The Creative Mindset



To be creative you will need to be in a creative mindset. This might include the following:

The Growth Mindset

There are perhaps just two mindsets. The growth mindset and the fixed mindset.

If you believe that you have the ability to develop your skills through using your natural talents, your environmental and your social advantages and some smart strategies, then you have a growth mindset.

If you believe your natural talents are innate gifts that do not change, then you have a fixed mindset.

As an artist you will need to foster a growth mindset, if you want to develop your natural creativity.

Take Creative Risks

I do not think creativity and success can be achieved through effort alone. Take creative risks. Be a smart artist. Become more self aware of who you are as an artist. Art is a great way to become aware of who we are, it is a form of self discovery. Through drawing we can become more self aware. Build from where you are and take creative risks.

It is only through a willingness to fail that we ever really learn.

Give Yourself Permission To Be An Artist

Often the thing that holds back creativity is the courage to be inventive. To really be an artist all you need to do is give yourself permission to explore your natural creativity.

It is not unusual to feel like an imposter, artists are other people, not me. But this is wrong, you are an artist already.

Children do not feel they need to give themselves permission to be creative.

Why, as we grow older, do we often stop seeing creativity as a natural part of life?

Creativity is natural. We need to rekindle the natural creativity within us.

Invest Your Time

If you want to see real results in your visual creativity you will need to invest your limited time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and it is up to you to prioritise your own creativity above some other thing.

We all spend quite a bit of time consuming the content other people make each week. I would imagine that you could chose some of that time to be a creator of content rather than a consumer?

Creativity Is Work

To be creative you just need to put in the work.

Creativity Is Making Connections

Creativity is the ability to make connections. As a visual artist these connections can be visual.

Creative Triangles

I have found that the best way to make visual connections is to find three things that connect visually. There is something dynamic about the number three. It can make a triangle. And then you can make more visual triangles.

Here are some examples of visual connections, using creative triangles I have seen:

I can link the edge of a door to the zip of a jacket and the line of the horizon.

I can link the yellow stripes on a green leaf of to the grey gaps between a series of windows and then the linear shadows from some black iron railings. Stripes.

I can link a red umbrella to a red bus and a red traffic light.

Look around you now and see what connecting creative triangles you can discover?

Through this process you will find that you see more. You will discover that you will suddenly see things anew that were in plain site.

We Only See What We Are Looking For

If you are told not to think of an elephant, it is most likely that you will in fact start thinking of an elephant!

We only see what we look for.

If I ask you to look for three interesting shaped shadows, I think you will be able to find at least three examples without moving from where you are. They were there all along.

One of the joys of drawing is the ability to improve our observation of the world around us.

By drawing what we see, we can learn to observe and see more. This is an enriching experience, a pleasure to value the beauty that is all around us.

Don't Wait For Inspiration To Strike

You can set aside time to be creative. But inspiration strikes of its own acorde. You need to be ready to capture inspiration when it strikes you.

As an artist the best way is to draw at the very moment of inspiration strikes, before it fades away. To do this you will need to have a small sketchbook or paper and pencil or pen with you at all times.

Learn To Repeat

After learning a new drawing challenge from Drawing For All, that resonates with you, you should try to repeat the challenge over time. Ideally a week later, then a month and then two months. In this way you will find that you embed your knowledge.

How To Find Your Style

As you immerse yourself in art, pay attention to what you gravitate towards drawing. Look at how your drawings develop and you will start to discover your style of drawing.

Don't try to add a style over the top of your drawings, let it emerge and then recognise it in retrospect.


If you have no goals for your own creativity, you might find that you do not get very far.

Set yourself a creative goal. Then you have something to aim for. Ideally you should have two creative goals in art.


This should be your lifelong creative goal and that could be something like "I want to express myself through my artwork in a meaningful way" or "I want to notice and appreciate the visual world around me."


The second goal should be a short term performance goal. For example "I want to be able to draw portraits" or "I want to draw with an elegant line."

How can I be more creative?

Creativity is about making connections. That is what creativity is. Making connections. As a visual artist these connections will most often be visual. So we need to look and observe the world around us and make connections. One of the very best ways to make visual connections and become more observant is to draw.

Drawing is at its core an activity. Drawing is doing. So to be more visually creative you just need to draw. All other visual creativity can grow out of the foundational activity of drawing.

Should I wait for inspiration to strike?

No! Work at your art, use Drawing For All as your essential work guide to transform your ability to draw creatively.

Drawing is a skill that can be taught step by step, but you will need to put in the work and complete this course to see real results in your drawings.