I used to think I had no creative bone in my body. Despite being a mostly straight-A student in grade school, I had to go to remedial art class in grade 3, because I was failing art class.
I could never figure out any kind of musical instrument and was too shy for drama class. There were no creative skills that I had ever had success with!
So I had subscribed to the idea that I was not creative at all. And in fact, might be the reason I succumbed to calling myself an accountant.
In reality, I was just confined to the generic idea of creativity. Here’s the thing though, drawing, painting, music, and acting are “traditional” forms of creativity. As I grew older, I found myself searching for other creative outlets.
I have since learned, that I am somewhat creative. I just needed to find my own creative outlet or a combination of them to express myself.
I’ve always loved the idea of a hobby, but the set back early in life held me back.
Finally, I decided to spend time trying new hobbies, and creative outlets.
Most recently, I have dived deep into baking, cake decorating, and am now constantly looking for new ways to exercise my creative muscle.
Over the last few months, this curiosity has especially made it easy to find ways to stay entertained at home. I have also had a chance to reflect on how I have learned to be more creative while learning new skills. I’ve been reflecting on why I have been more successful at learning certain activities stuck, and what I would do if I were to seek out and learn another creative skill.
So here, are my best tips if you’re looking for a new creative hobby or skill! Give it a try, who knows you might just find a new hobby or talent you didn’t even know you had!
9 Tips to Learn New Creative Skills
Whether you’re learning these skills as a hobby, or you hope to monetize them one day, these tips will help you learn new creative
Practice makes perfect
This had to be my number 1 lesson. It’s easy to get caught up in this loop of instant gratification and expect ourselves to be good at something the first time we try it. Everyone has their own set of talents — things they are better naturally better at. Those skills might help you do better at certain activities vs. others. But at the end of the day practice does make perfect. Now I try to go in with the mindset that I’m not going to be good at a new skill. But that means that it can only get better from here.
Quit the comparison game
There’s a theory (that has since been debunked) that you have to work for 10,000 hours to master something. Every time I spend time on social media, I am in awe of all the creative people that are out there! Whether they’re artists, photographers, writers, home decor experts, cookie decorators, event planners, you name it! It’s great exposure to find inspiration, but it makes it easy to compare your first day to their 10th year. Remember, you are trying a new skill to learn something new, and be more creative — it’s your hobby.
Get some help
Of course, because of how much time we spend online these days, it is also easy to get help! Whether you use free resources like Google or Youtube or learn from experts online, or in your local communities, or through platforms like Skillshare or Bluprint or Masterclass. There is a way to learn every skill for whatever your budget is!
Learning from the experts will help you a fast track to learning the basics, so you can then work on adding your own creative flair later. It will also give you a sense of community, and that you are learning with others! They often also give you a blueprint to follow so that your build on your existing skills and have a solid plan while learning new skills.
Learn the basics, then add your creative flair
No matter the skill you’re trying to learn, there will be some basic technical skills you’ll have to learn. If you really want to get good at the new skill, you will have to skill to the basics first, before adding your own creative flair. Be patient, and learn the basics. Soon enough, you’ll be an expert and be able to add your own flair at whatever skill you picked!
Try different activities
If at first, you don’t succeed, try again. Of course, if you are not enjoying the skill you picked — pick a different one! There are countless new activities to try. I especially used to want to learn new skills when my day job was more analytical and technical so that I could use a different part of my brain. It gave me life to try and create something new. I enjoyed baking and cake decorating way more than I enjoyed lettering, or playing the guitar.
Keep track of your progress
Your first draft is always a great memory to keep. It’ll help you keep going when you feel like there is no progress, and it is inspiring to see how far you have come. It also makes for great content to show off your before and afters to your friends!
It’s easy for life and Netflix to get in the way. It helps to be intentional when trying to learn new skills. I like to use my bullet journal to keep track of how many days I practiced said new skill. You could also schedule it in your calendar or set reminders on your phone, like every Wednesday night after work could be dedicated to practicing this new skill.
However often you choose to indulge in this new activity, it is best to stay consistent. It’s easy to lose track of time, or not realize how quickly days and weeks can go by before you touch that new guitar again.
Invest a little
Spend a little money on supplies, or a new notebook, or some tools. Of course, you don’t need to spring for the top of line items, but it does help invest just a little to keep you accountable, and motivated when you have the right tools to succeed!
Have you tried any to learn any new creative skills lately? I would love to hear in the comments below how you’re progressing!
Originally published at https://sprinklesandscribbles.com on August 21, 2020.