Being creative while still working: The solutions

We list some tips on how to maintain creativity whilst working

AS MUCH as many of us would like a creative outlet to express ourselves, finding the time and energy is rarely easy. Even the best intentions can fall by the wayside after an exhausting day at work, and this issue is only further exacerbated by what is often a tiring home-life. While it can be difficult to imagine, there are ways we can combat these problems. 

Whether looking for a change of career into something creative or just looking to start a personal project, we have some tips which many of our contemporaries swear by.

Creating a workstation

Before you can think of making a start on your creative work, you first need to consider your environment. Anybody who works from home will tell you of the necessity for a dedicated workstation, and on this front creative work is very similar.

Of course, the exact type of workstation you need is entirely dependent on your creative area of passion and your personal needs. Some writers might need their own private room, locked off from distractions to achieve their creative state of mind. Others might be able to operate just fine from the noise of a café.

Woman using digital devices at the cafe

Don’t feel pressure to conform to what other people see as standard in your creative environment. It’s not just a location; the space around you can help reflect, carry, and give form to your creative process.

Gaining visibility

After you have a project or two behind your belt, you can then try sharing what you have made. One of the best ways to do this cheaply is to utilise the internet to join one of the communities which surround your creative pursuit.

Facebook is a great place to start, as fan and community pages have already generated enormous group followings. From this point, you can also look into creating your own dedicated social media presence. Instagram is a fantastic solution for visual representations, though less visual art might require different approaches.

The other part of this comes from the need for an accurate and high-quality exhibition. Even the best art can underperform if shown in a bad light, both literally and metaphorically. For working in physical art this can mean investing in better photography equipment, and a dedication to lighting and scene composure.

For something like graphic novel creation, you might need to seek a more software-driven solution. Keep in mind that for digital art, proper file format is a huge part of the equation. 

Graphic novels, as an example, are best seen when converted to PDF format. This is because PDF files are widely accepted by most computers. As a plus, there are also a wide variety of  PDF editing tutorials available online that will help you find out tips and tricks to edit these files – which can help with framing everything exactly right. You’ll also want to look into the CBR/CBZ format too, if you’re an avid comic creator. 

Woman writing in a notebook

Be patient

Nothing worth having comes easy, and only a tiny amount of creatives will ever find success in their first projects.

Just as with work, obtaining the right groove for creative work can take time. Even finding the time to jump into the process can be extremely difficult. On this end, you may need to schedule dedicated times for your creative work. This might mean explaining to your family or friends the necessity of you-time, which can be a challenging task in itself.

Even once you have time, the flow of artistic creation can be like an unreliable faucet. These will be times when, even in the best circumstances, you can’t help but draw a blank. This is entirely natural, even for the best in the business. Remember, wither proper engagement this time is not necessarily wasted.

When writer’s block or whatever your applicable variant appears, you can make the most of this time for better preparation and inspiration. 

Perfect your workstation, browse the work of others in the field, read up on new self-marketing approaches, and consider the different options and ideas which might work best for you. Just be sure not to use this time as an excuse to do nothing. Laziness will not help in creativity, and there is a fine line between this and relaxation.

There is also another idea which can help, which comes from the possibility of assigned work. Finding small one-off jobs from work websites like Upwork can help you gain experience, and narrow down exactly what it is you want and don’t want from your personal work. Sometimes, it can also help you network and find new clients that will eventually onboard you to more demanding freelancer posts. 

These can also help generate marketable experience, which looks great for resumes should you seek employment in your field later down the line.

Never give up

There is no age too young or too old to start work in a creative field which interests you. At the end of the day, the only person your creative work needs to suit is yourself. Don’t let the opinions of others shape how you want to express yourself, and don’t measure your success by comparing yourself to others.

True success comes from personal improvement, and this should always be your ultimate goal.

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