inspo

How to Jumpstart Your Creativity

“I could never be as creative as you.” “I’m just not an artist.” “I can only draw stick figures.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say things like this. It doesn’t help that society seems to be convinced that creativity is a talent you have to be born with. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.

Well, we’re here to dispel that myth. Rather than Chef Gusteau’s wise words from Ratatouille, “anyone can cook,” we declare that “anyone can create!” So if you’re feeling discouraged about your ability to be creative, or love to make things but are having a creative block, this post is for you. Here’s how to jumpstart your creativity!

Most People Can Be Creative

So here’s the thing: most people are more creative than they give themselves credit for. The trouble is, they don’t believe it. Often, that lack of belief comes from one bad experience that’s convinced them they just don’t have the talent. A friend of mine, for example, was told by her elementary school music teacher she had a lousy voice. She’s been self-conscious ever since, though may people since then have told her she has a lovely voice.

We’re not talking about singing here, but my point is that it’s easy to be critical of your abilities when someone you respect and look up to tells you you’re no good. To be honest, hearing stories like my friend’s makes my blood boil. Mentors should never do that! Most of the time, they’re wrong, anyway. I really do believe the biggest impediment to our ability to do anything is our belief that we are incapable. And the best way to help someone feel capable is believing in them and giving them the resources to learn how! So here’s my little push to all of you: you are capable! It may take time and patience, but we hope these ways to jumpstart your creativity will help get you going in the right direction.

Family Costume

How to Jumpstart Your Creativity

Look For Inspiration

One of the best ways to jumpstart your creativity is to look for inspiration. Just start with things you like! It’s a lie that everything you do has to be 100% original. It’s almost impossible to find anyone that hasn’t been influenced by others in their ideas. We are all inspired by one another, and you can use that inspiration to fuel your brain, get outside of your head, and come up with fresh new ideas. And honestly, sometimes copying what others have done is an excellent way to get you started (just avoid plagiarism and violating copyright laws). Often, it’s in the process of making something that you get sparks for new ideas, so start with something you like.

Here’s an old inspo board from years ago:

We love Pinterest as a means to gather inspiration. We also make lots of mood boards, and make sure the space we’re trying to get creative in is full of inspiration to reference. Print things out, use magazine clippings, etc. and decorate your space with things that inspire you.

Here’s another inspo board from my bathroom remodel:

inspo

Set Up A Creative Space

Speaking of places to put the inspiration you gather, set up a space for yourself where you can feel creative! Let it be a stress-free environment where you can concentrate and let the juices flow (Hint: not the dining room table during dinner prep). I’ve found that it’s so much easier to be creative when I have a designated space where I can concentrate, look for inspiration, and store all my supplies so everything is on hand when I need it.

If you’re looking for inspiration in setting up your creative space, here’s my newly-renovated office!

brittany's office

And here’s Jane and Jenny’s office space!

Jane's desk

Jenny's desk

Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself

Don’t be too hard on yourself. These tips on how to jumpstart your creativity aren’t something that will make you Matisse overnight. It takes time and patience, so keep trying even if you feel like you’ve failed (you haven’t). Don’t give up on yourself just because you didn’t like one thing you did a long time ago. Give it another go! It’s like a muscle you have to exercise.

Also, remember that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Some people are extremely precise when it comes to painting details, but others are great at identifying color schemes for their design. So don’t sell yourself short. Just because you don’t feel confident at one aspect of creating doesn’t mean you don’t have something to offer!

Just so you don’t feel quite so alone, here was our recent epic fail with marbled pumpkins:

Believe me, that wasn’t a first, and it won’t be the last time we don’t get a project right.

Talk to Others

If you like to be social, start a group or invite friends to come make things with you–it can help to talk to others if you’re not feeling very creative. That’s why we all work in the Lars studio together–we love bouncing ideas off each other and brainstorming. The more brains you have working on a creative project, the better. If you feel shy about showing what you’re working on to others, don’t feel pressured, though. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re not quite ready to show your project to the world and you receive some premature criticism. Wait until you’re ready. But when you do feel ready, it can be beneficial to receive feedback on what you’re working on. Constructive criticism can be really helpful to take you to the next level of excellence.

Here’s a photo of team Lars! It’s a few years old, but you get the idea.

team lars

Keep it Low Key and Have Fun

Most of all, one of the best ways to jumpstart your creativity is to keep it low key and just have fun! Don’t pile the expectations onto yourself. Experiment! You likely won’t get something you’re ecstatic about the first time, but then again, who has? Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect right away. You’re just learning, and learning takes time.

Some Simple Crafts to Get You Started

To give you a place to start if you’re not sure where to begin, here are some great crafts to jumpstart your creativity without being too intimidating.

Easy DIY Valentines Crafts

This is a great post to turn to for easy crafts that also happen to be seasonal, as Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Many of these crafts require little more than a little cutting and gluing. You can make a whole host of adorable valentines in a snap.

Tootsie Pop Cherry Valentines

Lars Shop Kits

Kits are a great place to start if you want a craft that’s less intimidating. Our kits give you all the supplies you need, so you can plop down in your chair and be done in a flash! We give you instructions that walk you through each step, too, so you won’t have to puzzle through it on your own.

Paper Weaving From Craft the Rainbow

In honor of Craft the Rainbow, this paper weaving project is a great project to start with if you’re just dipping your toes. Weaving paper is a cinch, but looks so delicate and lovely when you’re finished. Frame a few and you’ve got some instant inspo for your creative space!

Paper Weaving from Craft the Rainbow book

Craft The Rainbow

Speaking of Craft The Rainbow, if you’d like to read a bit more about it in the book’s two year anniversary post, here you go! We would highly recommend buying it–there are 40 colorful paper projects to get you started on your crafting journey, not to mention some anecdotes that will (hopefully) help you understand that crafting can be for you, me, and everyone.

Craft the Rainbow book on a table with a brass hand-shaped lamp against a striped wall.

You got this! We would love to hear your stories–what’s your journey with creativity been like?

 

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