It’s crazy what kids can do with a cardboard box. In the span of three seconds, a spaceship can transform into a shack and then into a huge hat. A lifeless object, the underdog of toys, turns out to be the best playing field ever. Why? Because it leaves total room for imagination.
Today, a blank page feels like something we must avoid at all costs. What do we do when we’re waiting for the bus? We scroll through our Instagram feed until our thumb cramps. On a quiet night in, what do we do? We binge watch Narcos: Mexico as if there were no tomorrow. What do we do when we wake up in the morning? With our eyes barely open, we read the latest news.
Technically, there’s nothing wrong about that. We interact with people, we cultivate ourselves by watching smart TV shows and we keep ourselves informed. Sooo, what’s the problem? We consume all those things passively. We consume creative content (photos, TV shows, written pieces, etc.), without ever creating some ourselves. And I honestly think it’s putting a part of our brain to sleep.
The other day, after working super hard from dusk to dawn, I really needed to sit back and relax. had to unwind. All set for my romantic date with Netflix, I decided to turn off my computer and do the impossible. I took out my brushes, my paint jars and I became Bob Ross for three full hours on a Tuesday night. ROCK’N’ROLL!!! Haha, but I mean, proactive creativity really does induce incredible satisfaction. Not to be preachy, but for me, it’s one of the only ways I can really immerse myself in the present. Also, making physical things with your own hands, in an era where everything seems intangible, is beyond satisfying. It’s like getting back to basics. Clearly, I’m not the only who thinks there are many upsides to creativity.
In a study on the relation between art and health, researchers found that expressing oneself through art helps in maintaining and building a positive identity. There’s more! Based on another one done in 2004, elderly people who participated in theatrical performances improved their psychological well-being and their cognitive abilities in just four weeks. Another study from 2014 has shown that people who have had a musical training have a better connection between their brain’s two hemispheres.
How to Integrate Creativity to Your Day-To-Day
Opportunities are INFINITE! You just have to recognize them.
Use Your Style as a Mean of Expression
Because we wear clothes everyday, style is an amazing starting point for exploring our creative side. Personally, as a fashion person, I’d say it’s my favourite channel: I like getting out of my comfort zone, have fun, and mix trends in a way that feels mine. Last week, Alexis Nihon invited me for a little shopping spree and I really went on a mission to find bold pieces, that are really me, but like an elevated version of me. Great news: I found a Nanette Lepore maxi 70s-inspired dress and Rag & Bone smoking palazzo pants at Winners, and I’m in love.
The thing with fashion is that it’s often perceived as superficial, but I really believe that the way we dress truly has an impact on our self-confidence and our identity. Just like the research we do before going on a trip or how or how we gather inspiration images before redecorating our living room, I think we should approach our style with the same kind of thorough process. How do you want to feel? What do you want to project? Make a Pinterest board composed of your style muses, from then and now, and scan their looks. What colours are they wearing? How do they style things together? Are there recurrent silhouettes? Keep it close next time you go shopping or don’t know what to wear.
Rethink Your Friend Dates
My friend Stephanie is a super creative gal and so I am, but the other day, we both realized that we had become a bit lazy in that area. Every time we see each other, it’s a given: we go to a restaurant or have drinks (two things I love). It’s cool, but still, change never hurt anybody.
Thus we gave each other a challenge: Next time we would see each other, we would have to make something. Guess what we did? We made delicious but really ugly butter cookies (my boyfriend thought a kid had baked them). But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we kept our promise: We made something and we had a blast while doing it. Next up on our list? Attend a drawing class and enrol in a pottery class. We might even have a Ghost moment.
Become a DIY Connoisseur
Do you own a piece of furniture in dire need of love? An empty wall begging to be embellished with a painting? During my shopping session at Alex Nihon, I stopped by Omer Deserres and I bought everything required to make huge pearl earrings. I looked quickly on Pinterest to figure out the gear I needed and, a couple of hours later, I was holding my super fancy handmade jewelry.
Speaking of personalizing, it’s a concept you can totally carry over to your beauty routine. Again at Alexis Nihon, I went to Naturiste, a natural health boutique, and got oils (jojoba and coconut), essential oils (black pine and ginger) and green clay to whip up face and hair masks and moisturizing cream with aromatherapeutic benefits.
It’s totally okay to buy stuff as is, but when you can tweak it to your tastes and needs, it’s so satisfying. Coming from a DIY lover, you know it’s true.
The Famous Bullet Journal (Which I Haven’t Tried… Yet)
It’s become impossible to ignore, it’s everywhere. The bullet journal has grown such a big fan base that, yes, I’ve been craving to try if for a quite a while now. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s like a life organizer that you create from scratch. So what you have to do is buy a sketchbook and colour, paint, and draw what you want, little master pieces that will become the background to your to-do lists, your mom’s apple crumble recipe, and your mood fluctuations throughout the month. For those who might feel intimidated at the idea of painting a whole canvas or learn how to play an instrument, I think a bullet journal is an accessible medium to ease into your create personality. If you need a bit of inspo, there’s some here and here.
*This article was done in collaboration with Alexis Nihon. All opinions are mine though :)