How to become a more creative person

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Don’t let people tell you that you need to be born with creative flair; that you either have it or you don’t. It might be true that some people naturally think more creatively or are born with an eye for art, but that’s only half the story. If you develop the right attitude and form the right habits, it’s certainly possible to become more creative over time.

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Be disciplined in your practice
Getting better at anything usually requires hard work and dedication. If you’re starting from scratch, it can be daunting to even pick up the paintbrush or boot up your Mac. But if you don’t put the effort into honing your craft, your technical skills won’t develop, and neither will your experience of generating ideas.

Eat and sleep well
It takes physical and mental energy to be creative, and one of the best ways to build up your energy levels is by eating a good, healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep. If you snack on junk food you won’t cope as well, and might find your attention levels waning. If you eat healthily, you’ll notice that you feel more invigorated and better prepared to think creatively. A good night of sleep will help you mentally recharge and be better equipped to think outside the box and flex your mental muscles.

Immerse yourself in your chosen creative discipline
You can learn a lot about creativity by knowing what else has been done. You should be familiar with the work of those working in the same industry, partly so that you’re aware of your influences, but also so that you’re constantly absorbing knowledge and understanding the creative work around you.

It’s important to break up your routine and get away from the creative space regularly. You’ll probably find that you have creative ideas in irregular bursts, and sitting at the same desk for hours at a time can leave you mentally stuck in a rut. To get your ideas flowing again, get active. You might find that jogging or cycling provide the time and space to think in new ways and come up with ideas and concepts that wouldn’t happen when stuck at your desk.

Tidy workspace
There’s an old stereotype that artists and dreamers live in cluttered and chaotic environments. Often, the opposite is more conducive to creativity: if your workspace is clear and tidy, you won’t be distracted. The physical space might help your mental space, allowing you to think more clearly.

Vary your inspiration
If you want to be a more creative person, look for inspiration in all aspects of your day-to-day life. If you want to be a photographer, for example, you shouldn’t only study the work of other photographers, but also read novels, look at paintings, or go hiking. If you want to be a better writer, you should do more than just reading lots of books: try painting or learn about photography. Many successful creative find their inspiration in other artistic disciplines, and you might find that studying other art forms will help inform your own practice in new ways that you’d never considered before.

Surround yourself with the right kinds of people
If you spend much of your waking life with the same few people, your creative influences won’t be very varied. Perhaps you mind find that meeting new people – whether they’re creative themselves or not – could help you to think in new ways and consider your creative projects from new angles. There’s no need to ditch your old friends, of course! But learning from a wide range of people might be just what you need to think differently and flex your creative muscles.