Getting Inspired

get creative, how to

Emma is the editor & creator (and occasionally writer) for The Messy Heads. She enjoys yellow curry, print media, and singing to herself.

This is an excerpt from the Sharing Your Creative Ideas PDF now available in the shop. This guide is a candid and honest approach to sharing your creative ideas. The creator of The Messy Heads, Emma, shares her journey to becoming an artist, working through creative blocks, how to monetize your passions, how to communicate your artistic visions to others, and most importantly, how to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

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Remember that creativity is like a muscle. You have to exercise it and challenge yourself to push past your own boundaries, and rules. Being creative is literally just breaking rules and looking at things differently.

The following exercises can help push you out of your comfort zone and jog your creative brain. Try to pick one to do this week!

JOURNALS

This is the best way to keep a creative process alive and thriving. Keep a journal that you secretly vow to yourself you will not share with anyone and just see what comes of it. I feel so much pressure is alleviated when I’m like, hey, no one has to see this and you can start creating what you LIKE and what make you happy. It’s not going to be instinctual because a lot of our lives we are taught that success is in other’s approval. Start this as an exercise and see what you are really inspired by. Here are some links of journaling prompts to get you started

30 days / 30 more days / 30 MORE days / 30 MORE days .

PASSIVE ABSORPTION

Go to a busy location with a lot of people. Maybe a park, cafe, or street corner. Find a spot to sit for at least three hours. Simply observe life moving around you and try to not put any definition or explanation on to anything, just soak up all of the sensory data available to you. After you return home, write free flowing about your experiences without attention to sentence structure, storytelling, or any goal. Just write passively, in the same manner in which you just observed the world.

COLLABORATIONS

Call up a friend and schedule out a chunk of time that you can work together on a project. Gather your supplies, and make it light hearted. Maybe you are writing a children’s book together, or directing a funny short film. Either way, make it a no-pressure situation and make it fun. While working with someone you will learn about your strengths and weaknesses and how to better communicate your random, abstract, creative ideas.

ART STORE

Give yourself a low budget, maybe $5-10 and head to your local art store. Roam through the aisles and see what materials are speaking to you. Purchase and go home and create. Repeat endlessly until you have pom pom flowers, glittery heart cards, clay animals, beaded necklaces, and origami littering your room. This exercise taps you into a childlike state of creativity.

POETRY

Pick a subject that is vague, like the ocean, a cup of coffee, or a sunrise. Write as many poems about your chosen topic that embody a different mood or emotion: happiness, sorrow, loss, desire, etc. This will get you thinking about how many different versions of something exist. Star your favorite poem at the end of the exercise and see what it says about your current state of mind.

IMPROMPTU SONG WRITING

If you play an instrument, pick a simple three chord progression so that you can play mindlessly. If you don’t, that’s fine! You can still sing to yourself or pick some background music. Write down three random words on a piece of paper or have a friend give you three random words. Example: Marmalade, Black, and Parakeet. Your challenge is to now make a song with these three words. This exercise is SO fun to do back and forth with other people and helps you to trust your gut instinct and come up with ideas, rhymes, and melody on the spot. Plus singing in general can be embarrassing so it has helped me get over any judgment I might put on myself.

COLOR

Limit yourself to one or two colors and draw everything with that color that you see today. If you pick purple for example, draw plants, street signs, faces, food, and everything else in purple.

FILMING

Take small video clips throughout your day and find the common thread between them all. You don’t have to edit it, but seeing what you notice about motion in the world is such a great exercise.

COOKING

Find a random recipe and cook it. A cuisine you have never tried, something you always told yourself was too hard to make. Or, go to the grocery store and find three random ingredients and try to combine them.

FILL-IN

This is an exercise you do with a partner. You can choose any medium: painting, writing, drawing, sewing, whatever. Pick your medium. One of you starts and works on it for 15 minutes, then passes it back to the other. The goal of this exercise is to practice not defining how your work will turn out and also how to reevaluate your ideas once they are changed in some way.

MONOLOGUE

Find a monologue online and practice it. Actors are amazing at digging deep in their emotions and pulling out new experiences. Find a piece that you maybe don’t relate to at all on an initial read and then see how your understanding improves after you study and practice it.

ONE PAINTING

Go to an art gallery or museum and only choose ONE piece to look at. Bring your journal and sit in front of this piece for at least 15 minutes with no writing, just observing. Think about the context of the piece, the way the artist might have created it, and what it might mean to them. Ask yourself endless questions and see what you gather about yourself as an artist.

ONE SONG

Start to pick up on the nuances of the lyrics and layers of music. Try to pick out a different instrument every time or background vocals you didn’t hear. Listen once thinking only about emotion in an abstract sense. Listen in a technical way. This is a great excercise to get you critically thinking about different aspects of art.

STYLING

Find the item in your wardrobe you keep around even though you never wear it and make an outfit you love out of it. Reevaluating what makes you feel good, what defines you, and how to work with something that might make you uncomfortable.

Share what you create by tagging us @themessyheads on Instagram. To purchase the complete PDF guide and learn more about creativity and sharing creative ideas, click here. 

7 Comments

  1. Sarah says

    Awesome! Really needed some inspiration, this is perfect!! Your writing is so good, Emma!

  2. Had never really thought that any of these things inspired me, but the messy heads encouraged me to try them out and they are the more liberating concepts everrrr. Thank you so much

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