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Exercising Your Creative Chops In 2021

by Trey Harris, Dynamic North

New year. New business. New energy.

The most gratifying step in forming a brand new company in two weeks from scratch has been exercising creative muscles. Wow, it feels good! If you haven’t done it in a while, try it. It’s like rediscovering a 1980’s movie you love, or realizing how much you enjoy eggplant parmesan. What steps can you take to buffing up your brain’s biceps? The right side of your brain? It may seem simple, but all good advice is.

Do weird stuff.

I’m not talking about super-strange, off-beat, deviant behavior. I’m talking about getting outside your comfort zone a little and doing something you normally wouldn’t do that’s creative. Last week, I had a drawing competition with my 8-year-old. “Scrooge McDuck” was the Disney character we drew together under the tutelage of an incredibly talented online Disney sketch artist. For me, it was like trying to write with my left hand. Felt weird, but good.

Don’t expect perfection.

As I listen to my 12-year-old learning to play trumpet, I am reminded of how creativity starts somewhere. What’s the fingering for a B-flat? Is that a quarter note? Slowly she is learning to creatively express herself through music. It’s definitely a process. Notes first. Rhythm second. Music last. Not perfect at all. But beautiful.

Own it. Enjoy it.

Whenever you create, just roll with it. Take a step back and smile at it. So often people are worried about getting half-hearted compliments. Don’t sweat it! Whoever is commenting on your work is just trying to be supportive. In fact, it’s like they’re complimenting your workout. Baby steps. Just know that in the world of creativity, we’re all somewhere on the time-space continuum. And it takes a while to develop big creativity muscles.


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