It is hard to set make space for creativity in our rushed modern world. Time pressures abound, but somewhere deep inside we yearn for an hour here or there, a small corner of our dining table to set about some creative work. Whatever your favourite art activity, if you struggle to make it possible here are a few things to remember:
The Big ‘WHY’
Write down three things that your craft activity gives you. Is it a sense of satisfaction when you have completed a project? Do you like learning new skills? If it a pleasurable opportunity to problem-solve? Maybe you just like to get in the flow of doing something with your hands, helps you disengage from the stresses of life. Find out why you do it and you will feel motivated to create.
Avoid ‘Analysis Paralysis’ and Perfectionism
If you have a bad Pinterest addiction and you pour over other people’s magnificent projects, put a limit on it. Use a timer if you have to! Choosing a project should be simple but the internet makes it harder, somehow. If that is the case, disconnect from the net for a weekend to stop wasting your precious leisure time. Next, pick one thing. Accept that it might not be the perfect thing to make. Also, remember it won’t be the only thing you’ll ever make. That should take off any pressure that your perfectionism might put on what is supposed to be a fun activity.
Plan It and Schedule It
Pick your activity and gather your resources. It may be that you plan on Monday evening, pick up items you need in the week, and settle down to your activity on a Saturday afternoon. Your project will feel closer to being completed if you have what you need to hand and if you are decided on when you will do it. Block that time out for yourself – be uncompromising!
Carve out a working space
Part of planning is deciding where you’ll work. If you share your home, tell your flatmates explain you are baking in the kitchen between 2-4pm on Saturday and could they work around you. Think about the workspace itself – do you need good lighting, a plug socket for a glue-gun or sewing machine? Setting it out in your mind, is good preparation.
Make it fun!
Is there a friend that shares your love of making stuff? Make a date and plan a space for them to work too. Get some refreshments and play some tunes. Similarly, if you are a busy parent, plan an activity for the kids – Play-doh, knitting dolls, paper stamping kits or a favourite TV series might buy you a whole uninterrupted 45minutes!
Just do it!
The last thing is to get down to business. Don’t over-think it – have fun with it! You will find as you begin, ideas will flow, you’ll feel relaxed and confident with every passing minute. In fact, time will fly and you might not want to stop. If you have a long session scheduled take a break regularly. You want to savour this, not wear yourself out. And once you have finished? Well, plan the next project, of course!