How to Be More Creative in Art: 5 Easy Ways

how to develop creativity as an artist

Can creativity be developed? If so, how can artists develop creativity? Keep reading to find out more. Photo by Michael B. of Evolve Artist

Have you ever sat in front of your blank canvas and wondered when the creativity will hit? Maybe you’re just out of ideas and feeling completely uninspired. The good news is that as an artist sometimes you have to develop creativity, it’s not always natural and free-flowing.

Many people have the false impression that artists are simply born filled with creativity. Here at Evolve, we believe that while some people are indeed gifted with a natural ability to express themselves artistically without much training, the majority of artists develop creativity and carefully develop it with training and practice.

The best way to develop creativity as an artist is to have as many experiences as possible.  If you've asked yourself how to be more creative in art, you'll want to keep reading on.

Evolve students develop creativity through experience, like this painting by Evolve student Ramona O.

Experiences Develop Creativity

Artists develop creativity from experiences. The more experiences you have, both as an artist and as a human, the more ideas will flow towards your artwork.

In order to generate new ideas, you also need to spend time investigating the experiences you do have. If you are interested in painting a subject, you must go and investigate and experience that subject.

If you want to paint birds, you have to have an understanding of those birds. You must watch how they move, discuss them with knowledgeable professionals, view other artists’ work of the same subject; these are the things that will increase your creativity towards the thing you wish to paint.

Make expanding your horizons a personal policy and standard behavior for yourself. If you see something interesting, go up to investigate and understand what it is in order to develop creativity.

how to be more creative in art

Museums can do a lot to develop creativity for artists. Photo by iSAW Company

1. Try New Things

One of the reasons we often feel less creative or out of ideas is due to the fact that we aren’t experimenting enough with the ideas that we do have. To learn how to be more creative in art and boost creativity, you have to make things!

When you have a whisper of an idea, no matter how basic, or are inspired by something you have been investigating or experiencing, begin to sketch it out.

Then, experiment with different angles, lighting, and mentally walk around your subject. As you explore, you will find fresh ideas and creative bursts that emerge from the experimentation.

Just like a muscle, to develop creativity you need practice. With regular practice, the creative capacities of our brains can grow and be triggered. Here are a few simple ways that you can develop creativity to form new ideas:

2. Sketching

Sketching everything around you, from your breakfast to your train ride, can help you to start to see the world around you in a new way. Getting into the ritual of doing this every day can also help to build good creative habits, where something becomes a necessary part of your day.

3. Journaling 

Writing down your ideas, thoughts, and reactions can be a useful tool for artists. Some artists feel fulfilled simply by sketching their reactions and emotions, but others find more understanding in their experiences by writing things down to later process. Take a journal to a museum, and write down your reactions and what catches your eye to develop creativity.

4. Find a Creative Space

Another way on how to be more creative in art is to find a creative space.  Whether it be nature, a studio space, a museum, or a busy coffee shop, find a place where you feel the urge and need to create. Make sure it’s not too distracting, and settle in to develop creativity and create ideas.

5. Join an Art Community + Ask Questions

Reach out to artists and ask questions. Ask peers how they exercise and develop creativity. Surrounding yourself with fellow art lovers and people with similar passions will fuel and push you to learn and explore different and new areas of the art world. Remember that experiences become fuel for creativity.  

In order to develop your creativity, simply keep experimenting, exploring, and exercising!

Final Thoughts on How to Be More Creative in Art

Learning how to be more creative in art couldn't be easier.  Artists just need to know how to develop that creativity intentionally. It is a skill that takes attention, but once cultivated, it can enable you to make work stronger than you could have thought possible.

Don’t be shy about investigating the world you live in, because the world that you live in eventually makes its way into your work. It makes its way in either as you found it or in some augmented fashion that fits your needs.

Show us in the comments below what's been working for you when you're wanting to build more creativity.

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