How to Upgrade Your Creativity in Three Easy Steps

I don’t know about you, but I am glad I don’t have to go back to school this month and wear hot scratchy new clothes and tight shoes on feet that haven’t worn more than a flip flop since April.  In the spirit learning something being good for you, here’s how to upgrade your creativity in three easy steps plus a bonus.

1. Recognize that your creativity needs an upgrade

Producers of software, cell phones, and other providers have made it a common practice to announce the newest version of their products, usually with fanfare and customer anticipation.  Can your creative projects/products/process use an overhaul or a tweaking?

Doing the same old thing the same old way can cause your creativity to fall into a rut even if it feels comfortable.  Boredom is a huge creativity killer and can lead to burnout.

If you recognize that your creativity needs an upgrade, now is the perfect time to do something about it.

2. Do your research

Recognize that you might not know every thing there is to know about your subject even if you are an expert.   Consider that you don't know what you don't know.  Become willing to be a beginner.  A Google or Amazon search can open your mind to all sorts of new possibilities that you might want to investigate. 

Try out a new skill, book, tool, mentor, class or process.  I love going to school on YouTube!

3. Follow through with the upgrade

You can’t learn anything from your upgrade if you don’t follow through with a plan.  Upgrades usually require an investment of time, money and energy, but aren't you and your creativity worth it?  Yes it is!  Whatever you decide needs upgrading, make the commitment to your plan and work your plan.  You'll be glad you did.

4. Plus a Bonus

Upgrading your creativity gets easier every time you do it if you allow yourself the bonus of a reward by celebrating your risk taking and your willingness to learn something new.  Enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Buy yourself the accompanying tools or supplies that go with the upgrade as a reward or maybe just allow your self a daily afternoon nap.

Whatever bonus you choose, reinforce that leaning something new and being a beginner is valuable so that you are willing to continue your own personal upgrades every time you need one.

Energize your creativity by giving it a sweet upgrade!



Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards

Stressed Spelled Backward is Desserts

Stressed Spelled Backward is Desserts

The creative process is stressful, in my humble opinion, as anyone who has ever daily faced a blank page will tell you.  Have you ever been paralyzed to do your art because the cost of replacement materials will be too dear to replace?

In another lifetime, I used to do decorative painting on walls, floors and celings in clients houses who could afford elegant carpets and expensive furniture. These treasures were exposed to my accidental faux pas instead of just my faux finishes.  Luckily I never kicked over a paint bucket or sat on precious furniture with paint on my pants, but it was stressful just the same.

I have read that some stress is good and I tend to agree.  If the urge of playing at my art table never occurs, art never happens.  Thankfully, I feel stressed if I don't have something bubbling in the creative kitchen.

Maybe that's when we receive our just desserts!

I had fun doing this mixed media piece.  I did it a long time ago and it still makes me happy.  It may be when I first discovered how much fun it was to rip up paper and to remember how much fun it was to cut and paste in the real world instead of on the computer.

I sure hope you are having a good week and your stress turns out to be the good tasty kind.



Oh Where have you gone Billy Boy, Billy Boy?

Hello Creative Friends,


I used to sing that song when I was kid on the school bus on the way to Ripley House in Houston.  I sang a lot as a child and I loved belting out songs.   I was even brave enough to sing in the choir and do some solos. These days, my memory can be iffy at best, but set something to music and I can remember the words to a thousand songs.  The very first thing I saved my money for was a transistor radio.  I was nine.  The really cool thing was that the radio came with an ear piece and I could take it to bed with me and listen to KNUZ and KILT Radio Stations late into the Houston night without my parents knowing about it.

Music was so important to me.  It was never very far away.  My parents had a record player and we had stacks of big band music to make us get up and move, but it was country music that could get us to sing along. 

Then I got older and I stopped taking the opportunity to sing.  You know the old cliche about using it or losing it?  Well that has happened to my singing ability.

My voice is no longer pleasant to my ears.  I stopped singing and now when I want to belt one out, it comes out scratchy and undiciplined. 

Probably, I could get back in voice with some training and I may do that.

The possibility exists that in all creative areas in my life can rust to dust if I do not give it proper attention.

I don't want to sing, "Oh where have you gone, Darling Creativity?" 

