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Make Practice into Fun: Uncanny Creativity 39

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Albert Einstein

Make a game of it.

 
A study at MIT Sloan found that games helped participants come up with more ideas. This episode has ideas to make your art practice fun. When I say art, I mean all things creative. Whether you’re creating web design, paintings, or knitting.

Since you need to practice your craft regularly, find ways to make the habit fun. Practicing in art also is better when deliberate and specific. Work smarter, be productive, and keep your art into a fun activity.

What do you need to practice? Your weaknesses. Being bad at something isn’t fun. Turn your weakness into strength and have fun while at it with these suggestions

Try a sketchbook challenge.

I know that not every designer draws. And if you’re a different type of creative, you may think it’s not for you. Doodling has been shown to help with memory. Set a goal to keep a sketchbook in a certain way. A new drawing every week? A thirty-day sketchbook challenge? The internet is filled with many sketchbook challenge prompts.

Change things up.

Variety of learning methods and material helps us learn more.  

Practice liking things.

Negativity, judgement, and dislike is a habit that interferes with our ability to learn. Take an interesting picture every day. This way you practice noticing new things every day. Better yet, let it inspire you. Look for colors, objects, textures, and designs that you’d love to use in your artwork. This takes you away from looking for inspiration online. Look for inspiration in the real world. Even better, post it on Instagram or Facebook along with some details imagining how you could use for your art.

Manage Time

Time is an important variable in learning. Have a physical calendar and make an X on it each day. What’s your high score for days in a row of drawing?  

Know your goals.

If your desire is to be a prolific artists, spend time making and finishing art. Come up with tiny weekly deadlines that move your toward a goal

Learn something new.

Try a drawing exercise. Use ideas from a tutorial. Not just reading. Trying

Flash fiction.

Engage your imagination by writing short stories filled with ideas

Notice your good luck

Draw a comic about the lucky events that happen in your day. Individuals who believe they are lucky tend to notice opportunities. Can you edit your Mental First Draft about your day and turn it into a story about luckiness? Comics are also helpful since it’s natural to think in stories as discussed in episode 7, Tell a Story. http://www.fastcompany.com/46732/how-make-your-own-luck

Play with toys.

Playing with physical children’s toys will engage your imagination.  Play is practice. Animals play to practice skills they’ll need later. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130109-why-do-animals-like-to-play

Watching others helps learning. Go on YouTube and watch some drawing or design tutorials http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/2/315.abstract

Change locations.

 
We learn better by moving around! Practicing in different rooms and environments helps us learn. Change your scenery. On a beautiful day, draw outside. On a rainy day, sit by a window with a view. Go to coffee shops, the library, and museums.

Get up and dance.

Exercise helps us learn. Put on happy music and take a dance break to reward yourself after working on your art.  

Take breaks.

Relearning after a break helps us get better. Step away from your purpose and don’t forget to do something outside of art http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/memory-medic/201201/cram-or-not-cram-is-the-question

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Tips to Change Your Perspective: Uncanny Creativity 38

Take a new perspective on your creative process. This episode presents some of my favorite quotes from the book Think Like A Freak by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. How can we apply these ideas to imagination and creation? The book written by the team behind the Freakonomics book and podcast. Here's some favorite quotes from the book and some commentary and how we can use these concepts as artists and designers. Tip 1: Action is more important than words “Don’t listen to what people say; watch what they do.” One way to understand preferences is measure action. An interesting study found we're naturally persuaded by ... Read more

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Try this: Imagine you're a 7 year old. Children playing is filled with curiosity. They haven't learned the stock responses of adults. Ask yourself what a kid would do in this situation. In one psychological experiment, college volunteers were asked what they'd do if school was cancelled for the day. A second group was given the added idea to "imagine themselves as a 7-year-old". The group asked to think like a kid had more original ideas. Those who were tested as introverted, more inhibited, and less spontaneous were especially more creatively original. Details of this research were published in the ... Read more

Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.

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Brian E. Young

I’m a graphic designer (portfolio), classical pianist and artist in Baltimore, MD. I host the Uncanny Creativity Podcast helping to demystify the creative process and creator of Funlooksfun.com, an online shop for apparel and games. Twitter: @sketchee

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