Art materials on a desk

Life is busy.  I know this isn’t a new revelation or anything.  But, recently I realized that I seem to spend more time away from the studio than in it these days.  Kind of sad.  Even more of a let down is that the studio is where I spark creativity to make the designs for my business.  Without time there to think and create, I worry that I will lose my creative edge that’s my business’ backbone.

Everyone has crazy seasons.  It’s part of life.  The problem is figuring out how to continue to be creative through them. 

When I’m constantly on the go, my creativity wilts.  I’m fully focused on my laundry list of to dos instead of thinking about what to create next.  It can be really difficult to run a creative based business when creativity is lacking.  

Desk with confetti and laptop with the text overlay "10 Ways to Spark Creativity on the go"

Until recently.  I found this really cool creativity kit at our local book shop.  It’s a little box of matches to “spark your creativity”.  You pull out a match and do the creative activity on it.

Activities include things like collecting advice from creative heroes and turning off your electronics so you can think.  You know ideas to spark creativity.

As I looked at the box, it hit me that creativity isn’t just limited to my studio space.  I can spark creativity when I’m on the go too.  Sometimes, maybe even more (as seen by travelers who find amazing inspiration as they wander).  I just need to figure out the best ways to do so.

Instead of getting frustrated of always needing to go places, I need to embrace my movements and find ways to be more creative in the process.

This started some thinking about some fun ways to be creative on the go.  Here are my favorites to spark creativity no matter where you’re at.

Watch the Clouds

Have you ever spent time just staring up at the clouds?

This is one of my favorite ways to relax and was inspired by my kids.  I noticed that they’re extremely calm just basking on a picnic blanket and staring up at the sky.  One day I asked them what they were looking at.  They described a jousting knight, crawling ladybug and unicorn. 

When I looked up, I just saw clouds.  But then I looked again.  Once I let my mind wander, those white streaks above started swirling into lots of different things.  That day I think it was a snowman and waterfall.   

Not only did I find it extremely relaxing, but creative ideas started flowing.

Next time you’re on the go, take the time to look up at the sky and get lost in the clouds.  They offer so much great creative inspiration.  Write down or doodle what you see and the things you think about.  You’d be surprised how many ideas can come from just slowing down your thoughts.

Make a Creativity Box

Although you could purchase the creativity box I found here, another idea is to make your own.  Check out our creativity box DIY to create a tool to spark creativity when you’re on the go.

You can also just write down some of your own creative ideas and keep them on little slips of paper in your purse.  Then, pull them out when you need to get your creativity kick started.  Just one little phrase can provide tons of new ideas to try.

Write in your Journal

Just because you’re not at home, doesn’t mean you have to leave your journal behind.  You can keep your creative thoughts on the go in a pocket journal that fits in your purse.

And don’t think that you need to keep the same type of journal in your purse that you keep at home.  Change the journal type up to spark creativity.

Make your journal an art journal, nature journal or even a place you write your thoughts about the world.  Check out these journal prompts to help give you ideas to write about.

And if you aren’t keen about taking a paper and pencil journal with you, these smartphone apps to journal on your mobile device might work just as well.  You can include photos, drawings, events and even track your mood.  It’s a great way to record all of these amazing things happening without needing to bring any materials with you.

Art supplies on desk with the text overlay "Too busy to be creative?  10 Ways to spark creativity on the go"

Draw What You See

One of my tricks to spark creativity on the go is to carry a small notebook with me.  Not quite a journal, but more like a blank slate.  When I have to wait somewhere – coffee shop for my next meeting, picking up the kids at their activity, etc. – I pull out my notebook and draw what I see.  (This has become such a popular activity, our local art school just did a whole class on doodling in the coffee shop.)

Sometimes it’s the pretty flowers on the table at the coffee shop.  Or the back of the car in front of me.  Choose something in your line of vision so you don’t waste too many minutes trying to think about what to draw.

No matter what I choose to draw, this free flow exercise frees my mind and let’s my creative juices sing.

