Adulting is hard. Like really, really hard. Could a creative boost be what you need to get healthier, happier, and reduce stress? When I first heard about the new adult coloring book trend, the only one that spoke to me was this one by Sasha O’Hara that is entitled “Calm the F*** Down“. Life is stressful enough without finding time to be creative. Not to mention the mess, the crazy cost of supplies, and deciding what to choose (Do you even want to doodle Superheros anymore like your 7th grade self, or is knitting a better fit these days? Time is Money too, should you sell your new crafts on Etsy? The pressure!!!) Keeping your creativity as you grow up is certainly a struggle. One of the most interesting studies I ever read about creative development happened in a nursing home. This group had the residents of the nursing home draw a picture. They then measured the drawing on the chart for creative development and interviewed the “artist”. Often, the residents that were not highly developed drawers could pinpoint the moment they stopped making art. Usually it was in first or second grade when a teacher told them what they were doing wasn’t good enough, or made a comment about how lovely their horse looked (when it was a cow) and that moment stopped their creative development right in it’s tracks. For the others with higher development, the researchers asked if they still made art as an adult. The ones who did not had a similar story to tell, usually a peer around middle school who said a rude comment about a drawing, or a friend who made fun of the artsy kids. As an art teacher, I often thought about this study when taking to my classes, and especially when listening to kids talk to each other.
There is some real scientific evidence that can back up the ways creativity can make us happier and healthier, reduce stress. And as a Paint instructor it’s my job to make sure every single person feels successful in their creative pursuit and leaves with a smile. I truly believe that if one comment can stop us right in our tracks of creative pursuit then one great experience can get us back to the childhood joy of unencumbered self expression that brought out our imagination and fantastical dreams. The more positive experiences we give ourselves when it comes to creativity, the more confidence we will have to find the one passion that truly helps us to communicate in profound and expressive way. Mine go to creative pursuits are drawing, painting, and tattoos. But I truly believe that
Creativity is more in how you live your life than what you create.
So if you are in a creative slump, or just want to add more creativity to your Adult life Try out these 11 Creativity Boosters:
- Karaoke Party in your living room, invite your kids, (or give them paddles to judge) using the Karaoke You Tube Channel
- Shape Walk- go for a walk through your neighborhood looking for one shape only. Document the journey by taking pictures with your phone like Drew Barrymore’s Heart
- Write Your Grocery List by Hand- (or better yet doodle your list) Carrie Barron, M.D., and Alton Barron, M.D., authors of The Creativity Cure advise us to take time to write for creativity.
- Act Out Your Day- At dinner instead of talking about your day, each family member takes a turn acting it out while the others guess what happened.
- Make a Vision Board of Your Worst Fears- then literally destroy them. Rip them up, tear them to shreds, stomp on them!
- Create your own touchdown dance (for the metaphoric touchdowns of life)
- Come up with Couple Names for all your married friends (Brangelina, Tomcat, and…)
- Pick one simple object you can draw well. Draw it with your eyes closed. With your non-dominant hand, behind your back, with your toes.
- Write: Pick a Drama or Horror Film Scene and turn it into a comedy.
- Have a Goodwill Date with some friends. It will get you laughing, and laughter boosts creativity!
- Sign Up for a Paint Night (Rockford, IL)
Do YOU have a great way to spark creativity or a fun booster that we didn’t share? Let us know by leaving it in the comments!