How can I be more creative?

The essence of creativity

Creativity is everywhere. We see it in the architecture of our buildings, the design of everyday objects like our phones and cars, the clothes we wear, the music we listen to and the meals we eat.

Everyone can be creative, but some of us need help with unlocking the creativity we all have as children. Whether it's painting a picture, baking a cake, writing a novel or finding a new way to solve a tricky work problem, being creative is enjoyable and productive.

For some of us it comes naturally but others might need more help. So how can you bring out your inner creative?

The creative process

Bestselling author Louise Welsh talks about what makes her creative.

Feed your curiosity with knowledge

So what can you practically do to help develop your creativity?

Practise

Creativity is generally said to be making something original and of value to yourself or others. To do this, it’s important you really know and understand your subject.

One person who showed that practise is important was the artist Pablo Picasso. He is famous for creating daring new painting styles, but it wasn’t by accident. He spent years experimenting with the already established conventions of art, eventually producing ground-breaking works like Les Demoiselles d'Avignon which involved months of revisions.

Learn from others

Another way you can stimulate your creativity is by learning from others in your field. Creative writing courses stress the importance of writing about what you know, writing regularly, keeping a notebook to record observations, and using the traits of people you know to create new characters.

Have fun

Creative people are also usually working in a field they love. They are generally more motivated by a love of what they do, rather than money. So choose a field you enjoy, rather than something you feel you ought to do, then enjoyment becomes the reward, which in turn motivates you to keep being creative. If you know your field inside out you will have the confidence to take risks and allow your creativity to blossom.

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso, 1907, © FineArt / Alamy. The artist spent months making revisions and experimenting with the conventions of art.

Creative science

But creativity isn't just for the arts. It can be applied in all areas of life. All great scientists are original thinkers who create new theories that make sense of how the world works.

Albert Einstein studied physics in depth, then went on to use his creativity, or his ‘gift of imagination’ as he put it, to work out his Theory of Relativity. It was a brilliant and original way to encapsulate the power of the universe.

Creativity has been essential to the success of companies like Apple. The company’s former chief designer, Jonathan Ive, believes their products’ simple yet distinct look and feel is all down to unlocking his team’s creativity.

So don't be afraid to unleash your own creativity. From techniques that allow your mind to think more originally, to learning from past creative masters, there are practical ways to help you use your imagination to create something original. If you direct your energy carefully, you can learn to be creative!

Albert Einstein sticking his tongue out
Albert Einstein believed intuition and inspiration were the root of creativity in science.

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