There are many reasons why you might not be in your studio: you might be working from home (opens in new tab) or away at an event, for example. Taking a break from your studio space is a great way to jumpstart your creativity, so follow the tips below to get the most out of this time away.
The best part? These tips can be used while you're at your studio, too. That's the thing about creativity... It can't be contained.
01. Go for a walk
It's simple: exercise is a great way to keep your mind sharp, help you stay focused and enhance your creativity. But it can be so much more than that. If you're staying in a relatively safe area, take a walk around the city and the surrounding area. Use this opportunity to discover new things, like buildings and street names. Or better yet, nature!
02. Read a book
Thanks to ebooks, it's now possible to carry an entire library of books on your phone, so there's no reason why you can't end your day with some light reading. When you read a book, you're forced to imagine a whole new world. Sure, you can watch a movie, but what fun is that?
03. Use a sketchbook
Whether you use a traditional sketchbook or an iPad and an app, being able to sketch things while you're away from your studio is a great way to stay creative.
Last November, I had an opportunity to speak at Ùll (opens in new tab), which is a developer conference held in Ireland. Although I packed an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil, most of my creativity happened with a simple notepad (opens in new tab) and ballpoint pen. If you get a chance, random sketching – regardless of your artistic ability – is a fantastic way to stay creative (check out our 10 sketching tips for beginners (opens in new tab) to get started).
04. Listen to music
While this particular suggestion can be followed while executing most of the other options on this list, I encourage you to find a spot where you can just listen to music. That's right: do nothing, except listen to the music. Simply find a quiet spot, slap on your headphones, and just focus on the sound and the vibration of the music.
05. Meet local folks
Another great way to stay creative while you're away from the studio is to go out and meet new people – specifically, the locals, if you're away from home. Not only is this a great way to make new friends, it's also a way to inspire your creativity.
While at Úll, I met some fascinating people. One of the most interesting couples I met was Suzanne Burns and Cian Walsh. Suzanne is a wildlife expert and Cian was a speaker at Úll. Our interactions were so enjoyable that I asked Suzanne to be a guest on Roundabout: Creative Chaos (opens in new tab).
06. Find interesting places to eat
Once you start talking with the local folks, ask them about the well-known – and not so well-known – places to eat. And don't be afraid to try new things. While I was in Ireland, I had the opportunity to eat at some of the most interesting places. With every new place, a new story began to form inside my mind's eye. Never take for granted what a new experience can do for your creativity.
07. Take pictures(opens in new tab)
While you're off exploring new places, don't forget to snap a few pictures! The art of taking pictures helps your creativity. Finding the right subject, getting the right angle, waiting for the right lighting, and even applying the right filter... all of these things help you stay creative while you're away from the studio. Check out these 15 photographers to follow on Instagram (opens in new tab) for inspiration.
08. Keep a journal
Writing is an incredible way to stay creative, but journal writing even more so. When you write in a journal, you don't have to worry about impressing anyone. Spelling mistakes, poor grammar, incomplete thoughts... it's all OK. Not to mention, if you keep your journal, you can reference it later for some creative ideas.
After everything is said and done, one of the best ways to stay creative is to mediate. Before you start your day, and before you end your night, mediate. Mediation is a great way to get in touch with your creative side. Not only that, but it'll help you relax. Being away from your studio (and more importantly, your friends and your family) isn't easy. Meditation can help you feel grounded.
If mediation isn't your thing, try listening to some creative and inspirational talks. One of my favourite sites to scroll through is TED (opens in new tab).
- 10 essential TED talks for UX designers (opens in new tab)
- 10 ways to improve your photography skills (opens in new tab)
- 40 awesome packaging designs (opens in new tab)