10 Ways to Make a Creative Start to the Year

As the new year begins, it's time to turn the page on the previous year and begin anew. But how can you make sure that this year is your most creative and productive yet?

It can be difficult to get off to a good start and set a creative tone for the year, but with the right tools and strategies, you can make sure that your new year is your best yet.

In this blog post, we'll explore how to get creative and productive from day one, so that you can make the most of the year ahead.

1. Go through your old artworks

An excellent way to begin your year is to get a fresh perspective on the previous year's work. It's like a little drive through memory lane and a good flashback to all the creative things you did or could have done better, and you can do it better this year.

Sometimes we have ideas, but we need the skill set to achieve those ideas to their potential. So we linger around and try our best. Now this new year, take up all your own best works from 2022 or before and try to recreate them. Previous years of experience will take those paintings to the next stage. You can find inspiration to create/build something new from the old.

2. Start your year with new learnings

Take a course, learn a new technique, or a new art style or venture into something different, but invest and learn something. This further adds to your creative journey and helps you set a mood.

When you learn something new, your experimentative side of the brain connects and enables you to bring in curiosity about what you can do more, where you can develop more and become better. When you learn a new skill, it lets out creative juices, and you feel more energised in your creative department.

Experiencing new forms/styles or techniques is your brain's building block.

3. Set a goal for this year & plan ahead!

Start with a goal. This will help you plan the year and be more creative. Knowing where you are walking towards activates your creative juices, as you will keep thinking about it and be able to identify more opportunities that suit your goal.

This way, you can also set a routine or build a plan around the year; you can add different themes to each month that will help to create excitement and curiosity about what you can make related to that particular month.

When you have planned your month's activity, it becomes easier to keep going and to look forward to something already waiting for you next month.

4. Write your daily progress in a journal

Start maintaining a journal, and write and record your progress daily; this will help you grow and learn about your journey in detail. It's a great time capsule. When you read this at the end of the year, it will fuel your creative thinking. You will also be able to create a step-by-step learning process for your teaching aids.

5. Fly out of your comfort zone

Flying outside your zone helps you step out of your shell and build on experience. When you learn something new, reach out to go and explore something different that you have never tried before. When you do this, you feel like a new block of Jenga was pushed out, and you build a new story in your creative building without shaking the old.

6. Read and learn about your fellow artist; old and new.

By learning about the old and current masters and reliving their journey, you can drive inspiration from their work and life struggles. Surround yourself with artists and their stories. Watch a movie like 'Loving Vincent' or read about Leonardo da Vinci or your favourite artist. Isn't it nice to surround yourself and begin with the legends?

7. Work on something just for you

Out of all your work, start your year with a project for yourself. Always make something for yourself, like your own little side project. It's a great way to pump freedom- creative thinking.

8. Meet/ connect with artists around you.

Another way to find inspiration and be creative is to meet up with fellow artists from around your city. This really helps you tap into that buddy system and share the creative vibe with another artist. It would be a great way to start a year with a good art talk.

9. Build a routine

The best way to be actively creative is to build and commit a dedicated time towards your practice that will clock in your creative juices during that particular time you set for practice. Then, when you stick to your routine, you will find yourself in a highly motivated and creative state of mind.

10. Be compassionate towards yourself and your work.

Lastly, learning to be more compassionate towards your work and your journey will strengthen your relationship with yourself and your understanding of your work of art.

Being creative is a pattern or a routine, the more you practice it, the more creative ideas will come to you, and you can use these steps to build on them. There is an inspiration in every corner; find something that will help you start your year creatively and continue the flow throughout.

Conclusion

The start of a new year is an opportunity to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future. It's a time to set goals and create a plan for how to achieve them.

To be creative and productive from day one, start by setting realistic expectations, taking time to plan and prioritize, and carving out dedicated time for creative pursuits. With the right mindset and tools, you can set a creative tone for the year and make the most of each day.

Nilofer Sajida Rehman is a watercolour and mural artist from Mumbai, India. She is also an ambassador for the Pinterest India Art Community and a co-artist in "Me with a Pencil" Art Studio.
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