Tag Archives: jump start creativity

Creative Questions

30 Apr

Image: hypperridedesign

Club Creative Studio has pressing questions for you today: What is your recipe for making your concoction of creative juice?  Do you have a secret combination of ingredients that jump-start your creative process? Is it just the right amount of mood, skill, talent and forces that come together for successful thinking?  What is your secret weapon for creating the perfect storm of productivity? What makes a whirl-wind of constructive ideas flow for you?

Maybe one thing or a combination of several aspects make you more creative one day compared to the next.  For me, creative times come naturally.  It’s what I am interested in and have a passion about so it is second nature to want to be involved in the creative process in some form during my day.  It is also a conscious personal and business mantra: Be Creative Every Day.

With that being said, I would like to share the characteristics that I have noticed that answer the questions of creativity for me.  What can you add that also answers the general query: What makes your creativity flow?

C:    Catching random thoughts and using them in an artful constructive way

R:    Reaching beyond what is normal and reaching deeper than the surface to try something new

E:     Experimenting with different combinations of materials

A:     Acquiring new skills and allowing them to become second nature

T:    Taking my time to create and express what I want and need to

I:    Initial reactions gathered can be used for inspiration to jump-start creative thoughts

V:    Variety is the spice of life, so taking breaks help me stretch my focus longer

I:    Involve others and gain suggestions as insights for new prospectives

T:    Tossing aside what I think will not work too quickly might save me time, but does not provide creative growth

Y:    Yes, I did it!  Take pride in originality and success of another creative mission accomplished!

Ask yourself creative questions.

Thank you for adding your comments, I’d love to hear about what is making your creative time bomb tick!

Y is for You (Your Creativity)

28 Apr

Take the steps to be creative!

Sometimes it is a struggle to think creatively, find the time to be creative or have materials on hand to produce an item from your creativity.  I get that. And it might sound familiar to you too. This is why today’s post from Club Creative Studio has a focus on You.  The letter “Y” stands for you today, you and your creative process.  When I say I am “Creative Everyday”, I really am. That is my daily process.  It may not be in the same manner or with the same materials but, I do recognize that it takes effort sometimes to be productive from creative juices, and I strive to make sure that everyday I do something that I consider to be creative in my workspace: Club Creative Studio.

For those times that you think it is not possible to be creative or hard to get motivated, take to heart some of the considerations from the ideas of Gary Gonzales, in the Leadership Journal, as he writes about Real Ministry in a Complex World. Now I know his subject matter is not an art focus. But, when talking about creativity we can gain some insight to his words and thoughts about the creative process as a whole.  He writes about your “creativity quotient” and how to raise the bar in creativity. He  believes that  a few good habits can improve the quality of your ideas.

“Someone once asked William Barclay how he had become such a prolific writer. The key, he said, is learning to apply the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair.

Creativity is far less subjective and ethereal than some make it sound. As much a function of our habits as our “genius” or inspiration, creativity takes discipline. Here are four ways to enhance your creativity.

Know your moods

Perhaps you’ve heard the old saying about diet: “Mornings are gold, lunch is bronze, and dinner is lead.” Well, the same applies to personal energy levels. A few months ago, a lay leader handed me a newspaper article outlining the body’s daily rhythms. It underscored how, for most people, mornings provide peak energy and concentration. Quick recall and analytical reasoning are strongest in the a.m.

Conversely, the infamous “afternoon grog,” the inability to focus, hits from 1 to 3 p.m., with a short reprieve from 3 to 4 p.m., especially in recall.

By evening most people are downshifting, except for the late-night geniuses who hit their creative stride from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Knowing this, I safeguard morning hours for the challenges of praying, studying, writing, and creative thinking. I no longer feel guilty when my engines are revving low. I pace myself, husbanding my energy for creative times.

Do you know what time of day you are the most creative? I fit into that "night owl" category for sure!

Learned how to improve energy and lessen the negative rhythms

Soon after moving to the Twin Cities from Southern California, I thought about joining a fitness club. But I wondered, With my mornings scheduled full with message preparation and my evenings already overflowing with meetings and programs, how can I realistically expect to add an exercise regimen?

