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Flip Your Problems Into Creative Inspiration.

Flip Your Problems Into Creative Inspiration

 

Flip Your Problems Into Creative Inspiration.Inspiration can come from even the most unlikely sources…like from your problems.

Wait, what?

Yep, it’s true. My problem?

Easy. I have always had creative envy.

I think I have always been jealous of anyone with artistic talent – designers, artists, photographers, musicians – the list goes on. When I was in grade school, I even remember seeing another girl’s handwriting and wishing mine was as pretty as hers. I loved the way she wrote her lowercase a’s and I started to copy her. So creative envy is not a new problem for me.

Fast forward to me in my early 30’s and not much has changed. A few years ago, I started reading a lot of blogs, mainly DIY and craft type blogs. Many of them were not only inspiring and helpful, but I also loved reading the posts because the writers were fantastic storytellers. I couldn’t get enough ideas and creative inspiration, but after awhile I made myself stop reading almost all of them.

Crazy, I know.

Why would I stop if I found them inspiring?

Because in addition to finding them inspiring, I was also jealous of them. I would read a post and think I could have done this.

Great – that’s awesome. I could have, but I didn’t. So I would get mad/annoyed. Then I would make all kinds of plans to start a blog. Perhaps even create one or two or three. But, then I didn’t do anything with it/them. I never took it any further.

My problem: I had some serious creative envy (not really a problem), and I didn’t do anything about it (the problem). After much research and reflection, I was able to pinpoint that I was not challenging myself creatively. This is not to say that all creativity and creative activities were gone from my life, but I needed more than what was currently there. For example, as a 7th grade history teacher, my job challenges me creatively each and everyday.  However, that creativity does not serve me, it is for and about my students. I wanted to focus more on me.

I took some time to reflect and had a few realizations:

  1. I did want to start a blog/website.
  1. I did not want to start a craft/DIY blog. This one surprised me! I like – no LOVE – craft and DIY blogs, but I actually did not want one myself. The reason I was having so much trouble getting started with one was because I wasn’t as excited about it as I should be.
  1. The only way to get over my creative envy? Do something about it.  It took me awhile to launch Greens & Blues Co. It was an idea formulating in my head (and in the countless emails I sent myself) for about two years before I launched my website in July 2015. In that time, it underwent many changes but all the while creativity + teaching were at the heart of it. A few of my previous ideas were: 
  • teaching adults technology in in person classes.
  • opening a physical location that provided creative, maker type opportunities for adults and children
  • launching a DIY/craft type blog
  • I can’t remember the rest….

My solution: I will probably always have some kind of creative envy – that just means I am inspired by others – but seeing others do awesome and inspiring work will no longer make me feel bad about myself, because I have pushed myself to try something new.

So my solution was to “do something about it.” I registered the domain www.greensandblues.co, set it up and started my website/blog. I got to work developing content, building relationships, and creating courses.

Whether or not Greens & Blues Co. is successful is not the point (obviously I would much rather have it be successful though). Since I have been working on this, I have learned so many new things (how to set-up a website), have fed my curiosities (the amount of books I have read on creativity is kind of gross), have pushed myself to take risks (put myself out there in a way that feels more like me than anything else I have done – scary stuff), and have been taking time to congratulate myself, even for minor accomplishments (figuring out html and css to make something look “just right”).

Where will this take me? I honestly have no idea. But, I’m more fulfilled and definitely happier for having realized this and then done something about it.

Your Turn

Pinpoint your problem. What’s holding you back creatively?

Is it confidence?

Fear?

Not sure you are creative?

You don’t know where to start?

Figure out what your problem is. That’s the first step.

Then, flip your problem. You can read more here about the process of flipping your problem into an opportunity.  

Find Your People - How + Why to Find a Community of Like-Minded People.

Find Your People

Find Your People - How + Why to Find a Community of Like-Minded People.Thanks to those of you who responded to my survey a few weeks ago. Overwhelmingly many of you made it clear that you would like to find a community of like-minded people who share your creative interests.  So, here ya go!

You have acknowledged that you are creative.

You have identified your personal brand of creativity.

You have started (and continued) to practice.

So far so good. It’s more likely that you will continue your creative practice if you are not alone. Finding a group of people that share your interests will help you.

