6 Secrets to Setting Free Your Creativity

By Leonardo Urena on March 10th, 2015

The New York Institute of Art and Design is the world's premier online art and design school. And we often offer free tips for creative professionals. Enjoy!

6 Secrets to Setting Free Your Creativity

Creativity can strike at any moment. And inspiration often hits us at the most inconvenient times. You could be commuting home from work, at a party with friends, or at the market shopping. Sometimes just a song, a woman's scarf, or the stock boy at a store can inspire an amazing idea.

How do we harness and free this power so we can use it when we actually need it? Here are 6 ways to unshackle that muse of yours, so you can call upon her when you need her.

1. Go Old School

6 Secrets to Setting Free Your Creativity

It's time to stop taking notes on your laptop or smartphone and start drafting your ideas on old fashion paper. With a notebook in hand, those brilliant ideas can have a warm place to live and grow. Modern technology is rigid and can stifle ideas before they are even born. Paper allows creativity to flow free without the restraints of computer devices.

2. Take the Pressure Off

6 Secrets to Setting Free Your Creativity

Don't you just hate when someone tells you, "Stop being a perfectionist?" Well, stop being a perfectionist! Creativity isn't about doing something the right way all the time. Most of the time our greatest artistic choices are not choices at all, they come from the mistakes we make.

Also don't scrap your project just because you don't think it's perfect or people won't like it. Keep going until you have finished then start a new draft. It's more productive to finish what you started and then make corrections, instead of stopping and starting over every time something goes wrong.

3. Change Directions

6 Secrets to Setting Free Your Creativity

Just because you shouldn't completely scrap a project doesn't mean it can't be transformed into something different. Look at a project from a different perspective or turn it into something else that accomplishes a different goal—this is the very essence of creativity. Sam Abell once said:
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

4. Creative Friends

6 Secrets to Setting Free Your Creativity

Muses need other muses to play with to come alive. Collaborate with your friends, offer your opinion on their projects, and get their feedback on ideas that you are working on. They don't necessarily have to be in the same field as you, but it helps to surround yourself with a few friends that understand the language of creativity.

5. Rest

6 Secrets to Setting Free Your Creativity

Getting enough rest is key to staying creative. While artists like Dali have argued for the power of sleep deprivation, most of us lose a little something when we focus too much on our work. A power nap or even just stepping away during a project can do wonders to your creativity. If that doesn't work, boost your energy by grabbing a cub of coffee or getting in a little exercise before stepping back into the lion's den. Realize how much more active your brain becomes once it takes a breather.

6. Learn

6 Secrets to Setting Free Your Creativity

Immerse yourself in whatever activity you wish to take part in, but it's crucial to ready yourself for creativity. The best way to prepare is to become more knowledgeable about the art, design, and creative community you would like to master. Learning a new skill will always be the best way to awaken creativity. Learning different techniques once in a while can have you seeing the whole world through entirely new eyes.

Want to pursue your creative passion with us? NYIAD offers five great online courses to choose from. We offer an interior design course, wedding planning course, event planning course, jewelry making course, and a course in Feng Shui interior design.


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