But I had heard others describe how a workout increased their energy level, so I decided to experiment. I discovered that a sixty-minute workout during my lunch hour or after 3 p.m. worked wonders. Regular exercise dramatically increased my endurance, making my low periods less low-and I feel better about myself. As an added bonus, I find thinking and praying easier while on the Nordic Track or between weight-lifting sets.

While getting into shape, I learned another valuable lesson: If I work out on Friday, resting or going easy on Saturday, by Sunday morning I’m primed to preach. A one-day layoff between workouts enables my body to bounce back with renewed vigor. I can’t recall a time in my previous fifteen years of ministry when I’ve been so clear-headed-able to think creatively and spontaneously in the pulpit.

Write it down

Someone has said, “Opportunity is like a horse that gallops up and then pauses for a moment. If you don’t get on, before long you hear the clatter of hoofbeats dying away in the distance.”

You have got to start someplace start your creativity at the beginning!

Great ideas are just such opportunities.

Whenever you hear, see, or think a worthwhile thought, write it down before another moment passes. Experience has taught me to keep a pen and paper handy on my night stand.  That’s also true of the ideas we learn from others. For several years I’ve kept a journal handy at my office. Whenever I come across a good quote, I immediately jot it down and document the source. Often, when I’m stymied while preparing sermons, I thumb through this journal to stimulate ideas.

Others’ ideas provoke my ideas. While paging through my journal recently, I ran across the statement, “Leaders are to be imitated, not gold-plated.” It triggered a thought: I’ve wanted to do a series on leadership for some time. Why not develop a series of seven messages on leadership principles using one-liners as memory hooks?

I’m now reading and gathering ideas, illustrations, and resources on that theme.

Let it simmer

Most creative ideas mature over time. So, whether I’m planning a sermon series, a special holiday service, or a seminar, I arrange my time to give it as much advance thought as possible. My mind works best when I’m not clawing for ideas at the last-minute.

I don’t get over structured too early. A good idea has a ripple effect, soon suggesting other ideas or applications. At first, all I want to do is grasp the big picture-even if only a piece of it.

Apology for the language displayed here but, ADMIT IT: we have all felt this way!

Useful ideas sometimes come to me after months of simmering.

Several years ago, I heard the story of Larry Walters, a 33-year-old man who decided he wanted to see his neighborhood from a new perspective. He went down to the local army surplus store one morning and bought forty-five used weather balloons. That afternoon he strapped himself into a lawn chair, to which several of his friends tied the now helium-filled balloons. He took along a six-pack of beer, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and a bb gun, figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land.

Walters, who assumed the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air, was caught off guard when the chair soared more than 11,000 feet into the sky-smack into the middle of the air traffic pattern at Los Angeles International Airport. Too frightened to shoot any of the balloons, he stayed airborne for more than two hours, forcing the airport to shut down its runways for much of the afternoon, causing long delays in flights from across the country.

Soon after he was safely grounded and cited by the police, reporters asked him three questions:

“Were you scared?”

“Yes.”

“Would you do it again?”

“No.”

“Why did you do it?”

“Because,” he said, “you can’t just sit there.”

His answer caught my interest. I pondered that story and its implications for several months. Then, as I was preparing a sermon, “The Crisis Called Christmas,” my thoughts came together. I used the Walters story in the introduction to set the stage for the idea that each of the birth narratives called for a response-or a reaction-from its participants. When it comes to God’s intervention in our lives, we can’t just sit there.

image:aboxjourneybutton

Talk about it

Creativity is often synergistic, so I cultivate people in formal and informal settings who cultivate my ideas  I never  know when a brainstorm will strike-and quickly vanish!

Happily, I can relate to this writing and it gives me insight and information to use to step up and recognize my creative strengths and areas of weakness that can be improved upon.  Did you find anything in his writings that might help you relate to being creative in your own life?  I hope so.  Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I hope your creativity grows.

Q is for Quick

23 Apr

Creating a "quick project" like earrings, allow me to take a break from more time-consuming projects.

Club Creative Studio’s letter focus for the day is “Q”. The letter Q stands for the word quick today.  Although most steps involved in creating our one-of-a-kind beads are not to be considered a “quick” project or process.  It is for this reason, when I am engaged with making clay or glass beads that I often need a break. I try to create something that takes less time so that I can still have a sence of accomplishment at a quicker pace.