Turn off Electronic Devices

Although we all know we shouldn’t be using our electronic devices while driving by now, using and turning off are two different things.  Even while I drive, it might still receive alerts and messages that bombard me when I do check it at my next destination.

Unless I am waiting for something important, I have learned to turn off my device and forget about it.  I know crazy.  Or put it in airplane mode.  This way it really is silent and my creativity can wander.  You’ll be amazed by what you discover.

Listen to a Podcast

I recently discovered the joy of podcasts when I started working out again.  It’s been awesome to get a work out in and spark creativity at the same time.

But don’t just choose any podcast to listen to, select a creative podcast that will spark creativity.  Here’s a list of 40 creative podcasts to get you started.  Everything from typography to growing your creative brand, you’re sure to find something to inspire you.

Carry an Idea Notebook

Since I dreamed of becoming a writer twenty years ago, I’ve carried around an idea notebook.  Although the types of ideas I write down have changed – from new products to design for our shop to blog posts to write – I still keep my thoughts snug inside.

And I don’t leave home without it.

Recently, though, I’ve also started a Ideas List in Evernote where I write things I want to create and write.  I found this list easier to access when I’d get ideas while nursing my littles.  My phone was always available – not my Ideas Notebook.

However you prefer to keep your ideas, have a place to write down your creative thoughts as they come to you.  Some of my best ideas come while driving around, so I’ve literally pulled the car over to write them down.  By storing them for later, you will improve your craft and never be lost for the project to work on next.

Puzzle Box

Recently, my little received a set of mini metal brain teaser puzzles for his birthday.  Since they’re a bit too challenging yet, I decided to give one a try.

As I sat there struggling to solve it, I noticed it my creative thinking started whirring.  This little metal puzzle got my mind off of what was going on around me and focused my thoughts just enough so creative ideas flowed.

So, I slipped one in my purse for those moments that I need to spark creativity.  They are a perfect distraction for when you’re waiting for something.

Although I enjoy the metal brain teasers, any small puzzle will do.  Check out these handcrafted wooden puzzle boxes, a small colorful puzzle cube or even a mini flat puzzle.

30 Circles Test

If you’re on the go and need a creative boost, try taking the 30 Circles Test.  This creativity exercise was designed by Bob McKim and featured in Tim Brown’s Ted Talk called Creativity and Play.

Here’s how it works: Draw 30 circles on a piece of paper.  In one minute, make as many of the circles into something that you can.  Some ideas might be a snowman, a sun and a basketball.  See how many you can do.

Now if you have a smaller piece of paper because you’re on the go, try 15 circles instead.  I don’t think the number of circles matters or the time spent making things.  Just using the exercise to stimulate your brain to figure out what to make them into.

If you’re kids are in the car with you, this might be a fun activity for everyone to spark creativity.  Research found that kids were better at this game than adults.  Mainly because they explore more possibilities without being so critical with themselves.  Test it out.  You might be able to spark creativity in the whole family.

Build Something

I find working with my hands is a great way to spark creativity.  For on the go moments, keep a mini container of Playdoh in your purse.  When you need a creative boost, take it out and start sculpting.  Occupying our hands makes our brains very happy.  And happy brains spark amazing creativity. So sculpt away.

If you aren’t that into Playdoh, you could also try a mixed set of Legos (if you’re kids are older, have them put it together for you) or even one of these mini building block sets.

See what you build. Y ou’ll be surprised how many ideas come out of your creation.

Final Thoughts…

Just because you’re busy and on the go doesn’t mean that you can’t find ways to spark creativity.  Creativity is important to growing any business and brand.  Spending time discovering your creative thoughts each day will help your business grow.

Figure out which activities you like the best to spark your creativity.  Gather the materials and take them with you in your purse.  When you have a few minutes, instead of jumping on your mobile device, do the activity.

See what inspiration comes from the results.  I’ve found during these busy years, some of my best ideas come when I’m out and about doing something else.  Let this time spark creativity.  You never know where it will take you.

What are your favorite ways to spark creativity when on the go?  Share them below.  I’m always looking for new ideas to get my creativity going!

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