Creative Tip Tuesday: Pause to Play!

Play MemeHello, my sweet creative friends. I have a fun tip for this Tuesday. It’s all about play!

It’s easy to get so caught up in the daily hustle of our adult responsibilities that we don’t think about stopping to have fun. I’m totally guilty of this. Sometimes the thought of watching a funny video, learning a joke, or taking a trip to the park seems as indulgent as a bubble bath in the middle of the day – especially with so many tasks on the “to-do”.

But being playful is incredibly important. Even if it’s just a few minutes jamming to your favorite song in the car, feeling this kind of joy can do wonders for your spirit. I absolutely love this quote from author Dr. Stewart Brown,

“The opposite of play is not work. The opposite of play is depression.”

It’s essential to our well being to take a few minutes each day to laugh and play like the child we once were. Brown also says, “Play shapes our brain, helps us foster empathy…and is at the core of creativity and innovation.”

There’s no better time than right now to embrace your inner child and do something fun. You’ll be amazed at the way your mind starts opening and your heart starts feeling.

Here’s an exercise to try.

Grab your journal and make a list of five things that makes you feel playful. If that feels hard, think back to the last time you laughed. And I mean snort-laughed in the air like you just don’t care. Where were you, who were you with, or what were you doing that made you have such a great reaction? That might give you some ideas.

Pick one of your five activities, schedule 15 joyful minutes, and go do it! Then write in your journal about your experience.

  • What did you choose to do?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • When was the last time you did this activity? If it’s been awhile, why haven’t you done it sooner?
  • What can you change in your current schedule to make room for more play?

I hope you’ll give yourself permission to have recess today. Have fun and let me know how it goes. I love hearing from you!

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Creative Tip Tuesday: Notice the Small Things

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Design from The Neat Nook

This week, I encourage you to notice something small and seemingly ordinary, yet that strikes you as beautiful. If you can, take a picture of this object. Write a caption about what makes it stand out. Post it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #CreativeTipTues so everyone can see what you discovered.

Why is this important to your creativity?

What you’ll notice about this exercise is you’re forced to live in the present moment. Suddenly you’re not thinking about what’s on your mind or what’s next on your to-do list. You’ll find yourself immersed in the details of life as it stands in front of you.

Here’s an awesome list of seven reasons to be present, which I think you’ll enjoy. Obviously #2 rings true to my heart.

Being fully present is one of the best ways to tap into your creativity.

Once you start slipping into the past, ideas about what has been done before start to creep into your thinking. Perhaps there’s even judgment attached. Going the other direction, it’s easy to leap into the future with worry about deadlines and expectations. All of these thoughts block new ideas and shut down possibilities. Staying in the “now” keeps you focused and aligned with your true creative potential. So the best gift you can give yourself (creatively speaking) is to put yourself smack dab in the present and just see what develops.

Have fun searching and creating! I hope to see some of your images online. Remember to tag #CreativeTipTues or message me on Instagram @katejandersen.

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Creative Tip Tuesday: Try Something New. Anything.

It’s Tuesday! That means I’ll be sharing a creative tip today. This post was inspired by my sweet and amazingly talented friend, Leslie Sisti. We work together at a PR firm where we both get to share our love of creativity and writing. Leslie has been a fashion blogger of A Blonde Ambition for several years now and has become wildly successful. She’s the real deal, friends. When I told her I wanted to start a blog, she kindly offered tips, encouragement and even a chance to guest blog to help get things going. There aren’t enough flowers in the world that could properly thank her!HeaderTrans_zpscb139c50Here’s where I tried something new.

As nervous as I was, I took up Leslie on the offer to guest blog. (It’s posted today, so be sure to check it out.) While I’ve been a copywriter for decades and even led teams as a creative director, you’d think writing a blog would be as easy as breathing. Somehow, trying my hand at this feels entirely different. I’m usually writing on behalf of clients. So while the words are mine, the message always belongs to someone else. There’s a veil of protection in case someone doesn’t like the work. Or strangely enough, if someone loves what I’ve done, I can smile in the background and not have to take center stage. So, blogging. It’s personal. It’s honest. It’s imperfect. And most importantly, it’s something new for me.

I’m excited for the journey. My hope is you’ll join in my adventure and be inspired to try new things, too. It doesn’t have to mean quitting your job or planning a trip to France (although I’d LOVE to visit my dear friend Kristina!) Enough small adventures will lead to big discoveries. Here’s an inspiring TED Talk by Matt Cutts that shares his adventure of trying something new for 30 days.

New things can include writing with your other hand, taking a different route to work or buying plantains instead of bananas. What will happen is you’ll start to notice patterns about the things you choose – and the things you love. You’ll hear your inner voice. You’ll see your confidence grow. Perhaps most importantly, your true self will emerge. And that’s good for everyone.

What the world needs...

Graphic designed by The Neat Nook.

Go try something new today and tell me about it. Comment, email or post it on Twitter, Insty or Facebook using #CreativeTipTues.

My love and cheers to you all! – Kate

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Creative Tip Tuesday: Carry a Sketchbook

SketchbookA sketchbook is an important tool for anyone wanting to live a creative life. Please know, being creative doesn’t mean you have to work as an art director, painter, photographer or fashion designer.

Creativity simply means “involving the imagination or original ideas.”

Any endeavor in life could surely benefit from the use of your imagination or original ideas. So, let’s get sketching!

Here are my top three reasons to pick up a sketchbook today.

  1. It gives you a safe place to explore. You don’t have to publish or show this book to anyone. Allowing yourself to experiment and make mistakes is one of the best ways to foster creativity.
  2. It allows you to capture ideas immediately. This is important so you can take action right when a thought or visual idea strikes.
  3. It becomes a source of inspiration. If you’re feeling stuck or bored, thumbing through your sketchbook can prove to be an uplifting exercise. Look at all of the ideas you’ve had, allow yourself to see them in a new light, and be amazed at how much better you feel.

Your sketches don’t have to be fancy by all means, they just need to communicate your ideas. Your book can include favorite quotes, pictures from magazines, and even your grocery list. The main thing is to have fun, explore, and capture your thoughts.

Tips to get started.

  • Skip or purposely scribble on the first page. This will help you avoid the fear of the blank page.
  • Buy an inexpensive book so you don’t feel obligated to have highly important or valuable ideas. (I bought the one pictured above from Walmart)
  • Allow yourself to be messy. Feel free to scribble, drip paint, and glue stuff together. Just promise not to judge yourself or tear anything out!
  • Always carry your book with you. If you buy a book roughly the size as your favorite device (iPad, computer, etc.) it’s easier to tuck it in your bag and carry it with you at all times.
  • Give yourself an assignment. Here’s one to get you started:

Think of a situation at work that’s bothering you…not enough support, too many meetings? What would this situation look like if it were personified as a monster? Draw it. Now, what features could you add to make it more approachable?

Speaking of monsters, be sure to check out @jonhuckeby on Instagram. He’s a fantastic illustrator who doodles the cutest fuzzy fellas.

If you need more inspiration, here are some great doodle sketches on Pinterest.

I’d love to see some of your sketches if you’re open to sharing! Tag them with #CreativeTipTues on Twitter or Instagram so I can gather and share in a future post.

Happy creating!

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