Finding creativity in the every day

Creativity is one of Hornsey Vale Community Association’s core values. We asked trustee Lynne Brackley, a freelance practitioner who leads projects and creative activities with schools and community groups, to inspire us with ideas for tapping into your creative side—even if you’re convinced you don’t have one.

Lynne Brackley wearing a colourful face mask and a knitted multicoloured blue cardigan
mask and

“I’m not really creative.”

How many times have you heard someone say that? Then you find out they have planted a stunning garden, or they’re a candidate for the next series of Masterchef? Or they make clothes, or cheer up their friends with funny messages? 

What is creativity? Here are some respected definitions:

  • “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something”
  • “inventiveness”
  • “the ability to produce or use original and unusual ideas”

You could argue that the building blocks are there already, and all we need to do is put them together in different ways. For some, this might be a way into a creative career. But for most of us, it’s about enriching our everyday activity, making connections, and solving problems.

Going back to our “not really creative” friend: what could help them tap into a more creative self? They could start by accepting that this creativity thing doesn’t come about through some kind of sorcery. Often, it’s about practice and persistence, as any writer, dancer or concert pianist might confirm. Nor is it inevitable that it will be fun. Running a 10K isn’t fun but it has its rewards. 

If you search the mighty Google for ideas to tap into your creativity, you’ll find lots of forest-bathing, meditation, and banishing of self-censorship. All good ideas. I’ve got a few more thoughts that are a bit more specific. 

  • Make a photo book with some of those shots on your phone. Make it the best you can.
  • Invent a new cocktail, alcoholic or not.
  • Decorate a letter and send it to someone. Yes, an actual letter!
  • Doodle when you listen to music.
  • Play. Borrow a child and go to a museum. Go with their ideas.
  • Don’t fear the blank page. Divide it into 25 sections and fill each one with a different pattern. 
  • Explore other cultures for creative activities and try Mehndi, origami, weaving, printing.
  • Make some decorations for a window so your neighbours can see them. Make them smile.
  • Try visible mending. Make a virtue of your lack of sewing skills
  • Draw something with your non-dominant hand. Do it every day for a week.

It’s a menu. You don’t have to eat everything.

If it helps, do it with or for someone else. Set each other a challenge every month. Find a local class or activity and commit for six weeks. Procrastinate no more. Carve out 15 minutes each day and see where it takes you.


A splendid Jubilee Afternoon Tea

Look to your cupboards for creative inspiration