7 Ways to Unleash Creativity and Tap into Your Artistic Side in Midlife
Tapping into my own creativity over the last decade has changed my life in more ways than I can count. It has shifted the focus on my life’s work and brought me hours of fun, connection and adventure. Now I have regular daily creative practice that nourishes and sustains me. I call it my MAAP process and I will share more about that in another post. Suffice it to say that I cannot encourage you enough to explore a variety of creative outlets and see what sticks.
Below you will find 7 of my favorite ideas for unleashing your creativity and tapping into your artistic side – even if you don’t think you have one! We might not all be Georgia O’Keefe, but we are all innately creative and just need to find the path to our personal flavor of creative expression.
That’s me in the photo above with one of my early paintings!
Studies in neuroaesthestics show that participating in creative activities or even looking at art have tremendous benefits for our mental wellbeing and that making time for art is as important as other forms of self-care like eating healthy and exercising.
- Embrace Playfulness: Rediscover the joy of play and let go of any self-imposed expectations. Engage in activities that bring out your inner child, such as painting, doodling, or even dancing around your living room. Give yourself permission to experiment and explore without judgment. Remember, creativity thrives when we allow ourselves to play.
How to get started: Try attending a painting workshop where you can experiment with different techniques and create your own masterpiece. Release your inner Picasso and have fun with colors and brushes! I offer a variety of virtual and in person art retreat and classes like my virtual Wild Creative Abandon retreat coming in August 2023.
- Cultivate Inspiration: Surround yourself with sources of inspiration that resonate with you. Visit art galleries, attend concerts, or explore nature to stimulate your senses. Delve into books, films, or documentaries that explore different artistic styles and movements. Immerse yourself in the world of creativity and let it fuel your own artistic expression.
How to get started: Take a trip to a local art gallery and absorb the works of renowned artists. Observe their techniques, color choices, and brushstrokes. Allow their art to inspire and influence your own creative endeavors. My husband and I recently visited a small local museum that had an incredible exhibit of Picasso’s print making experiments. We were in awe of we saw and it inspired me to try new things in my own art making.
- Explore Different Art Forms: Don’t limit yourself to a single art form. Experiment with various creative outlets, such as painting, pottery, photography, writing, or music. Trying different mediums will help you uncover hidden talents and discover new forms of self-expression. I love experimenting with all kinds of new things from mixology to flower arranging! I recently attended a class where we painted with spices, so much fun.
How to get started: Enroll in a ceramics class and learn to mold clay into beautiful sculptures. Get your hands dirty and embrace the tactile experience of creating three-dimensional art. Or look for a local art studio that offers something interesting like book making or stained glass art.
- Join Creative Communities: Connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for creativity. Join local art groups, online forums, or attend workshops where you can interact with fellow artists. Surrounding yourself with a supportive community will provide encouragement, feedback, and opportunities for collaboration. If you are looking for a creative community to join, check out my Sacred Circles membership where we gather a few times a month for mindful coloring and Zentangle® lessons.
How to get started: Participate in a writing circle where you can share your stories, poems, or memoirs with other aspiring writers. Engage in discussions, receive constructive feedback, and nurture your writing skills together with a supportive group.
- Set Aside Dedicated Time: Carve out specific blocks of time in your schedule solely dedicated to your artistic pursuits. Treat it as sacred time for yourself and your creativity. Whether it’s a few hours each week or a full weekend retreat, having designated creative time will help you maintain focus and make progress in your artistic journey. For me this happens every single morning, even when I travel. My morning routine includes meditation, art and writing. I call it my MAAP process, more coming about that soon. I know it can feel hard to find time and space to be creative and you will wish you had hours. All you really need is 15 minutes! We show you how to do this in our Sacred Circles community.
How to get started: Create a cozy corner in your home where you can set up an art studio or writing nook. Make it your personal sanctuary, a space where you can retreat and immerse yourself in your artistic endeavors. Having a dedicated space means you aren’t trying to clean up your dining room table every time you want to sit down to dinner with the family.
- Learn from Experts: Invest in your artistic growth by seeking guidance from professionals in your chosen art form. Attend workshops or classes led by experienced artists who can impart their knowledge and techniques. Learning from experts will help you refine your skills and take your creativity to new heights. Local museums often offer great adult education classes.
How to get started: Enroll in a photography workshop where a renowned photographer shares their insights on composition, lighting, and post-processing. Gain hands-on experience and learn to capture stunning images with the guidance of a seasoned professional. Or enroll in Masterclass and learn from a variety of experts, we have loved doing this!
- Embrace Creative Challenges: Push yourself beyond your comfort zone by taking on creative challenges or projects. Set goals for yourself, such as completing a series of paintings, writing a short story, or composing a piece of music. By embracing challenges, you’ll stretch your creative muscles and unlock new levels of artistic growth. It’s essential to find your beginner’s mind again and make art like a kid! Let go of that inner critic and embrace the challenge and the play.
How to get started: Participate in an art exhibition or gallery showcase where you commit to creating a collection of artwork to be displayed publicly. The deadline and opportunity for public display will motivate you to create and share your unique artistic vision. Or find a writer’s group who reads their work aloud and share your writing!
Midlife is a perfect time to tap into your artistic side and unleash your creativity. Embrace playfulness, seek inspiration, explore different art forms, join creative communities, set aside dedicated time, learn from experts, and embrace creative challenges. By incorporating these practices into your life, you’ll embark on a fulfilling artistic journey and unlock new realms of self-expression and personal growth. What are you waiting for?? Pick up that paintbrush, grab that pen, or play that musical instrument—your artistic adventure awaits! One of the women in my creative community started playing cello in her 50s. Anything is possible!