Creativity is a way of living life that embraces originality and makes unique connections between seemingly disparate ideas. Creativity is about living life as a journey into seeing and communicating the extraordinariness of the simplest, most every day acts. (cite)
One of the first blog posts I wrote was about Inspiring a Creative Mindset. Most people hear the word creativity and they immediately think about art. Being creative does not necessarily mean being artistic. Everyone has creativity within them and most people use it every day without even realizing they are doing it. With practice and intention you can harness the power of it. Here are the pillars of a creative mindset:
- Listen to music.
- Keep an idea journal.
- Talk to other creatives.
- Embrace failure.
- Show persistence/grit.
- Be a lifelong learner.
- Expose yourself to new environments.
- Disconnect / detox from technology.
- Have new experiences.
- Begin anywhere.
Some of these pillars are very easy and natural for me, while others are very challenging. I always have music on. I am a do-er. I love learning new things. I have a stack of idea journals and a Pinterest account that many people might find insane. I love trying new places and having new experiences. I am fearless when it comes to trying new things in the kitchen.
Tom and I talk frequently about the idea of being the average of the five people with whom you spend the majority of your time. If you want to be more creative, it would make sense to spend more time with other creatives, right? If you don’t already have those people around you, it’s not. as easy as it sounds. It’s not like you just put an ad in Craig’s List! I have wonderful people around me. They are supportive and loving and just plain freaking awesome. They are 100% my tribe and I cannot imagine my life without them. But— we don’t have deep conversations about creativity. At first the problem was COVID- no one was meeting with anyone and with all the time I was spending on video calls for school, I had absolutely zero desire to do that in my spare time. Time marched on and I wasn’t staying true to my own advice to other creatives.
Fast forward to January 2023, when I finally made the commitment in my 23 for 2023 post to connect with other creatives. I have belonged to the the 52Frames photography community for over five years now. This group is made up of thousands of people from around the world. While photography brought us all to 52Frames, many of the framers have a lot of interests outside of photography. I posted on the Facebook page asking if anyone was interested in meeting virtually to have a chat about creativity. The only caveat was that the people who responded had to be interested in a creative pursuit other than just photography.
I was hoping perhaps 5-7 people would respond…absolute max of 10 including me. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I had 14 people sign up for our first call at the end of January. I was even more excited when we quickly found a time and day that worked for most people (yay for retirement!).
On January 29th, we met for the first time via a Google Meet. Life, some technology issues and a few other glitches made the group a bit smaller the first time, but we kicked off this adventure with nine or ten ladies from all over the US and as far away as Berlin, Germany. It’s always a bit unnerving to randomly meet with total strangers (in person or virtually), but everyone was so excited to engage with other creatives that any nerves quickly calmed. We introduced ourselves and talked about our creative pursuits outside of photography— Alcohol inks. Visible mending. Quilting. Fabric photographs. Doodling. Travel. The list goes on and on. Before we knew it, the hour was just about up and we were eager to schedule the next chat for the end of February.
Before we parted, one of our members offered a challenge to the group:
The Rochester Contemporary Arts Center does a fundraiser every year, where they invite anyone to create up to four pieces of art that are 6”x6”. The pieces are then displayed in a giant mosaic and each piece is sold for $20. All proceeds benefit the arts center. While Juli made it clear that there was no need for our group to submit art, it would be a fun challenge to either create something for yourself or at least to go through the exercise of thinking about how you might approach such a challenge.
I have been thinking about how to put my doodles into different situations. So I took the opportunity to fill a 6×6 square with my favorite doodle Duke hanging out in the leaves and grass. I’ll likely create another one before we meet again.
How will you engage with other creatives? Where will you look for people who fill you with creative energy— who inspire you to make/solve problems (whatever that means for you). Once I stopped and thought about it, I realized I DO have a list of people both near and far who help to refill my creative cup. Spending even just a few minutes on the phone with them helps me to ignite creative sparks. If you don’t feel like you have those people in your life, I recommend checking out the articles linked below about creating a creativity & camaraderie club. I also hope The Oodlearium will allow people to develop these kinds of relationships as well.
- I haven’t checked this book out, but it looks like it could be a fun resource.
- Starting a creativity comraderie club
- Starting a club
- Creativity based book club
Until next time, oodle on.
PS. Stay tuned for a separate post about embracing failure and a deep dive into an awesome video by one of my favorite YouTubers, Laura Kampf.