What does a creative life look like?

Creativity – noun.
The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.
(Oxford Languages)

Artists are the stereotype when it comes to living a creative life. People often picture a French beret and a paint smock splattered with color. The moody writer also comes to mind, drinking copious amounts of coffee while jotting their thoughts down. Or, maybe the photographer, jet-setting around the world in a leather jacket and Aviator sunglasses, capturing moments with wind-swept hair and a smile.

Despite those stereotypes, that life is not meant only for the “artistic elite.” Instead, anyone can live a creative life. 

Whether you are a professional artist, a hobbyist, an art aficionado, or none of the above, YOU can have a creative life. As long as you have the desire, I will provide you the tools needed. Keep reading for my top 8 tips on how to live a creative life. 

How to live a more creative life:

1. Stay true to yourself. 

  • Embracing what makes us unique ensures a diverse society.
  • Diversity in a community encourages individual thinking.
  • Individual thinking fosters innovation and creativity.

It sounds cliché, but—like a snowflake—each of us is one-of-a-kind. No one else is you, in your body, with your life and experiences. No one can mirror your exact thoughts, dreams, and fears. Let those unique traits guide your steps toward living a more creative life. Allow your individuality to color the way you interact with the world around you. Let it influence how you depict that world, whether on paper, film, or through music. 

2. For a creative life, look past the surface.

  • Finding beauty in unexpected places can expand our own perceptions.
  • Having perspective can reveal the hidden potential in other people or objects.
  • With deeper learning, we are able to take what we know and manipulate it to solve other, more complex problems.

We artistic types are a different breed. Our genetic makeup includes a unique perspective of the world around us. That perspective is what allows us to see things others may not. So if you’d like to live a more creative life, I suggest looking past the surface of whatever you come in contact with. Having a deeper understanding helps us to be more adaptable and understanding, no matter the situation.

3. Create something with your hands.

  • The act of making something from nothing enhances mental health.
  • Artistic creation also improves mood and helps to relieve stress.
  • Completing a personal, creative project brings a sense of satisfaction. 

Many artists, myself included, feel so much and so intensely that those emotions must find an outlet (or we risk imploding). What better outlet than to create something? Even if you don’t have a particularly artistic talent, find something you can do, something that you enjoy, and use those skills. Write a poem or gather your thoughts into a journal entry. Sketch your pet. Or, learn something completely new.

4. A creative life means making mistakes.

  • Mistakes allow us to learn, grow, and discover new ideas.
  • Our experiences, mistakes included, shape who we are as individuals.
  • Accepting failure frees us up to go after our goals without reservation.

Bob Ross said it best: “We don’t make mistakes. We make happy little accidents.” Such a simple change in how we look at failure can have a profound impact on our lives. Mistakes will happen. They are a fact of life. Without failure, how can we hope to grow and improve? So, instead of fearing failure, we need to acknowledge that it happens, then move on. After all, a life lived without risk becomes a life wasted. To live a more creative life, we need to take more risks.

5. Surround yourself with other creative people.

  • Creative friends challenge each other into continually improving our talents and skills.
  • Artistic people are a never ending source of inspiration and creative insight.
  • No one will support you and understand your struggles better than a fellow creative individual.

Success begets success. This is especially true for a creative life. By surrounding ourselves with talented people, we in turn become more talented. For example, when I see work from another talented artist, I immediately want to go out and improve my own skill. This is because who (and what) we surround ourselves has a huge impact on who we will become.

6. Do more things that spark passion

  • Passions provide a sense of purpose in living a creative life and can give that life meaning.
  • Having things we are passionate about helps us to be more resilient when we encounter obstacles and difficulties.
  • Without passion, we are much more likely to burn out, lose motivation, and feel unfulfilled.

We only have one life. Why waste a minute of it doing things that don’t bring us joy? Yes, life comes with responsibilities, but that makes the time we spend on personal pursuits especially important. Make time for who and what you love and find meaning in the things you do. After all, when you look back on your life, you want to be filled with satisfaction, not regret.

7. In a creative life, let yourself play and have fun.

  • Playtime as an adult releases endorphins, improves well-being, and reduces stress.
  • Play also keeps our minds sharp and boosts mental health.
  • When we play, we are present in the moment

Children need play in order to improve coordination, memory, language skills, and much more when they are young. However, just because we grow up doesn’t mean we should stop playing and having fun. Even adults are continually learning and growing. Play helps with our cognitive skills, our mood, our coordination, just as much as in children. So, pick up that ball. Play the video game. Get out the play dough. Just have fun.

Here are some ways you can have some fun in your creative life:
Seven reasons to keep a sketchbook – 20 awesome songs to spark creativity

8. To live a creative life, be curious.

  • Asking questions connects us to the people around us.
  • Curiosity makes us want to learn more, understand deeper, and that knowledge then fuels innovation.
  • Being inquisitive leads to happier, more empathetic people.

The final, but no less important, tip for living a creative life is to ask more questions. Be inquisitive. Don’t just take things at face value—search for hidden meaning and seek better, more thorough understanding of any topic or subject. Not only will you be more successful in life, work, and artistic endeavors, but you will also gain wisdom on top of knowledge.

Do you have any tips on how you live your life more creatively? Share them in the comments!