It’s great to follow people on Pinterest, Instagram, or other social media who post about your creative interests, but how does that really help you? How does that help you expand your skill-set? It’s great for inspiration but it doesn’t help drive your creativity forward.

Finding + joining a community of like-minded people doesn’t necessarily mean you are teaming up with someone, or even collaborating with them (it could though). Instead the purpose is to have some kind of a community (in-person or online) to meet like minded people, to be inspired by others, to learn from others, to get tips + ideas for resources, to continue your learning, and much more.

Before you learn HOW to find a community, let’s figure out what type of community you want to join.  Online or in-person?

Online Communities

There are way too many to list, but a good place to start is Facebook Groups. There are Facebook Groups for anything you could possible imagine.

In-person Communities

Depending on your current location, you will have different options for meeting like-minded people in person. If you live in a big city, likely you will have more opportunities. If you live in a rural area, you may need to either travel far to meet with people or find people to meet online.

Why would someone join a community?

Join a community because you are a social person.

Join because you want to learn from others.

Join because you want access to resources and ideas.

Join because “hanging” with like-minded people is fun.

Join a community even if you aren’t a social person. Just because you join some community doesn’t mean you have to go all in and be everyone’s new best friend. You can still reap many of the benefits. Or maybe you have a hard time meeting people and making news friends (it is difficult as an adult), joining a community is a great way to do that as you know you will already have something in common and therefore something to talk about.

What is the goal of joining a community?

There are obviously endless possibilities but a few realistic goals might include:

  • Being exposed to inspiration + resources
  • Continuing to learn your craft
  • Meeting people with your same interests
  • Finding someone to collaborate with
  • Forming a creative habit aided by the inspiration + encouragement of people you are interacting with

How to go about finding communities?

Depending on your creative interests, finding a group might be an easy task that takes a minute, or it could require a little more research for those of you who have more unique creative interests. For a popular, well-known example such as sewing, this is very easy. I started to google “sewing groups” and before I even hit enter, Google auto-filled for me several possibilities such as:

  • Sewing groups near me
  • Sewing groups on facebook
  • Sewing groups online
  • Sewing club

This example as it turns out was very easy aided by our friend Google. Let’s see if some other less popular ideas are as easy to navigate as well. Moving on to woodwork.

I was wrong again, just as easy.

It seems as though if you are looking for a community online, Facebook groups are the easiest to find. If you are a non-Facebook user you can always just google _______________ groups online and see where that takes you.

If you are looking for places to join a community online, trying googling ________________ groups near me. Or using the website Meetup.com. I found an upcoming hand-lettering event 2 miles from my house in a few weeks. How random and awesome!

In addition, if you enroll in a course (online or in person) often there are communities built right into the course.

Once you are a part of a community, what responsibility do you have to that community? Is it enough to just show up and read what other people write + share?

Your responsibilities:

If you you are going to take (take ideas, take inspiration, learn from others, take feedback, etc,), you need to be willing to provide for other people as well. Share resources, share inspiration, share ideas, provide feedback for others.

If you are unsure about how to get started being a part of the community, start with something simple like asking a question. You are asking a question which is going to be helpful for you, but it can also be helpful for other people. It is also not quite as scary as sharing something you created and soliciting feedback for it yet.

Your Turn: 

Take 5 minutes and find yourself a community of like-minded people!

Leave me a comment and tell me what kind of community you are looking for and if you were able to find one based on the instructions in this post.

 

What's Your Creative Problem?

What’s Your (Creative) Problem?

What's Your Creative Problem?

I hope you don’t have a creative problem.

But, the topic of creativity can be frustrating for many people simply because they have never felt that they are creative, or that their creativity was good enough. They like the idea of creativity and living a creative life, but have not yet been able to make it happen.

Does one of the following sound like you?

Maybe you don’t think of yourself as creative. You have never been good at typical creative activities such as drawing, painting, or design. You know you don’t have the skills that other people do in those areas.

You often start a sentence like, well, I’m not creative. Or, I can’t draw. Or, if I was creative I would, but…

Or, on the other end of the spectrum, you practice your creative spark weekly or even daily, however you have always wondered if you could take your creative spark and turn it into something more…maybe even a business or career?

Both of these problems are very common. Let’s address “lack of creativity” first.

