There’s no escaping it… You’re sick of your job. You’re bored, overqualified and under stimulated. You wish that your life had more sparkle than spreadsheets, more glitter than gloom and more creation than competition. You feel like you’re wasting away and under appreciated. Worse still, the humdrum monotony of your day job is causing your creative skills to atrophy. You invest so much time and effort into your job that by the time you’ve come home and done all the various “life admin” like cooking, cleaning, ironing and shopping the last thing you have a mind to do is break out your craft tools and get creative.
You feel that a vital part of you is slipping away and the scariest thing is that you’re so exhausted you’re not sure you even mind. You feel that if you don’t do something and soon you’ll be just another worker drone who used to create. You don’t want to turn into that person, but what can you do?
The good news is that you don’t need to change your whole life to remedy this. You don’t have to put all of your stuff in self storage and travel to the other corner. You don’t have to start dressing or talking differently. You don’t even have to go through the uncertainty of quitting your day job. Invest a little time and effort and you’ll find that it’s surprisingly easy to reconnect with your crafty and creative side in ways that can enrich, supplement or even change your career.
Depending on your preferred medium, you will draw inspiration from different sources, but look around and you’ll find inspiration pretty much everywhere. If you can get yourself to a gallery or museum that’s great but it’s by no means the only way of connecting with your inner creative. If you have kids, encouraging them to create and displaying their artwork is a wonderful and personal way to reignite that creative spark. Take yourself out for a walk in the park or down the highstreet. Not only will the fresh air and proximity to nature help to aid your concentration but you might find a design, a motif or a nuance in a pattern of leaves, the decoration of a door lintel or some other flourish of architectural design or natural beauty to inspire you.
Incentivise and monetise
There’s nothing more likely to motivate and incentivise a creative mind than realising that they can make money from selling their wares. If you have a strong portfolio of work, you’d be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to sell your work with the right digital outlet and if you don’t already have a portfolio, this may be the incentive you need to create one.
Establishing your creative presence online is relatively easy and can be managed alongside your day job. Your first step will be to establish a presence for yourself on social media. Reach out to other artists and craftspeople by liking and commenting on their work. If you have some work of your own to showcase, here’s where you bait the hook with some dazzling images of your work. It also helps to create a blog or even a vlog in which you detail the creative process and give your following into how your work gets made. When you’ve established yourself and feel confident enough to put your wares on the market, it’s merely a case of finding the right outlet for you.
Makers markets and crafts fairs are a great option if you’re good at selling your crafts with your winning personality, but it does come with some significant overheads. If you’re looking to peddle your wares on the digital high street you may be drawn to the popular and widely used Etsy which has helped artists to monetise their talent for just over a decade now.
If you don’t have the time or knowledge to create your own website or online store Etsy’s name recognition could be a useful springboard for your work I, but it also requires a lot of promotional work to be seen on Etsy. Selling successfully on Etsy can require a great deal of hard work, partly due to the breadth of talent that the site attracts but also because its search algorithms are skewed against newcomers (unless they have over 100 pieces to sell). Even if your inventory is significantly May increase your visibility somewhat.
While Etsy has name recognition going for it, many artists who feel inhibited by Etsy find that they have more luck with Shopify. Check out this side-by-side comparison between the two here. If you already have an inventory on Etsy, you can even export your inventory into a CSV file which can then be imported to Shopify.
Find ways to be creative at work
While creating work and selling it online may help to reignite that creative spark, it could take a very long time to make enough for it to become your living. In the meantime you can try to re-engage with your day job by finding ways to scratch your creative itch at work. If you see an empty margin, it’s your duty to doodle in it! If you have to put a presentation together, use it as an opportunity to put together some eye catching graphics to go with the facts and stats. With just a little imagination, it can be surprisingly easy to inject some creativity into even the most humdrum of jobs.
Look for a job more suited to your talents
If you really can’t find a way to make your job more enjoyable, then it may be the time to look for something more creatively led. The good news is that if there are absolutely no opportunities for you to be creative in your current job, the bar is set pretty low, so virtually anything is an improvement. You don’t even necessarily have to look for jobs in graphic design, textiles, metalwork or photography. Any job that requires creative problem solving or allows you autonomy over how to complete a task will scratch your creative itch and reignite your passion.