While being creative, it is so easy to let outside factors halt the process. The thoughts, opinions, and facts of our world can have a real effect on the mind. As a creator, I had to learn how to push these aside for the sake of my work.
I found if I let myself create for the sake of "making work," it defeats the purpose of what I'm doing. Creativity is raw and emotional. It opens the doors to discovery and widens mindsets. Creativity is powerful. The world needs creators. The world needs you.
I find myself, like many others, often in a creative block. I have so much swirling around in my head. I get information overload, become distracted, and then am exhausted by the idea of sitting down and creating something. So I created my essential five steps to help my own creative process.
Do not let the fear of failure stop you from creating.
When I started creating graphics and UX designs at the beginning of college, I was always erasing work before I was even near finishing. I let thoughts like "you're not good enough" or "you don't have enough training to make this work" get in my way. However, you cannot let your work be defined by what others deem as good or worthy. The key, for me, is to change the narrative in my mind. "I am being original." "I am being myself." Don't let those negative thoughts become what your creative works are defined by. The beauty of creativity is that it exists for boundaries to be broken. Where would the world be if creativity in our work was based on what others thought?
Distractions? Get rid of them!
What distracts you? Get rid of it while you're creating. If you're prone to looking at your phone, put it away. For me, social media becomes my creative block. I get information overload, letting the thoughts and visuals of Instagram and Pinterest stop me. When being creative, don't let the distractions from social media become the wall between you and your next creation.
Take care of yourself.
When you take care of yourself, it helps you and your creativity. Do it for the creative in you. The commonly heard lifestyle tips you hear apply. You need to get enough sleep, exercise, and eat right. Creativity has become how I take a step back from our world for a few minutes every day. It is a space where I sit in silence and create. No music, no TV, and definitely no social media. To take care of yourself as a creative, you must learn to prioritize this time.
Make time to create because the time is now.
If you feel like you don't have the time, make the time. I understand it is really easy to say "I can make the time." However, it can be done. In college, it can be difficult to create space in an already busy schedule for creative time. For my first two years of school, I found myself making excuses like, "I am a full-time student in three clubs, I don't have time for this" and "I am so tired. I am watching TV and going to sleep." Looking back, I feel like I lost valuable creative time and space. So now, I set aside a designated time every day to create. If that means not watching TV or checking my Snapchat, then so be it. Every day, your creative self deserves the time to make and create.
Start creating and get going!
Sometimes the jolt we need is not coffee, but rather a jolt of inspiration to start the creative process itself. Start getting your ideas out of your head and into some creative form. Creativity can hit you at random times. Last week, I found myself writing the title for this article into my phone while sitting in my brother's car in the Starbucks drive-thru. It was a random spot and a random time. Let that jolt of inspiration be how you create your next masterpiece. Let your next idea become your next masterpiece. If you feel stuck or like you just can't get started, limit yourself in some way. Whether that be your medium or subject matter, narrowing your frame may help free your mind.
So let's get started. Let's get creative.