Thinking About Creativity


If you’re a creative person you will know that the feeling of having your creativity stifled is not a very nice sensation.

Sometimes we can forget about the things that actually inspire us, the things that keep us going. When we remember them, we need to find ways to keep them close.

I love creating – whether it’s re-furbishing a piece of old furniture, pressing flowers and leaves, woodblock printing, typing poetry or trying to capture something in a particular way on my instant camera – I get the same feeling of satisfaction at the end, a unique finished product that I’ve worked to create on my own.

This week I’ve been thinking about the things that block my inspiration to create. Often, as artists or writers, if we’ve had a ‘dry spell’ of creativity it can be helpful to look at why that is, to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Having a creative project is a major source of my own happiness so I have to make sure I make time (and most importantly – focus) to create and be inspired.

Worrying about the need to categorise my creativity is also a huge barrier for the flow of my own creativity. Because I like to do lots of different things, on different mediums, with different tools, I can sometimes spend too much energy deliberating over what my single focus should be…

Can I really be a typewriter poet and create work with paints and work on longer creative writing pieces and press flowers and do whatever else random takes my fancy next? As I’ve worked as a branding and social media marketer for a decade. there’s a little marketing person inside me that insists I be marketable as a creative individual. A voice that whispers, “you’re all over the place, decide what you want to do and brand yourself properly”.

As an individual creative, I find that focusing on categorising, branding and marketing myself more than actually concentrating on my creative output kills the best elements of any raw, natural creativity.

After spending years advising brands and small businesses on how they can use their social media accounts to best represent what they do, I can subconsciously deliver myself this advice and spend hours on end thinking about how to make my Instagram look consistent. Nothing stifles my own creativity more than this.

Don’t get me wrong, having an immediate online community to share art with is so valuable and can be completely inspirational. But that doesn’t mean that the concept of being able to share something on Instagram should be the driving force of our inspiration. There are far more interesting things outside of these digital worlds that can move us and shake our cores.

Create first, share second.

Along with noticing my need to detach from striving for a perfectly branded social presence, I’m also re-learning to embrace the other things that make me want to just create. Being outside. Uplifting music. Long, quiet days.

Sometimes it only takes one small glance upwards to realise that there’s a world out there.

Today I am being inspired by: