Happy Mondays: How to unleash your creative side in 2017

PICASSO once said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up” – which makes one sadly ponder when did we ditch the creative play?

This article is written by columnist Carole Ann Rice and first appeared in the Daily Express.

Was it when the harsh world of work suggested accountancy or a shop job was a more serious pursuit? When did being an artist go into the store cupboard of dreams alongside teddies, dollies and being an astronaut or princess?

Just as we have an individual DNA coursing through our veins so it is, I believe, that each of us is a creative human being. It may not be via a pencil or paint representation – but perspective, life choices or how we parent or party are all acts of creativity.

In recent times there has been a huge upswing in traditional crafts becoming fashionable again.  Women find the comfort of their inner domestic goddess via decorating cupcakes or forging great works of ironmongery or blown glass via Kirstie Allsopp’s TV homage to hobbies.

Maybe you too would like to unlock your repressed Rembrandt or nudge your Nijinsky this year but there’s no workshop nor taster course that is speaking to the creative soul within.
So when fear and doubt present a block of granite in front of you and it feels like a JCB not a hammer and chisel is needed to unlock the muse, you may need a few tips to get started.When presented with a blank page I find, as a writer, putting down any random thought helps. 
Scribble, scrawl and blot your paper as a warm-up for things to come. Don’t expect instant masterpieces and without judgment, enjoy the playfulness of it.
If you want some real tips then look to Claire Bridges who is an expert and author of a new book on creativity in business – In Your Creative Element.Her ideas have been used by companies such as Sky, Pret a Manger and Vodafone and can be translated into our day-to-day practices.
Here are some of Claire’s hints on getting into the creative flow to make 2017 your most colourful year:

  1. Channel your inner punk – rebellion is not just for musicians. Dare to go against the grain. Do things differently this year and find your inner Johnny Rotten, then throw a curve ball at it.
  2. Fall off the wagon. If you’re off booze for January, think again – a tipple can get the ideas flowing but only until your blood alcohol level gets to precisely 0.075 – the creative hot zone (a couple of beers).
  3. Make mine a macchiato – research shows that low-level background noise, like the hum of a café, can aid creative ideas.
  4. Persist. If there is one thing that all truly successful creative people have in spades, it’s grit. When as little as one in 3,000 ideas makes it to the “real world” you need to be able to deal with rejection, setbacks, difficulties and fatigue.
  5.  Ideas do grow on trees. Take a “forest bath” – the Japanese practice of “Shinrin-yoku” – heading to a forest for its “medicine” and to walk slowly and breathe deeply there.Getting outside in Nature is proven to aid creative thought. These are all great ideas.
  6. Take a different path home, imagine being in someone else’s life (what would Madonna do?) or simply buy some modelling clay to aid relaxation or some felt tips for colouring. It is time to tempt back the artist who is always in residence.

Written by Carole Anne Rice this article first appeared in the Daily Express on 9th January 2016.

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