Tom Berger is the Assistant Director of Continuing Education at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and runs the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ Cleveland Art and Writing Regions (aka the Cuyahoga County Region). He recently helped us organize our first summer Boys.Write.Now workshop, part of a 5-city series of FREE writing workshops for boys in grades 7-12 where they were able to tell and share their stories, experiment, and express their creativity in a fun and supportive environment.
We asked him to share some of his favorite tips for staying creative. Check them out below! We hope they spark some new ideas that can be turned into a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards submission. Learn how to enter today!
Create Original Work
Write, doodle, draw, sculpt, design, compose etc… I hardly ever meet successful artists or writers who don’t have a journal or sketchbook that they regularly work creatively in. Ideas take time to grow and finished products take skills that need to be developed. Practice techniques and explore ideas that go beyond the classroom.
Try Something New
If you write short stories try poetry; if you paint explore digital media; if you have never explored your creative side (which everyone has!) take a class, watch a video tutorial, or just pick up a pen, brush or pencil and see what you can do. There are also a host of free resources/apps that can challenge even the most seasoned artist or writer.
Understand where you come from, learn about local artists at the museum and writers at the library to find out who in your area is working creatively.
I used to think that being creative meant you had to live and work in an Artistic Mecca – a big city where all artists and writers had to live in order to be creative. I have since learned that it is important to be around creativity, but it lives everywhere; you only need to see it. Even without an art museum across the street, I know I can go to the library, visit an art room at school or find a picturesque building or scenic view to be inspired. I also take every opportunity to talk to other artists about their work, and read/follow contemporary artists online. Art21 is a great resource for podcasts with videos covering contemporary artists, and most museums/libraries post regularly through social media about events and collections.