How do you warm up to get your creative juices flowing?

Probably the main reason I was motivated to create Artist Strong is my desire to help others reach their creative goals. I don’t know exactly why this generates in me the adrenal I feel after a good run, but the thought of others doing something they’ve dreamed of doing makes me happy. I get excited and giddy as I see someone begin to realize creative goals and dreams and I get disheartened and feel sad for all of our loss when someone holds back on that creative goal they hold inside.

Often I hear “if only I had the time,” or “when I feel more creative.” Excuses!!! Those are excuse phrases that enable avoidance of realizing your goals. Think about it. Really think about it. If you are one of those people who have used these excuses (I know I’ve done it myself!) how does it make you feel? Do you feel excited and ever more hopeful that you might realize your dream of writing that novel? Or exhibiting that body of artwork? I doubt it. In fact, phrases like that continue to project this goal as something far and distant, possibly never to be realized. And I guarantee you if you don’t make time, it will never happen.

In these many conversations I hold with friends, family and Artist Strong readers, the main obstacle seems to be ourselves. The GOOD thing about this kind of obstacle, is that we are our own burden and by making different choices we can choose to open more doors, or choose to keep them closed. It is up to us.

Everyone needs to make time for a little play!

One thing I’ve constantly read in many different books on teaching art or creativity is the notion of a warm up activity. And honestly, it makes perfect sense to me. When I get to work at my 9-5 job (more like my 7-4 job) I need a warm up, usually it involves doing some email and then walking the corridors of the school to usher students to homeroom. It helps me mentally prepare for my day. And why wouldn’t we need this for our creative goals?

I encourage, no I implore you to give 15 minutes a day to creativity. 15 minutes, that’s all I’m asking you to start with. And with your 15 you can either complete one warm up activity and leave it at that, or use 5 for a warm up before you spend 10 on whatever larger goal you hold in your heart. I GUARANTEE if you practice a warm up every day or at least 5 days a week it will become easier and easier to get into your creative space to develop that novel or that body of art. But you need to make a time commitment. Yet, all I’m asking is for 15 minutes. I have a funny feeling, though, that if you make this choice, and begin to see the benefits, you will make even more time for your art. And if you don’t? At least you have committed to this minimum that ensures it remains a present action in your life rather than a distant, wistful, hope.

In the weeks to come, I hope to share different activities with you that can act as warm ups to your creative time. And I would more than welcome guest posts on your creative warm up activities!

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Spend one week auditing your work and personal calendar. Note all of your activities and the time you spend on them. Now, reflect on how you use all of your time? Where can you fit in 15 minutes for your creative goals?