Don’t we all have so many brilliant ideas, flashes of creativity, and moments of inspiration that never actually turn into anything? We see something crafty or artistic in a magazine, and think, “I could do that!” We imagine a creative dessert we’d like to create in the kitchen, or notice something beautiful we’d like to photograph, or an idea comes for a story we’d like to write down. The problem for busy people is that these ideas often come in the middle of the night, on the drive to work, or while running on the treadmill and then we often don’t make time to actualize our creativity. We provide our kids with crayons and playdough and encourage them to sing and dance and paint and tell stories, but we struggle to make time to nurture the artistic sides of ourselves.
Who has time to be creative? You do! For this issue, we asked our readers:
How do you make time to be creative? What is your creative outlet?
Here are some of your tips:
“I have an email group of local women who host a craft party every 2 weeks. We bring whatever creative piece we’re working on, drink wine, eat cheese, and swap ideas. It keeps us producing and motivates us to keep a project moving forward.”
-Catherine in Houston, TX
“I always make sure I have lots of tempting art supplies in my house and the kids know where they are. When they feel the urge to be creative this gives me the excuse to join in. I feel like it’s a win-win because I get to be a kid again and I get to spend time with my kids doing something fun which I know is good for all our souls.”
-Mel in Torino, Italy.
“I have projects littered all over my home. At any moment I can pick one up, add to it, and continue on with what I should have been doing. It’s makes for a mess, but it works!”
“I try take several photos every day. I photograph anything and practically everything around me–my children, kids’ shoes, plants, the sky, candlelight. I am also a watercolorist. This is harder to do with a two year old around, but instead of trying to draw when she is awake (which is all day now), I make my drawings or sketches for my paintings. That way if I can’t paint, I can at least draw the subjects that I will paint later. Usually this encourages my daughter to draw too. I make progress on my art, hang with my babe and I am happy instead of frustrated.”
-Angela in West Hartford, CT
“I write songs and musicals for children’s choirs so being creative is part of my work. I block out an entire day (once a year, I block out an entire week) with no other tasks than to work on my project. I take off my watch, eat when I am hungry, rest when I am tired and allow myself the luxury of wallowing in the joy of making something completely new.”
Sally in Westerville, OH
“This is going to sound funny but I reorganized my studio. Now I actually enjoy spending time in there by myself.”
“I have regular art dates with myself. Every Tuesday night after the kids are in bed, instead of watching bad TV, I get out my art supplies and work on a new project. There are many nights that painting or creating a collage is the last thing I want to do. The couch is so tempting!! But, I stick to my date nights and I always end up getting into my work and feeling so much better that I have taken some time to nurture my artist self.”
-Jenn in Santa Monica, California
“Lately, my creative time has been in the kitchen. Some recent health issues have resulted in having to give up gluten and dairy. Bread and cheese? Once my favorite foods, now big no-nos. Since I love to cook anyway, it is a new challenge to come up with recipes that my whole family likes and keep me healthy. When I look at it like a creative project I get inspired all the time to try things out.”
-Allison in Denver, Colorado
“My kids are recently into coloring books, which I used to love as a kid too. So, I treated myself to one of the beautiful ‘adult’ coloring books at the bookstore. It is filled with mandalas and I color away with colored pencils right next to my kids. I even take out my coloring book and color in the evenings while watching TV. It’s incredibly calming!”
-Stacey in Ann Arbor, Michigan
“This is more about being inspired than creating. I’m sometimes challenged to stop creating. But, sometimes I lack inspiration for a new creative adventure. To ignite my inspiration and get my creative juices really flowing, I just go outside. We made the ‘deliberate’ choice to live in a magically beautiful place. Just stepping out my door and walking for 20 minutes sets off sparks and I’m ready to dive into my next painting.”
-Dina in Santa Cruz, California
Thank you for all your wonderful ideas for making time to be creative. Which one will you try?
The reader question for our next issue is:
How will you challenge yourself in the upcoming year? Tell us about a goal you are setting to push yourself to live deliberately in 2012.