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Three Essential Practices to Develop Creative Curiosity

Are you curious? If you’re like most deeply creative people, your curiosity, about everything, knows no bounds – even though you might keep your relentless questions quiet from time to time to not annoy your friends.

Curiosity is the gateway to creativity. Asking questions is the natural way to move forward. After all, the creative process itself is often sparked with the question “What if?”

Harness Your Curiosity

Curiosity is a great start but to really make creative gains, you’ll want to direct and amplify that force. Here are 3 essential practices to develop your creative curiosity.

Keep a Journal

Yes, we’ve all heard this time and again, but it really is the beginning of a meaningful creative practice. It doesn’t matter if your notebook is plain or fancy, lined or unlined or bound or loose pages – it only matters that you carry it with you and use it regularly. Don’t worry about being “writerly” or “artistic” either. Use it for everything that strikes your fancy.

Mine are usually smaller notebooks that I can carry with me that I use to make notes, sketches, lists (sometimes it’s just my shopping list) and even attach clippings and other scraps that interest me. The pages are a mash-up of my daily life and aren’t very often beautiful, but they’re mine. This is the one I’m working in right now:

Ask, Ask, Ask

Of course, asking questions is the realm of the curious but how often and how deeply do you really question what you encounter everyday?

Start a new page in your notebook for something in your daily life – say your commute to work or a project you’re working on – and ask the basic questions: Who is involved? What happens? When does it happen? Where does it happen? How does it happen? and Why does it happen?

Don’t be overly concerned with the answers as you write and try for multiple answers even if they seem silly. Make sketches or lists or margin notes if you like, the point is to become more familiar with questioning. Bonus points for finding answers that move you forward!

Try New Things

Do you have a daily routine? Most of us do and some parts are useful and necessary like brushing your teeth every day. But, other parts are ripe for change. Trying new things doesn’t have to mean big, bold life altering changes.

Start small: vary the route you take on a routine errand or to work, try a new brand of food, personal items or art supplies on your next shopping trip, listen to a different station for unfamiliar music, etc. Make a point to change something regularly and see how it affects your creativity.

Creativity is in the Questions

While curiosity drives creativity, it can be hard to hold on to that questioning spirit when the world around us wants to get to the right answer without enjoying the creative questioning that takes time to unfold a truly new answer. What ways do you keep asking your creative questions? Let me know – I’d love to hear!

 

*This notebook is covered in the Shiny Designs Signature Print and has both lines and space for drawings. That’s hard to find, so I made this one! Grab yours from Amazon here!

Shiny Designs Signature Print Notebook on Amazon
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What’s New: My Big Kid Doodle Book – A Doodle Coloring Book – Coming Soon

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Isn’t this a something? It’s a colored doodle!

It’s a sample from one of the book projects that’s been on my worktable lately. One of the things I do for folks is work with authors as a sort of muse/editor/wrangler to help them get their books written and published.

This particular book is a coloring book for grownups so there wasn’t so much writing and editing as wrangling, but it’s the same creative process: idea, refine and organize, create and write, edit, refine some more, set it free in the world. That’s simplified but it’s the gist of it.

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This coloring book features the artwork of the lovely and talented Carolyn Medlin Hawkins who has been drawing these doodles for years – only in black and white; she never colors them in. Now that grownups have gotten wise to the happiness that coloring can bring, it was time for her work to have a larger audience. So, she bravely stepped forward to publish her first coloring book.

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I’m admittedly biased (I love all my authors and think they’re brilliant) but her designs are wonderfully organic. What I like most about her book is that each one is hand-drawn art and shows the mark of a human hand. Having colored a few myself (I did the coloring for the samples here and in the book),  they’re much more interesting and enjoyable; it’s really a way of knowing the artist a little better.

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The book, it’s called My Big Kid Doodle Book, should be making its debut on Amazon this month – look for an update and other news on that very soon!

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Knit & Crochet Combined Best of Both Worlds

That’s the title of my new book, out in April from Kalmbach Books. Just last week, my advance copies arrived. I had no idea how proud, and just down right excited, this would make me.

There are 15 projects that combine knitting with crochet to take advantage of the different characteristics of each technique. Knitting and crochet have distinctly different identities and it doesn’t make sense to ask one to do the job of the other.

Coming up, I’ll be sharing more on the book and how it came into being. For now, you can see the basics on it here.


Take a look, drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.