Do you have a creative outlet in your life? You may be lucky and work in a creative field so get to exercise your creative muscle (that’s your brain) all the time. For many in jobs that don’t ask for much creativity discovering how you can express your innate creativity may be something that is a little harder to achieve (and everyone is creative in some way or other).
When I was young, I assumed that creativity was all about your ability to:
- create music
and as someone who was an average dancer (did ballet til I was 16), and what I always called ‘mediocre-good’ at music (I played the violin and viola to fairly high levels), but I never had that drive or talent (though talent is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration and I think I lacked the inspiration so only spent 80% of my efforts on the perspiration) to turn these traditional creative pursuits into a career.
Interestingly though I did sew, though for some reason I didn’t see this as creative (I think schools had a lot to answer for here in prescribing what was or wasn’t creative). And I also ended up doing some millinery courses (hat making) which I loved (you can see some of my more recent racing creations here).
What I didn’t understand until more recently, is that creativity can be expressed in so many ways. I believe that having ideas is creative (and I wrote about that here).
I also believe that getting dressed can be used as a creative expression every day. Even if it’s just a pair of jeans and a knit top, it’s how you put it together and if you take the time to think about colours, patterns and accessorizing.
The other day when I was taking photos for a blog post which required me to get changed multiple times, I took this as an opportunity to push myself out of my every day standards and think more broadly about how I use my own wardrobe and had some fun when I chose to wear a skirt as a dress.
My friend Chris who writes the blog The Life Creative recently wrote a moving post about why he feels that everyone should have a creative outlet or pursuit in their lives and I am so with him on this!
These days I consider my job to be quite creative, from what I choose to wear and how I style myself, to coming up with new blog post ideas and outfits. I love that I have the control and ability in my life to be able to pursue a new idea or thought, to write a book, to write a new program, to make a video or do whatever I choose to express that idea (and hopefully you are interested in that idea and so choose to purchase my products which gives me the time and ability to produce more free work for you to enjoy).
Even though I see my work as creative, I also enjoy creating in other ways, outside of work (as in the end what I do is my work and we all need an outlet outside of our work). When I’m getting stressed the best thing I can do for myself is often do something creative which has nothing to do with what I normally do. In the past year or so I’ve done some fused glass workshops with the lovely glass artist Jenie Yolland which in my experience is like a creative meditation and I highly recommend them.
I have also done some knitting which has always been something I enjoyed. Enough about me, back to you.
The reason I wrote my Evolve Your Style challenge was to help others become more creative and try something new. There is much brain research that say we can rewire our brains and change how we think. We are not stuck with the brain we are born with, and so we are not stuck with the style we may have become used to. The challenges are specifically designed to push you, sometimes right out of your comfort zone, but do you know what? There is a good reason for this, and when you do those challenges, the ones that you think to yourself “I’m not doing that one” or “I’m never wearing that”, that is actually the point where you have to force yourself to do it, to do the challenge (if it was all easy and what you do every day it wouldn’t be called a challenge). How many of us push our kids a bit, to get them out of their comfort zone so that they can achieve their potential and realise that they can do and achieve new things? Well it’s the same for us and if you want to feel more creative, to be more creative you have to become it (as Amy Cuddy says, you have to do it til you become it and I highly recommend watching her TED talk if you haven’t already). You will only become more creative when you push yourself!
I hope that you are inspired to find a creative outlet (and you can see and read for yourself just how creative getting dressed can be if you read all the Stylish Thoughts guest blog posts and be inspired). What do you do to engage your creative brain?
Books were my refuge and writing my outlet. It was a sort of a diary I kept for a long time, but wasn’t happy with my attempts in fiction. However, when I began to write for a living, I abandoned my notebook… I think of myself now mostly of a ‘writer on demand’ I really enjoy doing EYS challenges, it seems I found my outlet, thank you!
Jelena – I’m really glad that you are finding EYS a great creative outlet!
I completely agree with how what we choose to wear is actually exercising our creativity! It is the main source of creativity in my life at the moment and I sometimes wish I had to change two or three times a day – it gives me so much pleasure to assemble an outfit!
I have far too many shoes/boots, but if I were to ever find ankle boots like yours with the frilly ends – would buy without question!
I’m really looking forward to articles from this introvert/psychology serie ☺
Thanks Jelena, they are quite fun to write!
Your creativity shines in your posts, Imogen. The illustrations you choose, as well as those you model, are instructive. I agree that everyone needs creative outlets. Many students have told me that when they are “in the zone” while painting, drawing, writing, etc. time stands still. That is wonderful for their/our brains. I have learned that if we honor our creative outlets, more ideas flow though us. Since joining EYS, I have received many compliments re “composing my outfits.” I had not noticed this creative outlet before!
EYS has been a great outlet for creativity, and with company it’s even better! And it can be done with just a bit of time day in and day out.
I also do crafts and some writing, but often it’s hard to have time for these things and/or the projects are too big to do them well in small bits of time left over by a full-time job.
Recently someone pointed out to me that some aspects of my job are creative, too, though it’s a technical field, and that has been helpful as well.
The sensation of flow is amazing.