Creativity doesn’t always strike at the right time. But no matter what your creative discipline is, maintaining a creative practice will help you to be more productive and manage time effectively while juggling other responsibilities.
Check out our tips for establishing and maintaining a creative practice.
Make sure you have a clearly defined space in which to complete your work. It might be your study or studio, or just a table in the corner; whatever works best for you. Make sure it’s a clear space, with natural light if possible, where you can focus on your work with all necessary materials and equipment readily available. Decorate your walls with images or quotes that inspire you. Having a door you can close is handy if you need to shut out distractions. Ensure you have a comfortable chair and that your workspace is set up ergonomically.
You don’t need to have the best of the best to create something. There are lots of materials and things around the house that you can use in your art. Try to upcycle and reuse where possible. You can use your favourite notebook for that first draft or look through those unused tools in the shed. Have them ready to go in your newly created space so you’re not searching for the things you need when you’re ready to sit down and create.
Not all of us can be productive from 9 to 5. We also don’t all have the same available hours. Your best work might be completed outside of your day job or other responsibilities whether it’s at 5am, lunchtime or 11pm. You might only have school hours to work with, or one hour a day, or fifteen minutes here and there. Work out a schedule based on the time you have available and when you are most productive. You can work in small blocks, and make sure you schedule in regular breaks, especially if you normally sit down to work. Try the Pomodoro technique where you set a timer for 25 minutes and work until the timer goes off, then have a short break. Going for a walk or simply stretching your legs, or a change of scenery can give you a new perspective on your work.
Start small and give yourself a realistic goal. If you have a deadline, allow yourself plenty of time to work towards it so you don’t find yourself rushed at the last minute. Maybe there’s a small piece of writing you’d like to complete for a publication or a drawing you want to enter in a competition. Perhaps you’re creating a gift for a loved one’s birthday or a special occasion. You’ll feel a lot more accomplished if you set small goals and achieve them rather than trying to achieve the impossible.
There’s no one set practice that will suit everyone. Try to vary your routine until you find what works for you.
Looking to advance your skills or start a new creative project? Try our online courses: Novel Writing, Children’s Picture Book Storyboards, Life Writing, Palette Knife Art, Upcycle It! Art or Still Life Drawing.