First of all, you don’t lack creativity.

Your creativity just might be way out of practice. Creativity is a skill and like all skills it requires time and commitment. I have always wished I could draw. But that’s all. I wished I could. I didn’t actually do anything about it. Despite my whining and wishing to the contrary, I never did anything to change it and as a result, I never got any better at drawing.

Mind-blowing stuff here. However, it seems as though many people believe that creativity is either something they have or they don’t. End of story, nothing can change it. Of course this is not true.

Creativity is not expensive, it is not a limited resource, not something for only a few special people. Creativity is for all. But, nobody can make you be more creative. You can’t hope and wish for a specific creative skill, you have to put in the hard work and actually do it.

So what steps can you take today to change this? How can you make creativity a part of your daily routine? I say this all the time, but creativity doesn’t equal art. Creativity takes many different forms. Start by making a list of all the ways you use your creativity in a normal day.

Now let’s address thoughts of wanting to turn your creative spark into a business. You (as compared to the first group) have a good grip on your creativity. You know you are creative and you practice your creativity on a daily basis.

Nobody can tell you whether what you create or make is “good enough” for a business. That is up to you to decide. Just like the first group, you also have to make the decision about how much you want it.

The idea of working for yourself and spending all day creating something is great in theory, but the reality is much more difficult. Do you love your creative spark enough to do it all the time? Are you passionate enough about it to put in all the other work that comes with running a business so that you can dedicate yourself to your creative spark?

What are the first steps you can take towards solving this problem? Set a timer for 3 minutes and free-write about why you should start a business based on your creative spark. Then, set a timer for 3 minutes and free-write about why you shouldn’t start a business based on your creative spark. When you are done, read through them and decide which one sounds more enticing.

Of course, these are not the only two creative problems that exist. Do you have a different one? Leave a comment and tell me what it is.


In case you missed it, you can still sign up for my free 5 day email series, Find Your CREATIVE SPARK Adventure by clicking here or the graphic below. You’ll get an email in your inbox everyday for 5 days, guiding you step by step to finding your creative spark. Join me today!

Free Email Series: Find Your CREATIVE SPARK Adventure. Check your inbox each day for five days to find emails guiding you step by step through the process of finding your creative spark. Click to join the Adventure!

What Does Creativity Even Mean?

Click to enroll in a FREE 5 DAY EMAIL SERIES - Find Your Creative Spark Adventure. Go on an adventure as you receive step-by-step guidance to finding your creative spark! Click to sign up now.

Each week I write about some different aspect of creativity or creative living. This week I want to take a step and just think about that word “creativity”.

Creativity has a lot of different definitions, but the one that I like best sums it up by stating that creativity is simply turning ideas into reality. I love this because it is so open ended, it can apply to just about anything and everyone. Creativity isn’t just for artists and musicians; you can use your creativity to turn your ideas into reality.

What makes you creative?

We are all creative. Even if you believe that creativity does not play a role in your life. You are wrong. Sorry, but it’s true.

Creativity looks different in all of us. It is individual to us, our personalities, and our passions. In addition, your creativity may emerge in many different forms. Just because you are creative in one way, doesn’t mean there can’t be other ways your are creative as well

YOUR CREATIVITY IS NOT LIMITED!

Your creativity may show itself in a craft, like knitting or sewing, in one of the fine arts, such as or painting or sculpting, or it can be completely different. You may use creativity to solve problems at even the most mundane of jobs. Maybe your creativity peeks through in your ability find the time to make dinner despite taking care of your kids all day.

REMEMBER – THERE IS NO ONE SPECIFIC WAY TO BE CREATIVE!

One way that my creativity often takes shape is in the form of various crafts or DIY projects around the house. Even if I think of them and my husband executes them, that is still my creativity at work (at least partially).

2 Minute Challenge Time – make a list of 3 ways you are creative in your every day life. These do not have to be massive projects or undertakings, rather 3 things you do daily that are made better by your creative thinking.

A final thought on creativity.  I believe it goes hand in hand with adventure. Not necessarily risking your life type of adventures, but the idea that you can try something new; put yourself out there. Maybe take a chance on something when you might fail. Not all risk-taking has to be dangerous, but trying something new can still be a little scary.

