I discovered the idea of “everyday creativity” a few years ago – though, in fact, it had always been a part of my life, I just hadn’t labelled it. It is exactly what it sounds like: being creative and playful in some way everyday and finding fun and joy in the ordinary. The organization Innovation-Creativity define it this way “Everyday creativity is finding ways to be creative in your everyday life. Being creative isn’t restricted to the glittering ideas of geniuses within big companies or musicians, artists, and poets. Anyone can be creative simply by adding some imagination and flair into their daily routine. It’s about adding some originality and meaningfulness to your routine.”
I find that everyday creativity can brighten dull days and help lift low moods and I love the reminder that we are all inherently creative beings. Lots of people who write about everyday creativity note that some of the very first things most children do are sing, dance, draw, make without inhibition, but that we often lose this and become self-conscious as we get older; everyday creativity (and indeed, the #funpalaces movement I am passionate about) gives us permission – if we need it – to play and focuses on process rather than product. I, for example, am certainly never going to be the best painter or dancer or crafter, but I might – and do – get joy from trying all of these things from time to time, as well as enjoying the art forms with which I am naturally more comfortable.
Anyway, the real purpose of this post is to share some of the everyday creativity techniques and organizations that I enjoy in the hope that some of them brighten up your new year. In every case, you can do and share (on or offline), do without sharing or simply look at the offerings of other everyday creatives. Whichever way you do it, have fun!
- 64 Million Artists #TheJanuaryChallenge
I have started every new year since 2014 with this challenge. It is 31 days of creative prompts of all kinds – all designed to take around 10 minutes (though you can take as long as you want) and use very limited equipment/resources – often a pen and paper is enough. You can sign up at any point during the month and there are lovely online communities on all platforms to share, if you wish. You can sign up here: The January Challenge – 64 Million Artists
Here is the poem I wrote for my challenge today:
2. Cook something new
Cooking is hugely creative – and as January tends to be about eating more healthily, it’s nice to make this less of a chore by trying new tastes etc. Maybe Veganuary? (We’re not doing this fully, but are going for 3 vegan days a week, hopefully beyond January.) If you are on twitter (and instagram, I think) the #cookjan hashtag is full of people trying to eat healthily, economically and interestingly – loads of recipe inspiration. Or why not arrange a recipe swap among friends and family? (Please share with me, if you do!)
3. Read an old favourite (yours or someone else’s)
I struggled to read much during 2020 – and believe that this was quite a common reaction to the pandemic. One of the ways I have started to get back into reading again is via audio book while walking and also by reading books I have loved in the past – I’m currently rereading Little Women for the umpteenth time! My husband and I also have a new year tradition where we give each other 3 titles that have made an impact on us to read during the year. I’ve just been given my 2021 titles and will be reading “The Seige of Krishnapur” by JG Farrell, “God Help The Child” by Toni Morrison and “The Mission House” by Carys Davies. (I might even read my husband’s hardback copies of two of them as long as I promise not to read them in the bath!)
4. A Little Each Day
The Guardian has published a “something a literary a day” throughout January and I am going to dip in and out of this and read/watch/listen to at least some of them, I hope. For me, there is something great about these (mostly) short bursts of creativity each January day; they help to make being creative a regular part of life and build a creative muscle that makes it easier to sustain throughout the rest of the year. Feed your soul: the 31-day literary diet for January | Books | The Guardian
5. A Photo A Day
This is something that has been recommended to me by a couple of friends: take a photo a day in the same place/of the same thing. They say it helps with really appreciating small differences and changing seasons and recommend using something natural as the subject matter. I doubt that I will actually take one every single day, but I have got my eye on a beautiful tree in Fairfield Orchard, Lancaster, that I pass often and that I might take photos of this year.
So, those are a few suggestions as we start a new year. If you do find any of them useful and enjoyable, please let me know. I can be found on twitter and instragram at @elartpro and on Facebook at ELART Productions. I would love to share in a creative January with you.