Everyone has creativity inside of them whether it’s writing, painting, drawing, making music… the list is endless. We all have some skill within that gives us joy.
According to Harvard Medical School, creative activities can relieve stress, aid communication, and help arrest cognitive decline.
However, we all inevitably experience periods where we lose that creative fire and those times can feel like an eternity. Contemporary artist Jim Klein shares his personal tips for beating the creative rut and sparking your own creativity this autumn.
How did you arrive at these creativity-boosting tips?
Jim: It started when I connected with Esther Gokhale, creator of the Gokhale Method for pain relief. Her program helped immensely with my back pain, and we got to speaking. I learned she also had many back problems and even surgery from a young age. The surgery helped for a while until a high risk pregnancy brought it back. Esther researched other countries that experienced low rates of back pain to develop her pain relief program – The Gokhale Method.
She saw my work and our conversations turned to creativity and creating. Esther asked me if I had any suggestions for folks who were hesitant about creating or were experiencing setbacks when they tried to create. I do!
What are your three creativity-boosting tips?
Jim: The first tip is “Do not listen to the voice that says ‘I can’t do it.’”
This is the same advice my mentor and friend Bill gave me after he was diagnosed with only 30 days to live. “Don’t listen to it, just paint.” He liked to characterize this bad voice inside us and called it “the Moose.” The discouraging things the Moose tries to convince us of are moose droppings. Don’t listen to the Moose!
There are too many folks who tell themselves they are unable to be artistic or their creative projects are not worth showing the world. These lies we tell ourselves are based on concepts we have been told by the Moose. They should be ignored.
Discover and listen to your inner teacher instead.
The second tip is “Be original.”
My friend and fellow artist Jeff shared with me the following piece of wisdom: “People look for original art. One of the worst things you can hear is how your art looks like someone else’s art.” It is very important to experiment and discover what sets you apart from the next artist.
With abstract painting, this is what I learned in my experience. Discover for yourself how to use the tools you have in front of you.
The third tip I have for you is “Pick up the pencil.”
Many years ago I had the opportunity for a brief visit with Tommy Shaw, the frontman and guitarist of Styx. I asked him what his secret was to writing music, he told me “Just pick up the pencil.” That’s it.
It doesn’t matter if you have to place pencil to paper and make a scribble, brush to canvas and sweep the paint, or hit any random key to type lines of gibberish on your keyboard; sometimes all it takes is the action itself.
Anything else you would like your readers to consider?
Jim: There is a Van Gogh, Beethoven, and Emily Dickinson inside everyone.
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