Many people think of creativity as an innate quality. But in reality, creativity is a skill that you can and should develop. Creative people are more likely to innovate at work and are recognized and rewarded for their achievements. They are more intellectually curious and inquisitive, leading to a more diverse and fulfilling lifestyle. But how do you increase your creativity? Read on with NYXT for five ways to boost your creativity and imagination here in New York City.
1. Connect with creative people
Practicing creativity doesn’t have to be a solitary venture. Get inspired by the achievements and practices of creative professionals by attending a breakfast talk presented by Creative Mornings. In addition to inspiring lectures, Creative Mornings events are an opportunity to network with the NYC marketing, tech, and design scenes.
See below: Creative Mornings - Michael Tavani
Once you’ve made new creative friends, get together for a brainstorming session! Working with others is a form of innovation, not a failure of imagination. Talk to your coworkers the next time that you are feeling blocked by a creative challenge at work. Reach out to your network for their take on your home decorating plan or next vacation itinerary. Hearing new perspectives and responses to your ideas may be just what you need to shift your thinking and stretch your imagination.
Related Blog: Career Development for Creative New Yorkers
2. Take a class
It might surprise you think that a structured curriculum or set of exercises might help to boost your creativity. Creativity is supposed to be organic and intuitive, right? Try a workshop at the New York Neo-Futurists, an experimental theater group, where they will challenge you through prompts, collaborative writing, and active critique. Even if you’re not a writer or playwright by trade, the process of pushing through writer's’ block, continuing to create, and working as a team will flex your mental muscles.
3. Visit the arts
Looking for a way to instantly broaden your horizons? Get into the arts. The thriving arts scene in New York brings artists and artworks from around the world together in your neighborhood. Check out the Rubin Museum of Art, which showcases the arts of Southeast Asia, or visit the Harlem Arts Festival each June to tap into the diverse arts of our city.
See below: Rubin Museum - Fred Tomaselli
A wealth of research has shown that taking your children to museums is invaluable. Museums provide immersive experiences and show children objects and images they would never come across in their everyday lives. Encountering new art, images, and perspectives help kids think outside the box, and is essential not only for creativity but critical thinking and social development too! The Children’s Museum of the Arts is a great local museum with exhibitions and programming, including hands-on activities geared toward engaging kids and teaching appreciation for the arts. Participating in making art is a fantastic way to give kids confidence and spark imagination and can take place at any time. If you’re looking to give your little ones a creative boost, check out DIY for online courses and inspiration.
4. Do something new and scary
Creativity is about thinking outside the box, generating fresh ideas and perspectives. How will you ever do that if you don’t challenge yourself to do something new? Fear, of failure and judgment, often stops us from taking risks and trying new things. And the best way to break that cycle is by doing something that scares you.
At the Magnet Theater in Chelsea, you can take a beginner’s improv class where making a fool out of yourself is not only ok, it’s encouraged. To let the creative juices flow, Magnet’s instructors will teach you to let go of your fears. By challenging yourself to do something alien (and potentially embarrassing), you’ll be learning how to let go of your worries and maybe find that getting it wrong is sometimes worth it.
5. Give your brain a rest
This point may seem counterintuitive -- You’re trying to stimulate your mind, after all! A lot of creative block and frustration can come from mental fatigue. The amount of information we process each day from our digital devices alone is exhausting. Unplug from the stream of text messages, internet articles, and Instagram posts by curling up with a good story (Strand Books might be able to recommend a few) or taking a yoga or meditation class. Plan time to take a walk and explore the city. You never know what will be waiting around the corner in New York, although if you’re looking for the perfect destination, Manhattan Sideways may be just the place to find the unique and wonderful place that will take you on a creative journey.
See below: Manhattan Sideways - Books of Wonder
Related Blog: Top 4 Benefits of Reading Books Every Day
Ready to jumpstart your creativity? For opportunities to visit the arts, to network, learn, and challenge yourself, look no further than our NYXT content partners and be sure to visit our Events Calendar to learn more about creative opportunities near you!
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