Having the option and opportunities to create something quickly can be rewarding for my artistic expression as well as satisfying to a customer’s needs who may like something last-minute.  I am lucky, for example to be able to “whip up” earrings to match any outfit or gift-giving need very quickly because I have the necessary supplies, tools, and skills needed to do so. In today’s mini lesson, I have used store-bought crystal beads and have incorporated my hand-made paper magazine recycled beads in earrings as well to illustrate two very different styles of earrings using the same techniques.

The satisfaction of creating an item from hand is very rewarding. It does not matter if the project is completed in a few steps or if it is more labor intensive. Both processes are a creative experience worth remembering and often times repeating. It is in the repeating that you get your practice time in.  And thus you can create quickly and stress-free.

When I create earrings, they are my “quick fix” projects.  I am able to consider them an easy process because I have had many years of practice creating them.  If you have not tried or have not yet mastered the few steps needed to create simple earrings, give this mini lesson a try to perfect it by repeating the process with practice and added confidence.

Happy Creating!

Tools needed for making earrings.

M is for Milestones

13 Apr

Club Creative Studio has a focus on creativity and today’s post topic is about expected CREATIVE MILESTONES.  The A to Z blog challenge has me blogging with a topic each day beginning with an alphabet letter.  Today’s letter “M” stands for milestones. Dealing with child development, do you know the creative milestones children strive for from ages 0-6?

Milestones in child creativity development are important.  As your child scribbles with crayons, chalk, pencils or markers and the like: they are developing their creativity. As they make collages with papers, noodles or buttons, etc., they are developing in creativity.  Whatever the craft or activity like building with blocks or playing with puppets, a child is taking the time to develop ideas about the world and they are learning new ways to communicate thoughts, feelings, interests. They can build upon these skills later in life.

My daughter concentrates on painting gloss on her beads.

As naturally creative children grow, so do their abilities.  Children begin to express their feelings, and ideas in visual ways.  Although there is a wide range of what is “normal” when it comes to creative expressions of children, there are things that you can do as an adult to encourage creative growth and ability to have children reach creative milestones.

 Possibly the best way you can support a young child in growing creativity is to foster and encourage their own sense of creativity and love of art-making and creating.  Offer praise in the form of approval of the process over the finished product. building confidence and then later building on skill level is the key to development of creative confidence.

Creative thinking skills generally develop in stages and ages. Remembering variety from child to child, take a look at suggestions for what you might do after what you may view.

Here are some things to look for that your child may do, with actions that you may support.                                                                        

Ages 0-2:   
Notice light and dark colors, shapes, movement, texture and patterns. Point out visually interesting sights and talk about them
Use senses, and feelings and interpret the world with them.  Share books with many illustrations or photographs
Communicates with gestures, facial expressions and cries.  Encourage child to observe carefully
Communicates with words and phrases.  Encourage with expression
Begins to scribble after 15 months or so.  Offer appropriate art items that are easy to hold for small hands
 
Ages 3-4:      
Discover making marks on paper represents an objects feature.  Offer blocks, crayons, finger paint, new materials=new ways
Draws recognizable shapes and combinations of those shapes.  Avoid suggestions that imply a “correct” way of expression
Creates with a specific intention: wanting to draw a  (item). Be enthusiastic , your interest is an influence to confidence
 
Ages 5-6:      
Attempts graphic symbols to represent objects.  Celebrate the arts mount and display art in prominent places
Developing a personal style.  Listen to their stories about their art, help them expand thoughts
Visually represents emotions such as joy, sadness, anger.  Accept self-expressions and preferences to express art mediums
Creates more complex pictures,stories and scenes.  Date art or make notes to document clearly

 

When your child becomes school aged, visit the classroom to see first hand progress through their paintings for example.  Support their developments with ongoing learning from home. Foster their creativity, independence and thoughts expressed through art to help them grow up, develop in creativity and reach their creative milestones.

 

E is for Explore

5 Apr

I started out 2012 with a mantra and theme word for my new year business creations. The word I have a focus on is EXPLORE.

E is for Explore.  The letter topic for the A to Z blog challenge continues.  To help me maintain a visual focus on my mantra word explore, I created a vision board for my new year resolution for 2012. It is a small board but it’s packed with journal inspiration and visual prompts for me to stick to my goals and aspirations. So far, so good. Visual reminders can be valuable in helping one stick to set goals and daily tasks needed to reach those goals in the first place.  Here is a photo of my vision board 2012.

