Creating is Practical.
Whenever I introduce myself to people and they ask what my profession is, I reply Creative Producer. I know as soon as I tell people this, they begin to look at me a little deeper; because I am not what a “stereotypical creative” looks like. People see a woman wearing overalls splattered in paint, standing in front of a canvas, a paintbrush dangling from her fingertips. Maybe you picture a thin man whose long dark hair has fallen around his face as he gazes down at the guitar slung from his shoulder. Or you might envision a different man, sitting in the corner of a coffee shop: one with unkempt hair, a wrinkled oxford shirt and corduroys. He might have a coffee in one hand and a pen in the other as he scribbles the plot outline for his next novel in his moleskin notebook. But here I am with blonde hair, freckles, taco in hand, and obsessed with every shade of pink.
I don’t think I’ve always been a creative. But, I do remember the first time I felt a passion to create. I was 17 and a first year intern for Mainstream Orlando Internship. Pastor Sonia challenged us to look up ideas for future sets, series ideas, and different things we could do in service. So I went home and researched. I found myself feeling giddy while searching and writing down dreams, visions, and ideas. The first thing I created was a paper Mache zombie arm (Yes you read that right.) Over the course of 4 years serving with P. Sonia and The Voice, I was given incredible opportunities to create, learn, fail, and create some more. I found myself thriving whenever I had an idea and saw it come to fruition.
What about you? When have you been at your most creative? How did that feel? Do you have your most creative thoughts in the shower, right before falling asleep, on a run after a long day at work, or on a walk through nature? What do you do with these ideas?
I’ve got 5 things to help yourself be a better creative starting today! Whenever we see a finished product – whether it’s a photograph or a video – we’re often amazed and ask, “How did they think of that?!” The truth is that everyone has the potential to come up with a creative idea.
There are so many ways to help you think of ideas, and here are five of them:
- Spending time with God
Whenever I have a creative block, or can’t come up with anything, I have to ask myself. “Did you pray today? Have I spent real connection time with God?” In the creating process, it’s so important that we are spending time with God, that we listen to Him, and that we allow God to create with us. Pray that God would speak to you, and position yourself so that you can hear from Him.
True creativity is working with the Creator. It’s not about striving in our own strength, but being sensitive to the Spirit and being open to what God wants to do through you.
- Collaborating with others
So often the creative process requires collaboration. Don’t be afraid to work with other designers or departments in your church or organization. Let’s not restrict ourselves to only the ideas we can come up with, but work with other creative minds to think of even better ideas and to sharpen each other’s thoughts. I find I create the best when I bring my ideas with others who can help sharpen and add to the vision.
- Listening to the heart of your pastors
When I’m creating a video, an opener piece or a graphic, it’s so important that we’re honoring the vision of our leaders. At our church, we’re always trying to do things that visually represent what is on the hearts of our Pastors. That means leaning in to what they’re saying and what they’re preaching, so that we can communicate their heart to the world.
4. Finish what you start
This might be engraved in my head from Pastor Sonia as an intern. There is nothing more satisfying and rewarding than finishing what you start. It is so easy to get distracted and start something else because you get excited and want to create NOW. I get it, but I always wonder how many inventions, songs, and art, are just scribbled away in a drawer because someone didn’t finish their creation.
5. Staying inspired
What are you doing to stay inspired? What are you doing to keep your mind fed? Read magazines and books, watch music videos, listen to the radio, go for a walk on the beach – there are so many things out there that God can use to stir a thought. Expose yourself to media, styles and environments you don’t normally experience – you never know where that next idea may drop.
At the end of the day, the greatest videos, photographs, social media campaigns and artworks are yet to be created. Focus on your time with God, your collaboration with others and investing in your own creativity so that new creative ideas are continually being brought to fruition.
Lastly I leave with this verse 1 Corinthians 4:16-18:
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Fix your eyes on the UNSEEN that is eternal. I pray you always create from a heart that wants to produce eternal results.