Creativity Cross Training - 12 Moves to Up Your Art, Part 2

Your creativity is like a muscle. To increase its strength, you must use it. Just how cross-training improves your fitness workout, cross-training your creativity will make you more agile, limber and strong, and your imagination will improve.

This week we continue with 4 more ways to cross train your creative muscles. You will discover new exercises to up your game and enhance your curiosity.

5. Art Changes Consciousness

Self-Compassion is essential to enhance your creativity. When you try something new and it doesn’t come out as you thought, be compassionate with yourself. The story you tell yourself will make the difference between quitting and exploring new paths. I have had my students imagine they have a video remote controller, or they draw a circle on their work area. When the negative voices become loud, hit the mute button. You can change the story you tell yourself. Be compassionate and when your internal critic gets nasty, ask yourself, would you talk this way to a child or a loved one?

6. Art Making Sense

Art Creates Community-people share experiences and bond through the experience. My husband has a T-shirt collection of some of his favorite bands. He is often stopped by strangers that comment on their love of the same group. A conversation begins and stories are shared. Join the Creative Awakening Community (Facebook Group) to engage in the conversation. The story you tell yourself will expand beyond your internal beliefs. What is the story you would like to share with your community? Post a question In the group and see how you can use your creative muscles can work the answers into a new idea. Asking others will provide valuable information that you may not have thought of.

7. Become the Explorer

Artists and Scientists have a lot in common. Both push the boundaries and learn from their failures. This is how you develop innovation; otherwise, you are just replicating what everyone else has done. If it succeeds, then push it to another level. If it fails, analyze why and alter your experiment. I love to come up with uses for my leftovers rather than throwing them away. Try this and see where the possibilities may lead. Your ideas will move far beyond the studio or craft table. They will find expression in dance, music, cooking and more.

8. Know Yourself

Ask yourself the Why question to reveal your creativity. Discover your passions and then hone what you are good at. As a teenager I wanted to be a musician. I had played since I was a kid. I took lessons, practiced and hung out with other musicians. I struggled and was hard on myself. I was afraid to take bigger risks. My artwork, my painting, was something I had always done. I was taught oil painting from a young age by my great aunt, Santa Duran. I was good at it and it came easily to me. I thought it was too easy and that you had to suffer if you wanted to sing the blues. When I was in my early 20’s an accident while making jewelry ended my guitar playing. I resigned myself to follow my strengths and I haven’t looked back. Art has continued to challenge me because I ask the what if question. When something you love gets easy, push yourself into new territory.

Just because something comes naturally, or it is your strength, doesn’t mean that you cannot push it beyond your comfort zone. Just like with cross-training, I will use scientific data to develop new images, explore concepts and put them into images. I have had many interesting conversations with physicists and biologists about my abstract art. Find a passion that you are good at, go become it. Immerse yourself, become awesome and love it.