1. Create a wall of inspiration. Every time you see a picture, photograph or saying that inspires you, or speaks to you, cut it out and attach it to a cork board, magnetic board or even a piece of cardboard or wood. You can paint it, cover it in fabric, or leave it as it is. Keep it close to your work space and refer to it as often as necessary. Add your own reminders or ideas. Anything that gets the blood flowing and the synapses firing. Keep adding to your collection as you find new things.
2. Read everything you can about a creative person you admire. Read their biographies, and learn about all the hurdles and obstacles they had to face to get to where they are. See their vision and mimic their determination.
3. Take a different route to work. Very simple, but good proof that we don’t really see what’s around us when we look at it every day. Very much like the artwork on our walls , or even the people in our lives. Drive down a different street and notice your surroundings; the architecture, the foliage, and the people.
4. Look at the city or neighborhood you live in through the lens of a camera. Photograph everything from every angle. Take your best shot and frame it.
5. Memorize a line or passage from a poem you like and recite it on your way to work. Instead of thinking about everything that happened yesterday, or all the things that might happen today, reciting poetry relaxes the mind and enables you to face the day with a little more creative edge.
6. Watch a foreign film. Stepping outside our culture or our routines gives a new perspective to how we view ourselves and our work.
7. Go to a jazz club, art show or museum, or poetry slam. Surrounding yourself with other creative people and creative energy is always a good idea. Taking a class is another great way to add new ideas to your arsenal.
8. Recover or repaint a garage sale table or chair. Sometimes it’s easier to build on something that’s already there than starting something new. When you’re staring at a blank page or canvas, and don’t know where to start, take the pressure off and work on something that’s already begun, whether it’s your own work or someone else’s. Keeping projects in various stages also helps to keep the energy and productivity flowing.
9. Push yourself and your limitations. Give yourself a time limit, whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour or two. Very often the more time we have, the less we get done. Dedicating an entire day to being creative can be overwhelming, so break it up. For the next hour, do something you enjoy, even if it’s just looking at your art supplies, or rereading something you wrote. Immerse yourself in your art for a set time. If it lasts longer, that’s just icing on the cake.
10. Leave reminders for yourself where you do chores to exercise those creative muscles, and come up with new ideas. Inside the medicine cabinet, over the kitchen sink or washing machine, even inside the garbage can lid. Get used to thinking about the things you enjoy doing, and how to continue doing those things as often as possible.