are wholly engaged in the creative act, possessed by inspiration, and zestful beyond belief.
We are having fun. So, that is the energy we want to create and re-create when we create. :)