Is your routine sucking the creativity out of you?

See a lot of my designer friends have been struggling to feel in touch with their creative side now that we’re working regular jobs in the industry. It’s not like it was when we were students where we get to do different plates in various modes of presentation and building types.

Marina Cruz
Art Fair Philippines Feb 2014

My friend Arlene asked me: “How do you foster your creativity?”

My answer: Get out of your box once in a while.

It’s nice to have a job and all (that’s the main purpose of attaining that BS Arch degree in the first place, right?) but most of the time, work is not what we all imagined it to be. We’ll go for months on a certain project with the nth revision. You’ll be doing the 3-d model of the entire utility core of the building down to the pipes for weeks. I mean it’s not the most glamorous job but the little things are nothing compared to the impact of our work when we zoom out of the dirty details.

So here are some ideas you might like:

  1. Make time for leisure. I know there’s a deadline and a fixed amount of leaves BUT MAKE IT COUNT! Don’t spend it on playing hooky or being late. Show up on time and make sure you’re not wasting your hours. There’s a time for everything.
  2. Explore, appreciate and delve into other forms of art. As creatives, we get inspired by the most random things. Surround yourself with creatives/ like-minded people. Make something with your hands! It’s a beautiful experience. All art begins with movement and we shouldn’t forget using all our senses in making beautiful things.
  3. Exercise and stay healthy. There’s nothing like a healthy mind and a healthy body. Work hard, play hard? I say: work hard and take care of yourself. Work towards the best version of yourself and you’ll be seeing the world in a different lens.
  4. Go out and experience new places. As a producer and user of space, lived memories become touchstones of inspiration! Go to museums, ateliers, hidden places or decide to get lost! Travel. That seems to be the most popular thing nowadays. Bring back that sense of wonder in your life.
  5. Take photographs. The memory is a subjective thing. A good camera phone/ point and shoot camera can do wonders for collecting visual inspirations.
  6. Have conversations with like-minded individuals. Find a group or round up your friends! Catching up would be awesome but an exchange of ideas is even more enriching. You may find yourself booking a trip with them. Go out with different kinds of people. It’s interesting and it would totally open your world.
  7. Read an interesting article daily. There are a lot of sources online! Even books/ magazines/ e-books are readily available for consumption. Learn constantly.
  8. Find something you love doing and fight for it! Personally, teaching twice a week is my vacation from my routine. I like being around hungry minds and I think I get that information bug as well. I think suffering getting through the work week is so worth it when I get myself inside the classroom. Find that thing worth suffering for haha!

A change of environment can bring about the most interesting encounters. It’s not bad to have a routine. It’s just that the creative mind loves spontaneity, wonder and excitement. Don’t forget to work with your hands!

I myself need a vacation. Sembreak hits soon!


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