Energize Your Creativity: Take Your Creativity Out and Play With It

Creativity is everywhere and often occurs in the most unexpected of places.  If you want to energize your creativity you need to take your creativity out of its hiding place and play with it.  Here is an example:

I recently attended a birthday party of a woman who turned eighty-six.  With the exception of a few youngsters, there wasn’t a soul there under the age of thirty.  Now my expectations of a good time were slim, that is until someone took out their creativity and got us to playing with it.

The theme for this birthday party was silly hats.  My eighty-six year old friend sported a silly hat and as a tribute to her, all her guests were required to wear one as well.  The night before the party a group of her relatives gathered together small stuffed animals, baseball caps, water toys, artificial flowers and balloons to create the funniest, amazing and creative silly hats.  Mine was a green beanie with a stuffed worm and a flower attached to it.

Funny hats party.jpg

Energize Your Creativity by taking out your creativity and playing with it. Here are a bunch of oldsters playing and having fun

What an icebreaker and what a fun!  Who knew?  

I appreciated the creativity that went into making the hats but also the willingness of the participants to play along.  

How play energizes your creativity:

When you use your creativity to produce product with an eye on the outcome, you are using your creativity as a tool.  It can be the guiding force behind some wonderful projects, but it can feel like work—not such a bad thing.  However, when you depend on this creative force to help you with your work, it needs replenishing just as you do.

Too many times we fall in love with some form of creativity only to begin thinking how we can produce more.  One time I painted some flower pots and they were so fun to do that I thought I should paint some and sell them.  Instantly my “creative play” turned into something else that was a demand on my creative time.  My idea of selling the pots and getting them into stores ruined the simple joy of painting something just for fun.

Play is creativity on vacation.

"If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play." - John Cleese

Creativity needs a break from having to perform.  It needs light heartedness and frivolity.  It needs to just be with no expectations or demands.  It needs a day of wearing silly hats.

Play nurtures and soothes creativity.  It can energize your creativity where nothing else can.  Then when your creativity has been energized, it in turn can energize you, your work, your birthday party and your whole life.  

Have a creative week,

Hugs, Diana

Creativity Requires Courage - You've Got a lot of Nerve

You’ve got a lot of nerve!  Creativity is scary and because you are gutsy, you risk the canvas, the page, the materials, your new manicure, your families understanding, and the time, energy and money to experience the thrill of doing.

Creativity requires courage.  Don’t act like you aren’t brave.  Don’t hide your light.  You are the dare devil of your craft and you have what it takes.  

Overcoming fear makes us feel significant, strong and more certain about who we really are.  Our creative daring helps us to experience growth and adds a spicy variety to life.  Here’s a salute to daring and having a lot of nerve!

This exercise will take about two minutes:

Be sure you read step 4 all the way to the end before you act upon it.

1. Think about the last time you took a big creative risk or any kind of risk for that matter and walked through your fear to the other side.  Feel how proud you are of yourself that you kicked butt.  (This is not about the outcome of a project, but about overcoming the fear.)

2. Feel the elation that you lived through the fear and lived to remember it.

3. Thank the parts of you that are willing to feel the fear and do it anyway.

4. Now see this brave, nervy, gutsy, ballsy, creative genius that you are and hold that vision and that feeling in your mind and in your heart for a minute till you feel the moxie all over your body.  While you are doing this place your hand over the center of your chest and breathe it all in.  Revel in it until you are ready to allow the energy go easily back to where it can be accessed whenever you need it again.

You have just created a courage touchstone.  The next time you aren’t feeling so gutsy, put your hand over your heart and think of this incident where you were daring and nervy and powerful.  Your body will remember and you mind will agree and it will be easier to have a lot of nerve!

Spring Cleaning for Creativity

I hate spring cleaning.  I’ll tell you why.  When I was a kid, my mom would come into my room and instigate a spring cleaning.  Now if it were just about getting the dust bunnies out from under the bed and putting away the winter coats, that would have been fine with me.

Alas, no.  Her intent was to go through my toy box and find a way to make it more manageable.  Not a bad idea from her point of view.  I am sure her point of view was a horrific pile of un-played-with toys strewn everywhere but where they belonged.

My point of view was that someone else was going to force me to choose which of my beloved pile of toys had to go.  Oh, I hated those sessions.   

