Creativity Tips – Creating a creativity habit – What I’ve learnt from Week 1 of my Play Adventure

Inner Creative Creativity tips and Learnings from the Mandala Play Adventure Week 1.

Last week I decided to embark on a Play Adventure where I would colour in my Mandala Colouring Page every day for 30 days. Well, it’s been a week already! Wow! Seven days of play :-).

I’ve really enjoyed having this time to play. It’s been nice to have some downtime where I don’t have to worry about anything else and can just be free to be guided by my intuition and curiosity. I’ve also had the opportunity to try out some different mediums (such as my new pastel and Inktense pencils).

As expected, this commitment to creating a mandala each day has also raised some challenges. Consequently, it has also helped me identify (and reinforce) some creativity tips and what helps me be creative and find time to deliver on my commitment. Continue reading

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Embarking on my own ‘Play Adventure’

My previous blog about play and experimentation was inspired by an “I wonder…?” question of my own. Recently, I discovered my first mandala hidden amongst my old high school graphic folder. I was curious to see what it could look like with different colouring. So I created my own colouring page and tried out a different colour combination, and then another. Without too much trouble or planning I had stumbled onto finding something to play with.

The other day I started wondering about what the mandala outline would look like in orange and green, which subsequently got me wondering about how many different ways I could ‘colour in’ the colouring page. This train of thought then lead me to wonder if I could colour in the same mandala page every day for a week. In doing so, I reasoned that it would be a great test of my creativity and inventiveness, while also giving me plenty of discussion and blog fodder by exposing me to common creativity issues, like making mistakes, persistence and being open and comfortable with the unknown.

But then, a week didn’t seem quite daring enough. Would it really push my limits? So what about 3 weeks? Hmmm… What about 30 days? A 30 day challenge? But the term ‘challenge’ didn’t seem to convey the right spirit. I really liked the idea of playing around and seeing this as a fun exploration, but I really had no idea where this exercise would take me. And then it dawned on me – I’d call it a ‘play adventure’!

So starting Monday 6 April, I have embarked on a play adventure where I will ‘colour in’ my Mandala Colouring Page each day for 30 days (Just in time for my Exploring Mandalas class that starts on Wednesday 6 May 🙂 ).To make sure that I stay accountable and increase my likelihood of delivering on what I propose, I’m making this promise publicly on my blog with the intention of posting my daily efforts on my Inner Creative Facebook page. You can see my first day’s effort below.

Inner Creative Play Adventure Day 1 Mandala - Follow it on Inner Creative Facebook Page or inner

Who knows where a little wondering and play will take me? Continue reading

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“What if?” and “I wonder…”: the power of play and experimenting to increase creativity

Have you ever wondered, or asked yourself ‘What if?’ Both are great ways to foster your creativity and ignite your imagination to explore the possibilities, and expand beyond your current reality. You can get a lot out of using these questions in a conceptual way for brainstorming, problem solving or scenario planning. But their true value in fostering our broader creativity appears when you use them alongside taking action – an activity otherwise known as ‘play’ or ‘experimentation’.

In simple terms, playing involves posing a question, like “What if I put this here?” or “I wonder what would happen if I added this into the mix?”; trying it out to see what happens; and then evaluating the result before taking the next step (whether that involves building on our previous attempt or even undoing what we just did to try something else).

Kids do this so naturally during their free play time (and without overthinking or being overly conscious about it). For instance, if you watch a child building a tower there may be some stops and starts as they ponder which block to choose and where to put it. But they quickly try things out and rework them as they go. The more time they spend playing (in combination with their naturally curious natures), the better they get at posing questions, taking risks and developing their intuitive  thinking to guide them on what to do next.

Unfortunately, the concept of ‘play’ for adults has been downgraded and undervalued because we commonly associate playing with being childish, and hence immature or silly. So for those uncomfortable with seeing themselves ‘playing’ then I suggest using the word ‘experimenting’ instead. As Albert Einstein said, “Play is the highest form of research.”

Inner Creative "Play is the highest form of research" quote by Albert Einstein. Creative inspiration.

While playing and experimenting are quite similar in meaning, there are two aspects that I prefer about ‘play’. Continue reading

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