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Are you curious? If you’re like most deeply creative people, your curiosity, about everything, knows no bounds – even though you might keep your relentless questions quiet from time to time to not annoy your friends.
Curiosity is the gateway to creativity. Asking questions is the natural way to move forward. After all, the creative process itself is often sparked with the question “What if?”
Harness Your Curiosity
Curiosity is a great start but to really make creative gains, you’ll want to direct and amplify that force. Here are 3 essential practices to develop your creative curiosity.
Keep an Art Journal
Yes, we’ve all heard this time and again, but it really is the beginning of a meaningful creative practice. It doesn’t matter if your notebook is plain or fancy, lined or unlined or bound or loose pages – it only matters that you carry it with you and use it regularly. Don’t worry about being “writerly” or “artistic” either. Use it for everything that strikes your fancy.
Mine are usually smaller notebooks that I can carry with me that I use to make notes, sketches, lists (sometimes it’s just my shopping list) and even attach clippings and other scraps that interest me. The pages are a mash-up of my daily life and aren’t very often beautiful, but they’re mine. This is the one I’m working in right now:
Of course, asking questions is the realm of the curious but how often and how deeply do you really question what you encounter everyday?
Start a new page in your notebook for something in your daily life – say your commute to work or a project you’re working on – and ask the basic questions: Who is involved? What happens? When does it happen? Where does it happen? How does it happen? and Why does it happen?
Don’t be overly concerned with the answers as you write and try for multiple answers even if they seem silly. Make sketches or lists or margin notes if you like, the point is to become more familiar with questioning. Bonus points for finding answers that inspire new things!
Try New Things
Do you have a daily routine? Most of us do and some parts are useful and necessary like brushing your teeth every day. But, other parts are ripe for change. Trying new things doesn’t have to mean big, bold life altering changes.
Start small: vary the route you take on a routine errand or to work, try a new brand of food, personal items or art supplies on your next shopping trip, listen to a different station for unfamiliar music, etc. Make a point to change something regularly and see how it affects your creativity.
Creativity is in the Questions
While curiosity drives creativity, it can be hard to hold on to that questioning spirit when the world around us wants to get to the right answer without enjoying the creative questioning that takes time to unfold a truly new answer. What ways do you keep asking your creative questions? Let me know – I’d love to hear!
*This notebook is covered in an exclusive print of my watercolor doodles and has both lines and space for drawings. That’s hard to find, so I made this one! Grab yours from Amazon here!
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Encouragement and Learning for Art Journaling Beginners.