The Perfect Tool to Help You Invest in Your Own Creativity

The best bit of advice I’ve gotten from my financial planner is that small investments add up over time. Of course, this idea makes sense for saving money, but it also makes sense when we think about investing in ourselves.

Perhaps you already do this–an hour at the gym to invest in your health here, a bit of meditation to invest in your sanity there.

But, have you ever considered the best way to invest in your creativity?

Students in the AOE course Creativity in Crisis experiment with this idea in one of their assignments. They are asked to take five consecutive days to invest in their creativity and monitor the results. The assignment is inspired by the practice of “Morning Pages” from the well-known book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Students write, sketch, or do anything else that allows them to feel creative, without the pressure of creating a “finished” or “successful” piece.

grid of techniques

This assignment is great because it forces people out of their comfort zones into the realms of exploration and play. It’s a perfect assignment to show how you can fit creativity into your daily life.

AOE student, Amy Murphy, recently shared her experience with this assignment with me. She said, “The idea of decluttering the mind first thing in the morning was refreshing. Without an idea in mind, I decided I would explore whatever ‘popped’ into my mind that morning… or throughout the day.” 

Amy's artwork

You can check out Amy’s full five days of creativity here. She created a variety of artwork through drawing, painting, printing, digital design, and sun exposure. “It was a reflective and refreshing way to incorporate creative ART moments every day. It opens the mind while making ideas come to life,” she told me.

Try it for yourself!

If you’re looking for a way to invest in your own creativity, download the Creativity Bingo sheet below! It’s full of creative prompts, none of which take longer than 15 minutes.

The best part about this sheet is you can challenge yourself for as long as you want. It’s a great way to keep yourself accountable. Create a BINGO one way, then go for another! Want a little less? Just go for the four corners. Need a little more? Go for a blackout!

bingo download

Download Now!

We know some of you may get hooked on this idea, so we’ve also included a blank download on the second page so you can create a challenge for yourself every month!

You may want to check out these articles for other ideas to fill the squares. Although they were originally written for students, many of the prompts will work equally well for adults!

After you invest, check off the box to represent dropping a coin in your “Creativity Bank.” We’d LOVE to see your creations. Share them with us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter! Be sure to tag The Art of Education @theartofed and use the hashtag #investingincreativity.

How do you make time to create every day?

What are some quick and easy mediums you can work with in 15 minutes or less?

Shannon Bell

Shannon is a full-time graduate instructor with The Art of Education. She has experience teaching at all levels and loves teaching art with a focus on student choice.

Related

  • Melissa Gilbertsen

    Years ago I started doing “morning pages.” Preface this with I am NO morning person, but I now make it a priority to get up 20 minutes earlier every morning to write roughly 3 pages of stream-of-conciousness in a little journal. I nurse a cup o’ joe and write while it’s quiet and the day is full of promise. It has been probably the single most important tool for decluttering my mind and getting me to cheaply try out “what ifs?”; explore different directions in my work – personal and professional; and to do so without an editor! There is no right or wrong here! Because it’s not meant to be seen by anyone it’s very freeing. I can problem solve or vent or just dream. And it is so interesting to see what topics keep cropping up and what resolves itself as a result of me keeping this journal. Oh – this IS bugging me, better do something about it or, oh, that ended up not a big issue after all. I seem to develop a better plan of attack with my morning pages.

    Conversely, I found writing in the evening was not the same. Then I would mainly record what happened that day and focus on negative things instead of when I wrote in the mornings which was a chance to set goals for a new day. Morning pages gets my thoughts out of my head and never fails to inspire me to new things when I’m feeling creatively empty. I hate mornings, but I hate missing out on the writing more.

    • Shannon Bell

      Melissa,

      I love the idea of noting trends in your writing! Like you, I notice that my morning writing and creativity is much freer. Part of it may be because I haven’t had my full cup of coffee yet! Tapping into your mindset while you do these exercises is a great practice.
      Thank you for sharing how you use morning pages! You have me inspired to incorporate more writing in my daily creativity investments and to use them as a form of reflection.

      ~Shannon