Thinking of creativity in terms of an adventure led me to create the FIND YOUR CREATIVE SPARK ADVENTURE 5 Day Free Email Series. Over the course of the next five days you will receive an email each day providing you with step-by-step guidance on how to find your creative spark. Sign up here or click the graphic below to join in on the Adventure!

Click to enroll in a FREE 5 DAY EMAIL SERIES - Find Your Creative Spark Adventure. Go on an adventure as you receive step-by-step guidance to finding your creative spark! Click to sign up now.

 

ROADMAP: DESIGN YOUR CREATIVE PATH

ROADMAP: design your creative path. Click to download your worksheets containing exercises to guide in designing a way to live your most creative life.

This week I have a similar, or rather complementary activity to last week’s. Last week, I shared worksheets to guide you in finding your creative spark. If you have not yet done so, I hope you will set aside some time to work on these (click here to read about Finding Your Creative Spark). When you are finished, you will find that what I have for you this week is an excellent follow-up.

By finding your creative spark, you answered “the what.” What inspires you, what drives you, what you are passionate about, etc. This week’s worksheets, ROADMAP: design your creative path will show you “the how.” Now that you know what your creative spark is, the ROADMAP will show you how to make it a part of your life. In order to live your ideal life, your most creative life, you need to make a plan for it.

ROADMAP: design your creative path is a step-by-step guide that will walk you through a series of activities and exercises challenging you to create room for your creative spark in your life. It will show you how to create a path of creativity that will allow you to live the life you want.

ROADMAP: design your creative path. Click here to download your worksheets now!

Get started now. Download your worksheets. Have a friend you think might benefit from these? Please pass it along!

The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Creative Spark

Click to download your free worksheets: ROADMAP: find your creative spark

First, thank you to those of you who responded to me last week. I loved hearing your ideas. If you still want to share, I would love to hear even more!

If you missed it, last week’s post was all about “THE IDEA!” The one that you keep coming back to; the one that, despite your lack of action on it, stays with you.

But, what if you fall into the category or someone who doesn’t have some big idea that they have been thinking about for years and years? What if, instead, you know you want something different, but are not quite sure what it is yet? Maybe you can’t quite pinpoint it, but you know you want to try something new, to learn something new, or to just do something new.

You need to find your creative spark.

Your creative spark can be anything. Well, anything that you are passionate about, that drives you, that you want to learn more about, that you actually want to spend time on.

Your creative spark can be:

  • Something you want to start – a business, a podcast, an event
  • Something you want to try – singing lessons, painting lessons
  • Somewhere you want to go explore – a new adventure
  • Something you want to learn – how to speak another language, how to knit, how to build a table

Does one of these sound like you? Awesome.  Download these worksheets and find your creative spark today. The worksheets will guide you through a set of activities so that you can find your creative spark and be on your way to living a more creative life.

ROADMAP creative spark optin

 

Don’t Wait! Start Your Creative Journey Here.

Click to download your Creativity Timeline Guide now from Greens & Blues Co.

I have been busy designing my upcoming course – Design Your Creative Path. Even though it does not launch until this summer, I wanted to share with you something I have been working on for the course.

But first, what the heck is a creative path?

Your Creative Path:

  • challenges you to continually learn
  • satisfies your curiosities
  • pushes you to take risks (big or small)
  • leaves you happy and fulfilled

Your creative path does not have to be about a career move or a paycheck. Sometimes your passion, life’s work, or favorite hobby might be connected to your career – and sometimes it may not be. Designing your creative path does not mean you have to quit your job and become an artist, rather you will design a path of learning, curiosity and happiness for your life.

One of the main areas of focus in my Design Your Creative Path course is on reflection.  Makes sense, right? If you want to figure out where you are headed, you need to reflect on where you have been/what you have done. In order to help you with that process, I designed the Creativity Timeline Guide just for you. Click here to get it now.

The Creativity Timeline Guide will lead you to reflect on the creative memories and experiences that have affected you and your life. In addition, you will visualize (through writing, drawing, speaking, etc.) your reflection in order to better make sense of it. Although they are your memories and you were there to experience them, it always helps to see them in front of you. If you want to make a change to some part of your life, acknowledging your past experiences – both the positives and negatives – is critical.

creativity timeline guide optin
Download your Creativity Timeline Guide now to get started today!