March 18, 2024

The path of an artist can be a bumpy one. It doesn't matter what path we have chosen, whether officially through a course of study or self-taught, whether straight out of school or later in life, whether full-time or just in our spare time - nobody wakes up in the morning and rightly considers themselves an artist.
Well, we do as children. But very few of us carry that into adulthood.

I hardly know an artist who hasn't taken a really long time to call herself that - and then hasn't turned around to see if anyone disagrees.
Questioning is part of the creative process, even ourselves.
But self-doubt costs us too much power. Energy that we drain from our creativity.

Throughout my creative career, I have faced the challenge of identifying myself as an artist. Despite the highs and lows of my freelance work, I have learned the value of playfulness, making mistakes, and finding my own path.
Creativity is not just a profession, but a passion that enriches my life and nourishes my soul.

By reflecting on my experiences, I have discovered what helps me to be creative and find inspiration in everyday life. My 'Insider Tips'. I would like to share them with you. These are not strict rules or instructions, nor are they a recipe for improving your art or becoming successful as an artist.

Instead, it is an invitation to trust your own creativity and find your unique voice. Ultimately, art is a journey of self-discovery that constantly surprises and inspires us.

You are an artist,
even if your art is not displayed in museums or exhibitions.
You are an artist,
even if you do not earn any money from your artwork.
You are an artist,
even if you have a job and only create art when you have spare time.
You are an artist,
even if you have not been creative for a while.

Before we get into what I'm talking about, let's define Creativity and what that means.

A Definition: What is Creativity?

Creativity is a crucial human ability that fosters innovation and shapes our world. It involves combining existing ideas in new ways and adopting new perspectives to find original solutions to problems.

Creativity takes many forms and exists in all areas of life, including art, science, technology, business, and everyday life. It takes courage, openness, curiosity, and a willingness to experiment to think beyond conventions and norms.
Inspiration, experiences, environment, intuition, imagination, and self-reflection all influence it.

Non-Conformist Thinking

Non-conformist thinking is a basic prerequisite for creativity and genius. It allows us to find multiple possible answers to a question.

The award-winning animated film 'Alike' depicts a world where there is no room for non-conformity or individual development, promoting conformity over creativity. However, it also challenges us to break out of our comfort zones and try something new.

Why Creativity is Essential

Creativity is not just a hobby or a way to grow personally. It is a crucial factor in driving progress in all aspects of life. Developing new ideas, rethinking problems, and approaching them in innovative ways are essential to scientific discoveries, technological advancements, and cultural and artistic achievements. Creativity is central to creating a dynamic and vibrant society.

It can be crucial in solving complex problems and promoting positive change in society. With it, we can build a sustainable and equitable future for everyone.

Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis: Creative approaches to architecture and urban planning can create sustainable cities and buildings that reduce energy consumption and environmental impact. Vertical gardens and green roofs, for example, improve air quality and promote urban biodiversity.

Additionally, the development of environmentally friendly products and technologies helps to reduce resource consumption and minimize the ecological footprint. Sustainable packaging, environmentally friendly transportation, and energy-efficient household appliances are just a few examples.

Creativity leads to innovative recycling and upcycling solutions, reducing waste and utilizing resources more efficiently. Seemingly useless materials can be transformed into new products and works of art.

Health Crisis and Medical Innovation: Creativity plays an important role in medicine, as demonstrated by the development of vaccines during the coronavirus pandemic. Scientists and researchers utilized innovative technologies and creative approaches to rapidly and effectively develop vaccines against the virus. For instance, they employed mRNA technology to create vaccines that elicited a strong immune response and impacted the course of the pandemic.

The development of innovative diagnostic and treatment methods is aiding in the early detection and more effective treatment of diseases. For instance, in cancer research, new approaches are leading to targeted therapies that activate the immune system to combat cancer cells or target specific genetic mutations.

Additionally, creativity plays a crucial role in promoting mental health and well-being. Art therapy, music therapy, and other creative approaches, including the use of virtual reality for therapeutic purposes, are successfully helping people cope with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and trauma.

Social Injustice and Inequality: Creativity can be a powerful tool for social change, allowing us to denounce social injustices and inequalities and promote positive change. Artistic expressions, such as music, theater, and literature, can help raise awareness of social issues and encourage public discourse on important topics, such as racism, discrimination, and social injustice.
This is exemplified by the Black Lives Matter movement. The protests were supported by art installations, graffiti, and music, which helped to raise awareness of racism and police violence and sparked a broad social debate.

