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Tanya’s Tips For Setting Your Creative Free in 2017

Creative Director, Owner of Turipamwe Design Studio and The Economist’s Young Namibian Business Woman of the Year 2015, Tanya Turipamwe Stroh shares her inspired tips to help get our creativity fired up in 2017. She’s also compiled a list things you could do today to set your creative free (and most of them are free, making it a double win)

Setting Your Creative Free in 2017 by Tanya Turipamwe Stroh

Picasso famously said ”Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Watch any child be carefree and imaginative at play. Creativity, like any skill can be honed and developed and we all have the ability to be creative. This isn’t something for the select few. So, before saying you don’t have a creative bone in your body, here are a few pointers to get the right side of your brain fired up, making 2017 your most creative year yet, even if it starts with trying something new.

Feeling unsure? 

Sometimes it feels a little daunting just going for it. Where do you start? Start with what inspires you, what are you curious about? French cooking, learning how to salsa, gardening, or arthouse films. You’d be surprised what’s available on offer from cultural institutions to galleries and social clubs. Search and you shall find, your creativity and a community to belong to in the most unlikely of places. Check out the list at the end.

Go solo or do it together

Some creative activities are best done solo for a little me time. Connect wit your inner self. Poet Criss Jami says “Closed in a room my imagination becomes the universe and the rest of the world is missing out.

Creative activities can also make for great bonding moments with your partner or family. Choose a new recipe or tackle that pile of family photographs and curate them into a scrap book. Draw self portraits with your kids and create a gallery wall in your home.

Move your body

Dance is an amazing form of physical creative expression plus it makes dealing with stress is a lot easier when you get your body moving. Join a dance class to develop your muscle memory and just have fun letting go a little. Locally you can choose from African contemporary dance with live drumming to salsa and even ballet for adults. Most studios require no prior dance experience.

Pick up a pen

Getting stuff onto paper gets it out of your head. This is a great way to do some visual thinking and creative problem solving. Make a mind map or doodle it out. Write a letter, to yourself, to a friend. Write in a journal. Write a poem. Write a letter to your child every year and give it to them on their 21st birthday. Write your grandparents’ life story.

Be an explorer

When last did you drive a different route or take an exploratory walk in your neighbourhood? Take your camera and a notebook along. Be an anthropologist in your own backyard. See what you’ll find as a form of inspiration around you. The patterns in a fence or the bold hue of a flowering bougainvillea. Just looking at the world a little differently will leave you inspired and motivated.

Go somewhere new

Visit an art gallery, a museum or a monument. Try a new restaurant. Windhoek has a host of interesting sites and spaces that are open over the weekends, so really – there’s no excuse.

Creativity isn’t a test

Don’t be scared – just let it flow. It’s hardly surprising that adult colouring books have taken the world by storm. So, whether you’re colouring in our outside the lines, just go for it. The simple act of making something with your hands can be really liberating. Try a new recipe, bake a cake, get into a DIY project that’s useful or not. No one’s here to judge you.

The great creator

Creativity is not a limited resource. It doesn’t start or end with artistic activities. Consider creativity as a way to create anything in your life. Being open to this notion means your life is a blank canvas and you’re the artist.

Here’s a list of 20 (almost free) things that you can do, make, see, and experience to set your creative free.

  1. Happy Art Hour at the National Art Gallery of Namibia, once a month.
  2. Try your hand and palette with cooking classes with Silver Spoon Academy
  3. Join monthly live figure drawing with JuliArt and Wine
  4. Audition for Spoken Word Namibia poetry performances or just attend on the first Wednesday of each month.
  5. Watch some of the best films that African cinema has to offer. AfricAvenir, African Perspectives an African Cinema screening, last Saturday of each month
  6. A walk in the Botanical Gardens, open on the first Saturday of the month.
  7. Get a sketch pad or adult colouring book and doodle away.
  8. Salsa and bachata dance classes and social at Salsa Windhoek Social Club
  9. Visit the Independence Museum
  10. Get some friends together and go for karaoke at Dylan’s
  11. African contemporary dance classes First Rain Dance Theatre
  12. African dance classes with live drumming on Saturday mornings at the College of the Arts
  13. Take a bicycle tour through Katutura to explore
  14. Ballet classes for adults on Wednesday evenings at the College of the Arts
  15. Take pottery classes
  16. Visit the monthly art exhibition at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre
  17. Art and wine? Yes please! Join Something-Artsy, paint your own canvas and have some wine.
  18. Document public art and post it on Instagram.
  19. Join a gardening project, join the The Permaculture Initiative at Van Rhyn Primary school.
  20. Make a vision board. Fill an A3 piece of cardboard with image clippings that inspire you; things you intend on for you life. Get specific, dare greatly and see what 2017 brings you!