Monthly Archives: July 2011

Just Draw

I recently responded to a conversation thread about creativity, specifically the top three skills needed to be creative. What I think, and what I’ve learned, is that we don’t need skills to be creative, we just need to create.

Here’s what I wrote:
Creativity blossoms in an environment that is judgment-free — and that includes head space. We need to give ourselves permission to be creative without fearing that we’ll be judged on our ideas, approaches, actions, or things we create through decorating, art, music, etc. With a level playing field where judgment of ourselves and others doesn’t impose (or self-impose) limits, it frees us up to entertain possibilities and opportunities we may otherwise dismiss.

Years ago, I was spending time with one of my nephews (then about 4 years old). We had paper, markers and crayons spread out on the table so that we could draw. He was on his third picture when he looked up and asked me why I hadn’t drawn anything yet. I told him I didn’t know what to draw (when really my inner voice was being critical of my talents and was holding me back because I was worried that my drawing wouldn’t be “good”). He replied, with the infinite wisdom that children have, “It doesn’t matter what you draw — just draw.”

It’s that simple.

BTW, the image above is a painting I created. Until today, no one else has seen it except another of my nephews who was with me when I painted it during what we called “art therapy”. The rules were that we just painted — anything — and we weren’t allowed to comment on each other’s work. At all. It was liberating.

And now it’s posted on the Internet.

It really is that simple.

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Flexing the Creativity Muscle

This list (from was shared in a group conversation thread on LinkedIn. It did its job — it got me thinking…

There are so many ways to stay or become more creative, all starting with doing something a little differently. Or doing something, period. If we always do what we’ve done, we’ll keep getting what we’ve got.

I would add a few things to this list:

30. colour an image in a colouring book
31. use different coloured markers when writing lists or notes
32. pretend you’re a consultant looking at your situation: what would you advise?
33. choose a menu item out of your comfort zone next time you’re out
34. talk to someone you admire to get their perspective
35. check out a free event or attraction in your community
36. take a different route to work/grocery store/friend’s place
37. sit in a prime people-watching spot in a coffee shop and observe
38. make a meal from whatever is currently in your fridge and pantry — no recipe!
39. take a walk in your neighbourhood and notice everything

What else can we add?

What’s sparked your creativity?

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