I wouldn’t consider myself a highly creative person, but I do create. That being said I have met some incredibly creative people and have noticed that many of them have similar habits when it comes to their art. I have adopted some of these habits and found that I am more creative and more open to inspiration when I do.
I have noticed that highly creative people know a lot about whatever their given art form is. A significant portion of their knowledge is from experience but they also seek out information about their art form and subject matter. If they sing, they tend to know a lot about the differences between singing in French vs German. If they paint they tend to know a lot about different art periods. I have only met two people with a Ph.D. in art history but I know several artists who passionately seek out information about art styles or paint pigment. Highly creative people will make a habit to keep learning about the things they love.
One of the best habits any creative person can have is the habit of experimenting and exploring. I worked in a daycare for a while, and I used to love to see kids and parents make art projects together. I have noticed from watching kids learn to color vs watching parents color with their kids that something changes when we grow up. We often are focused on the “way we are supposed to do it”, and are too afraid of failure or judgment to try something a new way or learn a new art form. I have heard many teens, young adults and adults shoot down their own interests in a new skill because they convince themselves they would be no good at it so there must be no point in trying. We would never expect a three-year-old to pick up a crayon and produce something that belongs in an art gallery, why do we not extend such patients and grace to ourselves as adults? If we are able to overcome the things that hold us back from experimenting we can unlock a world of creative gold. Even an experiment that ends in disastrous failure (yup, I have definitely been there) can reveal something valuable in the process. So try it, try it again , try it backwards and just see what happens.
Creative souls tend to have an openness to new experiences and are drawn towards things that expand or challenge their view of the world. They tend to want to do, see or try something new. They make a habit of breaking up the monotony of their routine with something they have never done before.
I have lost many beautiful and wonderful sparks of inspiration because I didn’t have a way to jot it down or capture the idea. I am so blessed to have a phone on me most of the time so I can open a new note and furiously tap out a fragment sentence, a line of dialog or a paragraph. I have seen a painter sketch something on a napkin and pocket it or a singer pull out their phone and record a melody they hum. Whatever works for you just keep it on you.
Most of the creative people I know daydream. I don’t think it’s rude, or because they are bored with whatever is going on. It seems the pull of some creative idea or inspired world is simply too strong. Many creative people have a habit of letting their mind wander and some meditate.
Creative people ask weird questions, the kind that makes you squint a little and wonder if you heard them correctly. They often chase after the answer and look for more than one possible explanation. They seem to constantly wonder about the world around them.
I have seen photographers marvel at the way the light reflects off the most mundane things in life and I have watched an actor study the way an old man hobbles down the street. Highly creative people observe the world around them with an intense focus.
While not all creative people are introverts, most do seek out alone time to reflect and to work on their art. They have coffee on the porch and watch the sunrise or more commonly furiously scratch out ideas in a notebook in the corner. In these moments they are content by themselves and will find opportunities to do something on their own. It’s not that they don’t enjoy spending time with others, they do, but rather they also need a moment to enjoy spending time with their thoughts.
Some highly creative people will have set times that they create or work on a project, others work best against a deadline and a few can only create at 2am when they get a spark of inspiration or idea. Not many creative people can work on their art 8 hours a day, 5 days a week without burning out. They have a habit of working at their own pace.
Nearly every creative person I know has the habit of getting totally absorbed in something. They lose themselves in a good book, a beautiful and provocative painting, or in a tear jerking movie. They get lost in daydreams or in their own thoughts. They get lost in memories or new experiences. They let go of background noise, of worries and fears and wander off. If you don’t need to call them back, let them be. If you need to call them back do so gently.
Hunting Holly is a registered copyright. All rights reserved. No reproduction, storage in a retreival system, distribution or transmission in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, unless permission is obtained in writing from the author. Hunting Holly is published and designed in association with Armchair Publishing. Cover design by Tony D Locke. Any likeness to persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.