I would defend a broken unrecognizable bit of plastic as necessary to a game that I never played.  My mother would become frustrated with my tears, drama and obstinacy and return it in kind and we both wound up exhausted, hurt and angry.

Spring cleaning became a hated ritual.

Fast forward to today and there is no one to force me to clean out my toy box of art supplies, unfinished projects or no longer loved items, except the sound of my mother’s voice whispering in my ear that I have entirely too much stuff.  It is much easier to ignore the voice now than it was back then.  But I ignore it at a price.

The price of hanging on to un-finished-objects (UFO’s) or unneeded objects requires a lot of mental, emotional and physical energy that could be used to fuel my creativity.

If letting go of UFO’s are blocking you in any way, you might be interested in a short e-book I wrote called:

How to Prevent UFO's from Alienating Your Creativity

You can find out more about it here:

If you have trouble letting go of your un-used creative toys consider that you may have gotten what you needed out of them already even if they don’t look finished or used up to the rest of the world.  

Spring cleaning your space can allow room for more creativity.  And isn’t that a breath of fresh air?

International Creativity Month

Hello Creative Friends,

WooHoo, its International Creativity Month!

I love the idea of a whole month to dream up some thing from nothing and isn't January a perfect time?  If you live in the northern hemisphere, it's wintry cold outside and what better time to drag out an intriguing artsy craftsy project and get busy? 


When I was growing up, I lived out in the country with two parents who grew up on a farm.  In spring and summer and fall for that matter, there was always something to do outside.  Yard work and gardening or maintenence around the place was always on the agenda.  

As a kid, I was not enamored with gardening and yard work. (I still don't like it.)  When I was old enough, I was the designated tractor driver in the garden.  The fun of driving the tractor was soon replaced by the bordom of put-putting up and down the same trek of the garden rows.  In the summer the garden had to be hoed and the vegetables processed. 

There were berries to pick and peas to shell and corn to cut off the cob and all of it to can or put in the freezer.  I felt like it never ended.

When would you ever have the time to make a quilt or do some needlepoint or glue popcicle sticks together to build a fort.  It just didn't happen at my house unless it rained.

When it rained outside, you caught a break.  And in the blessed winter, the ground was frozen and fallow and you did not venture out except to feed the animals.  I still had to catch the school bus and do my homework, but there was no "outdoor" work to catch up on. 

I could catch up on creativity. And I could do it guilt free.

I hope the International Creativity Month finds you with time on your hands to do something with your hands.  And I hope you get to do it guilt free.



“Like sands through the hour glass, these are the CREATIVE days of our lives.”

Do you have issues with time?  My friend and I will be talking about a creative project and one of us will invariably say our time mantra, “Oh, that shouldn’t take too long,” and then we laugh, knowing full well that we are wishing out loud – hoping the words will make it so.

As I’ve gotten older, I want to spend my time more wisely.  As a youngster, the days stretched out in front of me seemingly forever and I thought I could afford to squander hours on end sitting in front of dumb TV or tolerating people I didn’t like.

I am coming to this conclusion with my creativity as well.  I want to spend my creative time on something that makes my heart sing, that invigorates and energizes me or connects me to my spirit.   

There will always people, place and things that threaten our creative time, but what about the time we spend inside our art that is no longer satisfying or necessary?  Maybe you can eliminate steps that you used to do when you weren’t as sure of your abilities as you are now. 

One time waster I have tried to eliminate in my creative process is the “agony hour.”   That’s all the time I waste worrying if this piece is good enough, or if someone will like my work enough to pay for it.  The agony hour is also time spent dreading a difficult project before I get down to business.

I have other creative project time drains that I am deleting.  I used to make tons of gifts to give away.  Untold amounts of time was invested in handmade gifts and the (handmade card to go with it) that often delighted me more than the recipient.  I rather spend my creative time (and energy) in other areas now.  

Creativity Energizer Break:

  • Examine how you spend your creative time.  Are you making the best use of what time you do have? 
  • Can you let go of unnecessary tasks that no longer interest or challenge you? 
  • If you participate in the “agony hour,” see if you can reduce it or eliminate it altogether.

Like sands through the hour glass…

Have a creative week!

Hugs, Diana