How to Nourish Your Creativity: 16 Creatives Share Their Tips


Want to avoid feeling burned out and drained? Then you need a set of tools and practices that will nourish your creativity. I asked 16 of my favourite creatives to share some of the things that they do to keep their creativity alive and well-fed...

How to Nourish Your Creativity

Tara200x200Read, listen and observe.

I read and I listen and I observe. (I guess that's three things!) By reading, I'm absorbing someone else's view on the world, their language, their observations and I'm getting out of my head. By listening and observing, I'm noticing the world, what's not working, and what the people (specifically, my people!) need, so that I can create more than that. I always get reinvigorated by getting out of my head and noticing the world and the people around me!- Tara Swiger,

Matt200x200Focus on simple tasks

Notice when you are in the shower, or taking a walk, or on the toilet, and suddenly you are struck with a moment of insight. This isn’t by accident. When we are able to simply soft focus on a simple task, such as showering, our brain is able to slow down, so the unconscious brain is able to leap into action, and create powerful connections we previously hadn’t seen.Here is a cool Stanford Study about Creativity and Walks.- Matt Cooke, Creative Warrior Living

kyla200x200Work when inspired and excited

When I first started working for myself I was terrible at nourishing my creativity because I’d never needed to sustain it for the long term. Now giving myself time for my ideas to simmer, to make sure I'm rested, and inspired is non-negotiable.I meditate, read, take classes from people I admire and love to craft and learn new skills. I also try not to work unless I’m really inspired and excited. When my creative batteries are charged my work is better, and I have more to give my clients. It's been crucial for me to take how I feel into account when I'm looking at my success.- Kyla Roma,

saravb200x200Try new things

I make an active effort to try new things. Each year on my birthday I make a list of 25 new things I want to try and then I slowly work my way through that list over the course of the year. Each time I get out of my comfort zone, I feel so much more creative! - Sarah Von Bargen, Yes&Yes //

TaraL200x200Spread creativity across your life

The way I keep my creativity alive is to spread it all across my life! By which I mean not boxing it off to one area and saying I'm only creative when I'm doing that. I paint, but I also flex my creative muscles in everything I do, from writing emails to cooking to folding the laundry! I'm always asking, how can I make this more interesting, fun, or effective? Opportunities to be creative are everywhere all the time; once you make that mindset shift life gets much more interesting.- Tara Leaver,

marcie200x200Cultivate purposeful connection

My creative practice is an ongoing, ever-evolving, changing and growing one. I begin - always - with the breath and with a quiet centered purposeful connection to my body and innermost self. My physical yoga-asana inspires me. My spiritual meditation practice guides me. Trust and intuition light my way.- Marcie Scudder,

aarathi200x200Sit and breathe

Meditation is my path to living creatively. When I feel overwhelmed by the rush of my everyday life or when I feel stuck I take a seat to just sit and be with my breath. My sitting practice helps me pause and get some distance from the rush I am experiencing and in doing that I often connect with an inner wisdom to navigate my right now more mindfully & creatively.- Aarathi Selvin, Pause for Perspective

eliza200x200Trust in the tools

My job - a commercial and documentary photographer - is so reliant on my creativity, my ability to see things, see an image out of whatever I’m photographing and also to see and share the client’s vision for what they want. Sometimes, when I’m not holding my cameras in my hand, I can find it quite overwhelming, thinking ‘what if I’m not feeling creative or I’m just not going to ‘see’ anything, what if I can’t find the shot!’. Over the years, I have taught myself not to panic and to trust that with the camera in hand, everything changes; it gives me confidence and it changes the way I view things, how I approach a scene and also how I see light. Light is THE most important thing and this I search for constantly. It can change an ordinary scene into something utterly beautiful and unique, you just have to look for it.- Eliza Deacon, Eliza Deacon Photography

sandra200x200Create Space

Space nourishes my creativity.  That means I let myself have a good sleep because so many of my creative ideas emerge in that space that hovers between sleeping and waking, sometimes in the middle of the night and sometimes in the early morning.  That means allowing for downtime during the day to calm the usual mental activity so ideas spontaneously arise in the quiet spaces in between.  Space gives birth to my creativity.- Sandra Pawula, Always Well Within

cigdem200x200Honour your energy

I make sure I give myself the precious gift of enough solitude and quietude as often as possible. As an introvert, I need to get away from the noise and chatter so that I can dive deep into my inner world, replenish my energy and travel into avenues of creative ideas and splendid discoveries.- Cigdem Kobu, Peaceful Triumphs


Take yourself offline

Talking blogging and business offline is one of the biggest things I do to nourish my creativity. I've got a few blogging and web design buddies who I try to grab lunch/Skype with on a regular basis. It's incredibly helpful to get away from work, bounce ideas off someone else, hear what they're working on, and chat about the good and bad of being an online entrepreneur. I always end up inspired and whip out my phone to take notes. And any business activity that can include dessert or drinks is A+ in my book!- Sarah Morgan,


Show up

My life requires creativity and beauty. It’s one of the ways I feel connected and in full expression of who I am. And as you know, for creativity to flourish, it must be fed. So, the most important thing that I do to nourish my creativity is simply: showing up. I give it space for it to flow through me. Whether that means dedicating time for the studio, pulling out my notebook to sketch while I’m sitting in a waiting room, or just being present and mindful so that I notice when moments of inspiration strike. Showing up for creativity means that I'm devoted to this work. And that allows for more beauty and magic in my life.- Kristal Norton,


Experiment, play and "waste" time

One thing I do to nourish my creativity is to give myself permission to be playful, experimental and to (whisper it!) waste time! I set aside a time - an hour is plenty - when I can be alone with all my paints out, and a canvas or piece of strong paper. Then I just play about! The ‘inner critic’ is left outside the door, and I know that I am allowed to just play around with the paints and see what happens. And if I end up with a mess, I refuse to let myself worry about ‘time wasted’ - because I know that mess-making and ‘failures' can be a valuable part of an important longer-term process. I often end up in a more spacious, creative and accepting mental space. And every now and then I create a picture that really feels ‘right’ - which can be so satisfying!
- Emma Cameron, //

colmitchell200x200Engage with materials and processes that are completely different

99% of my art making utilizes one technique -- a technique that places great demand on my creativity. I have no idea how my art will turn out.  I know what the subject is, I can see it easily enough in the paper, but after that I am working in inspired response to the interaction of the materials. To nourish my creativity it is essential I take time to engage with materials and processes that are completely different, to nurture and receive inspiration in new ways.

- Col Mitchell,


Listen to music

I often quote a traditional Irish fiddler called Martin Hayes. He says creativity is in the "simple wisdom of knowing what is all around you and playing that" To nourish my own creativity as a contemplative photographer, I listen to fiddle music and it reminds me of my own roots and the soulful depths of the very ordinary. Music is heart stirring and magical. It moves from being something to get lost in to something to jump up and dance to, and I do both!I talk about contemplative photography here.Here is Martin talking about roots, music and simple wisdom. - Catherine Drea, Foxglove Lane Studio


Meditate on ideas

My visionary art comes from my soul and heart, so to nurture the flow of creativity I either do Soul Force Meditation or go on a Shamanic journey. In meditation all except what is of my essence dissolves in the silence. In a journey I take a specific question to spirit for a resolution. In both practices I receive an image, idea or experience of what will come into form.- Kathleen O'Brien,

How do you nourish your creativity? Leave a comment and share your ideas! Further reading: Rediscovering your creativity with Margarita Tartakovsky & the powerful magic and science of artist dates
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