Place your vision board where you will see it often.

The word EXPLORE has particular meaning to me as an artist and personally as well.  It is a word that has reminded me to take the steps to stay out of “routine”, and try new techniques, methods, materials, and approaches. Exploring to me means to not be afraid and try what is not along the beaten path.  The idea of the word gives me permission to fail and not be too bummed about a flopped outcome.  Art gives me the freedom to make and accept mistakes on a daily basis. Exploring what is unknown also gives me the strength to push ahead and see what process, or outcome is yet to be.  Adding key “buzz” words to your board will help keep you focused at a quick glance. I have included phrases and words like: reasons to smile, momentum, oomph, drop your jaw, and oh, yes I can!

Many of the areas on my vision board this year have a space for adding written sections. Along with word prompts in decorative fonts cut from magazines collage-style, I have spaces by which I added my own hand-written words.  This gave me ownership of the words and re-visiting the poster daily gives me the visual reminders of what I want to be accomplishing.  Visualizing means making it happen in our minds first the rest is still up to us to act upon how to make it a reality in the real word scenario.

On the back of my poster, I did something different. I have used the blank back space as a running tab of added information. I have written really small, milestone accomplishments so that I can re-read them and attest to progress made throughout the year.  Documenting and measuring your growth by goals accomplished is very satisfying and make room for steps to remain productive. This is a method of “patting yourself on the back”, after all not everyone knows all of your intentions, dreams and goals. Explore your potential, explore the possibilities you have and explore your strengths and weakness so that you can grow to be the better YOU that you want and hope to be.  What will you do to explore your capabilities today?

Creative Juice for Creative Freedom

10 Feb

Creativity is a natural part of everyone.  It really is an innate aspect of us.  We just have to find it within our being if we think we are lacking of it.  To help us with gaining an abundance of  “creative juice”, we have to be willing to “go with the flow”. 

To illustrate what I want to explain…first think of your morning glass of  orange juice.  Thinking of that O.J.?  Great! 

Image: jesterarts.net

Envision the process of pouring your initial glass of the beverage.

First, something sparked your interest to get that glass of juice in the first place.  You had the idea to enjoy the refreshment and you planned on getting a glass so you could pour yourself a drink.  You already know that you enjoy the taste of orange juice, so you are accepting of the anticipation of how it will satisfy your thirst.

You realize that you can always pour more, if  available and that it has many beneficial qualities that make you feel energized.  Finally, there is the sensation of happiness from learning that you can share the orange juice with someone else.  This opportunity is gratifying to know that you have made someone else happy by quenching their thirst.

When it comes to finding and gaining creative freedoms you can revert back to your morning glass of orange juice for comparisons.

Here’s how to obtain creative freedom:

The reason you want to gain freedom in your creativity is because you want to not be inhibited in your ideas and processes.  Learn to let go of any precluded inabilities, personal blocks, or harsh critiques and your creative expressions will flow more readily.

Comparison:  You want your ideas to flow as freely as the orange juice does from its container to your glass.

Starting simple in your process is key to the initial feeling of creative freedom.  No need to spend money on art supplies that you are not familiar with in the experimental stages of a new art form or medium.  You can get satisfaction from creating on a small budget. You can express creativity with a simple slip of paper.  Ever hear of origami?

Comparison:  Even the smallest amount of  juice can quench your thirst.  

Pace yourself at first, and search for your motivation.  If you draw from your past experiences,  you may recall a pleasant successful experience that will serve as positive creative energy.  Your creative desires and expressions should be a comfortable place to visit.

Comparison:  Don’t drink too quickly or too much as to get “sick”.  Taking an opportunity to enjoy every sip will allow you to savor the experience.

Accept yourself and steer clear of self-doubt, unrealistic goals, unnecessary comparisons and anything that gives you a limiting feeling of:  “NO”, “DON’T”, or “CAN’T”.  Realize “YES I CAN” and “YES, I WILL”.  Hang out with a supportive group for encouragement.

Comparison: 

Sharing juice will make you feel good, just like sharing your creativity does!

  

 

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