Technological Challenges and Ethical Issues: Overcoming technological challenges requires creativity, which promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and the exchange of ideas between different specialists.

This can improve the efficiency, safety, and performance of systems and give rise to new technologies, such as autonomous vehicles, intelligent machines, and medical robotics, which have the potential to improve lives and transform society.

However, creativity also plays a crucial role in the ethical issues related to advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and genetic engineering. Ethical principles and values are integrated into the development and application of new technologies to ensure that they benefit society and address potential risks and concerns.

A Side Issue: Personal Development?

So is social development the more important role of creativity? This is not easy to answer, as both aspects are closely linked and influence each other.

Creativity fosters the development of new ideas, products and services that can improve people's lives, promote economic growth and bring about positive changes in society.

On the other hand, creativity plays a crucial role in the personal development of each individual. Through creative activities, we can discover our individual strengths and abilities, find self-expression, build self-confidence and improve our cognitive skills. Creativity promotes our emotional health, helps us to reduce stress and experience positive emotions. In this sense, creativity is an essential part of everyone's personal growth and self-actualization.

When we see that we are capable of creating something new or solving complex problems, we learn to trust ourselves and develop a positive self-image. Creativity promotes lifelong learning and personal growth by encouraging us to be open to new ideas and experiences.

Ultimately, personal and social development are closely linked, and creativity plays an important role in both. By developing and utilizing our creative abilities, we can not only enrich our own lives, but also make a positive contribution to society and help create a better world for all.

Why creativity is essential. A creative workplace with lots of light and beautiful things promotes creativity.

From the Everyday Life of an Artist: 15 Creative Tips

Facilitating creativity in daily life can be challenging. Here are some tips that help me unleash my creativity.

Keep in mind that everyone has their own unique approach to creativity, so consider my advice as a suggestion. Select what resonates with you and trust your instincts. Change, ignore, or make these characteristics your own. It's okay to follow all of them, none of them, or something in between. Do what feels right for you.
Cherry-picking is expressly encouraged!

  1. Make your creative space your personal retreat by surrounding yourself with beautiful things that inspire you. Focus on your style and favorite things. Avoid storing your art materials away. Keep your tools within reach for easy access.
    Good lighting and music can enhance creativity in any workspace. If you prefer a more chaotic environment, embrace it. Remember, this is your space!
  2. Your work is unique. Only you can create it. Every time you create something, you put a piece of yourself into it.
  3. Be prepared to take risks. Give yourself permission to be playful, make mistakes, and fail sometimes. Simply explore your creative process.
  4. Leave your studio and seek inspiration outside. Explore nature and observe your surroundings. Keep a sketchbook and pens handy to capture your ideas.
  5. Give your creativity time. It is important. Two hours a day, half an hour or one day a week - whatever fits into your life. Ensure that you keep this time free for yourself and avoid sacrificing it for household chores. Those can wait.
  6. Just get started! Use what you already have. You don't have to buy lots of new materials. You can also create wonderful - and sustainable - works of art with upcycled materials.
  7. Don't forget to take breaks in between. They are vital. Even short breaks can give your creativity new nourishment.
  8. Challenge yourself. Work with a limited color palette or only with certain materials. This way you can give your inspiration a boost.
  9. Create your own mark-making tools. You can use them to emphasize shapes and textures in your artwork and give them more expression.
    Use anything you can think of: Branches, twigs or grasses from your last walk in the woods, old bank or membership cards, utensils from the kitchen or toolbox, flowers, thorns from nature. All with interesting shapes and textures. Be creative.
  10. Always look for opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with other artists.
  11. Start with no expectations of the finished artwork.
  12. It's just paint! The only way to waste it is to leave it unused in the tube.
  13. Don't worry about developing a specific style. Instead, focus on how you use your material. Play with it. A personal style must grow naturally.
  14. Take your time and be patient with yourself. Don't compare yourself to others.
  15. Have fun!

Trust Your Instincts

Hopefully you will find my tips helpful on your own creative journey. I believe that creativity should be a source of joy and expression, free from pressure and expectations. There is no right or wrong, only the joy of creating. Let your inspiration guide you, trust your instincts and enjoy every moment of the creative process!

Got any tips for me? Let me know in the comments below.

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About the Author Lea Finke

Lea Finke is an artist with all her soul. In her blog, she talks about inspiration, passion, and encounters with art.

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