Want to make creativity a daily ritual and see your self-realization soar?
Regular artistic explorations can help build a habit of joyful creative expression, and each activity can help grow your ability to feel inspired and produce abundant work.
According to “Making Art is Good for Your Health” on npr.org, “‘The act of creation can reduce stress and anxiety and improve your mood,’ says Girija Kaimal, a professor at Drexel University and a leading researcher in art therapy. ‘And flexing our creative side can give us a stronger sense of agency — the ability to solve problems by imagining possible solutions.'”
The bite-sized artistic practices to follow were originally presented as my “Ignite the Spark of Your Creativity” Challenge on Instagram in celebration of International Coaching Week.
Maybe you are doubting your creative abilities? Then you might also find the “Creativity for Uncreative People” episode on the Minimalists Podcast to be a helpful pep talk, and I recommend you also check out further resources below.
Use the six prompts that below to ignite your creative spark and be amazed by the cumulative and far-reaching impacts such regular practices can have in your life.
Ignite the Spark of Creativity Video
#1 Free Write
Freewriting is the first creative prompt, and is valuable regardless of your preferred artistic medium.
One way to free write is called Morning Pages and comes from Julia Cameron’s _The Artist’s Way_ book and program. Cameron writes:
“Every morning, set your clock one-half hour early; get up and write three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness morning writing. do not reread these pages or allow anyone else to read them. Ideally, stick these pages in a large manila envelope, or hide them somewhere. Welcome to the morning pages. They will change you.” (_The Artist’s Way_ p.96)
You could also respond to specific prompts, such as recording observations from your five senses, or trying out these Writing Exercises for Poets from Reedsy. The main thing is to get words flowing onto paper, and save any editing for another time.
The second prompt is to move through an Egg Improvisation–or several–as described in _The Creative Habit_ by Twyla Tharp:
“The exercise I call Egg is a great way to start a creative session. It couldn’t be simpler: I sit on the floor, bring my knees to my chest, curl my head down to my knees, and try to make myself as small as I can. In this minimalized shrunken state, I have nowhere else to go; I cannot become smaller, I can only expand and grow. And so it becomes a ritual of discovery for me. If I lift my head and straighten my back I become Tall Egg. If I stretch out my legs and point my toes, forming an L-shape, I become Jackknife Egg. I stick with it as long as it remains interesting, sometimes going through as many as a hundred positions. I’ve been doing this daily for years and I usually find something new in the process.” (_The Creative Habit_ p.112)
Tharp herself emphasizes, as with each of the prompts I suggest in this article, that this improvisation does not require specialized skills or ability and can be fruitful for all sorts of creative folks:
“I like the Egg routine because it is so basic. You don’t need to know anything or be in particularly good shape to do it (although some stretching is a definite help). The only requirement is a commitment to the process. The starting Egg position is your home base and you are setting out to see see how far you can travel from home.” (_The Creative Habit_ p.113)
Next is to get crafty, assembling scrap papers, ephemera (gift wrap, cards, tickets, maps, stamps, stickers…), a glue stick or other adhesive and arrange a mixed media collage.
Collage using found images, textures, and text, which could take the shape of a mood or vision board, a multi-media mosaic, decorations in a journal, or whatever you want. Cut out your favorite bits using scissors or tear with your hands, try out different configurations, consider color and texture, allow the product to be perfectly imperfect.
It could be a joyful noise or reflect any kind of mood your feeling, prompt four is to sing, play body percussion or an instrument. Devise a rhythm, write a song, make a beat or a playlist.
My RISE Up in Love Playlist has some favorite feel-good tracks and I find pieces of music and playlists can amplify inspiration to dance and create with other media.
#5 Get Sketchy
The fifth prompt has us getting sketchy and drawing on paper with pencil or ink, in the form of a landscape, still life, cartoon, caricature, dance shapes and movements, abstract, or doodle.
Regardless of the artistic merits of your creation, there is evidence that Drawing helps you think, and it engages us visually and kinesthetically. So dash out a little sketch and get familiar with exercising your brain in this way.
A further way to ignite your creativity is seek out human sources of creative inspiration and community. You could seek out collaborators in your local community or online, such as on social media or the HITRECORD App, which is loaded with stimulating prompts and ideas for a range of media and genres.
Once ignited, keep the fire of your inspiration burning with daily practice.
Fuel the fire by showing up for your creative rituals regularly, reflecting with the questions below, digging into the resources for further exploration, joining me on my email newsletter, in upcoming workshops and live classes in-studio and online!
Questions for Reflection
- What lights you up?
- Which media did your inner Artist Child particularly enjoy?
- Which practices will you continue to fuel the fire if your creativity?
- With whom will you creatively collaborate?
- How can I support you in making your artistic mark?
Resources for Further Exploration
- Podcast 004: Finding a Creative State of Being has to do with purpose-based creations, here we’ll explore free creative practices to establish the habit and help you find your media
- My Creative Morning Ritual Article
- Wake Up! Yoga for Energy & Enthusiasm Article
- 5 Ways to Get Down Daily – how to build a habit of creative dance Article
- Creative Ballet Port de Bras – Arm Artistry Exploring Nature Article and Arm Artistry YouTube Playlist
- How I coach dancers & creatives through difficulty into delight Article
- Joyful Movement & Creative Living with Life Coach Jolynne Anderson Article and Podcast
Blythe Stephens, MFA & Bliss Catalyst
she/her or they/them
A Blythe Coach: ablythecoach.com @ablythecoach
helping multi-passionate creatives
dance through their difficulties