Increase Your Creativity: Work in Other Mediums

Dr. Purushothaman
November 25, 2013


Are you looking for ways to increase your creativity?

Many years ago a group of music students at the Boston Conservatory of Music taught me this lesson. Every one of them was working in some medium other than their music. Some of them were acting, others painting and still others dancing, but all agreed their music was improved as a result.

This is true for all "creatives." Improve your creative process and output by singing if you're a painter, by dancing If you're a sculptor, or by painting If you're a writer.

By working in a secondary medium you have a chance to be a beginner, to loosen your creative muscles, and to bypass performance anxiety. Since it's "just for fun," you get to play and experiment in ways you may not allow yourself in your primary medium, or at least you haven't for a very long time.

Think of it as a warm up exercise. The fun you have playing in a new medium is contagious and will energize your creative work.

The cross pollination that happens between mediums also inspires new creative possibilities. Looking at art, listening to music or watching a performance can inspire, but actively engaging, in a hands-on sort of way, will catapult you into a whole new realm of creative inspiration.

I recommend working in another medium for all "creatives," but it is an especially helpful technique when you're feeling uninspired or just plain blocked. We all go through dry spells. So rather than beating yourself up about being blocked, take a class in something you've never tried or go to the art store and buy some materials to play with.

Whatever you choose need not be extravagant or expensive. Knitting and gardening are favorites among my clients. Other possibilities are drawing, painting, photography, dance, acting, pottery, cooking, sewing, quilting, singing, writing poetry, or playing a musical instrument. You get the picture. Any and all creative mediums work.

If you're not already working in another medium, the best place to start is to look for something you always thought might be fun but never gave yourself permission to try. Follow your heart and your dreams, be willing to experiment and, most importantly, take some action to get your creative juices moving in new and exciting ways.

Read Related Recent Articles