How to Find Creative Outlets

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Sometimes you just need to do something different. Maybe you feel that you have lost your creative side, or what you are currently doing with your art just isn’t working.

Although I am heavily into photography, you do occasionally need a break, and it can be good to look for another way of practicing your creativity, and maybe to pick up a new hobby.

A creative outlet is a way for you to take a break from your usual routine, to boost your creativity and to give you something that you can take back to your day-to-day life.

This is a list of the top creative outlets, and I would urge you to try at least one of them if you are feeling creatively stuck and need a new creative outlet.

Finding a new creative outlet

List of Creative Outlet Ideas

Any one of these could be the best creative outlet for you, so dive in and try something out!

Do What You Enjoyed as a Kid

As you get older, you find that you can move away from all of those activities that you enjoyed when you were younger, but that was a time when you were probably at your most creative, trying new things and learning how to make sense of the world. Going back to the activities of childhood can really help to unlock your creativity – go and build a den!

New Ideas, Everyday

It might seem like thinking up new creative ideas is the exact area you are stuck on, but paradoxically, actually making a habit out of coming up with new ideas everyday is the best way out of this.

Don’t give yourself any pressure, but instead sit down with a blank notebook and write down a handful (say five or ten) of new ideas, everyday. Even if they are no good, just the process of thinking will help you develop your creativity.

Create a Photo Portfolio

If you’ve been taking photos for a while (or even if you haven’t) it can be a fun process to go back through all of your final photos and pick out the ten or twenty best images. Deciding and comparing photos can be quite a challenge, particularly when you have a fixed number for your portfolio in mind.

Once you have your photos, try spending some time arranging them to create a thematic story, or to get them in an order that flows following their colors, or something similar.

If you want to put your photo portfolio online, then I would recommend SmugMug (get 15% off with this link!).

Make Music

Music is one of those things that people either think they have an affinity for or they don’t, and many think that you need expensive instruments to even try it out. This is not the case though, with plenty of software-based instruments around, meaning that you can use your computer to create new sounds. FL Studio is a very popular piece of software that I use, and which has a time unlimited free trial.

Abstract Acrylic Painting

I’m sure you’ve seen the examples on YouTube of those creating abstract acrylic art. I love this, although I prefer the examples that others make!

Detail Drawing

Rather than concentrating on the overall scene, as you might do with a landscape, instead pick a small detail, such as the brickwork on a wall, and really try to get as much of this detail into your drawing as possible.

City Drawing & Photography

Most of us live in cities, so why not use that as inspiration for your own photos and drawings, making compositions out of the arrangements of buildings – you can even go abstract.

Start a Website

I find that having a website can be quite a strong creative outlet, with the ability to write about what you like. For an easy start on a photography website, I would recommend Pixpa (10% off with this link!).

Take a Course

There are so many courses available online right now, then it can hard to know where to start, but if you just sign up for a free trial on Skillshare, you can then get access to a wide range of curated courses and tutorials that might really help you.


Making simple paper cranes must be one of the most satisfying things that you can do with a sheet of paper. It doesn’t really require any skill, but can be very enjoyable.

Design a Board Game

Sitting down and thinking about a new board game can be quite an effective way to unblock yourself. This is even better if you do it with friends or family.


Just pick up a sketchbook and start making some random drawings. They don’t have to mean anything or be any good, but you will soon find that you are creating patterns and your doodling will likely turn into a whole drawing that you couldn’t predict.

Build Basic Furniture

It might seem a little crazy to think about building furniture, but basic and simple shapes like tables are far easier to make than you would think. This is a longer project that really gives back over time – I spent a few weeks making a new kitchen table and benches to go underneath.

Digital Painting

If you want to try painting but without the mess, then use a drawing tablet and Photoshop and paint away to your heart’s content.


Creating your own greetings cards or postcards can be an easy activity to start in, although you will need to make sure that your printer can handle thicker paper.

Sublimation Printing

The ability to create your own designs and transfer them to mugs, t-shirts or other objects seems like it is not something that is not easily possible at home, but actually with a small amount of equipment, you can do your own sublimation printing. Learn more about sublimation printing for beginners.


Getting outside and moving around is one of those things that nearly everyone agrees is good for creativity. If you don’t have a garden, then why not look for gardening groups near you that maintain public spaces?


Trying out a new recipe and adapting it to your tastes is always fun. Even better, you get to eat what you have made!

Learn How to Draw

People tend to think that drawing is an innate skill, but it can be learned just like any other. There’s plenty of resources on YouTube, so why not take a look?

Read More Books!

Reading is a creative outlet as it can spark an idea in you and help to access ideas that were just below the surface, that you couldn’t otherwise reach.

Watercolor Painting

Simple watercolor painting is an easy skill to pick up and requires a minimal investment in resources. Check out some of the courses on Skillshare using their free trial.

Build a New Habit

Building creativity into becoming a new habit is a very powerful way to live. You essentially need to set aside specific time to do something creative at least three times a week – any less and the habit won’t stick – and don’t give yourself any excuses to get out of it. If you keep it, you’ll have a new creative habit.

Start an Art Collection

You son’t just have to buy the art that others create, but you can start an art collection with your own work. Take your best pieces and curate them as if you were a third-party, then properly frame them and put them on your wall as if you lived in a gallery.

Take Pet Portraits

Pet portraits are one of the most fun things that you can do. If you don’t have a pet, try borrowing someone else’s. And you could potentially turn this into a business. There is an excellent course on Skillshare about this that you can access with their free trial.


Try a word puzzle, jigsaw or something else that gets your brain working. As long as you are thinking, then creativity will come.

Making Videos

Videography can be one of the most enjoyable creative outlets as you are left with something that you can share with others. Try slow motion videos to create something a little more unusual.

Trying Photography Tricks

There are plenty of interesting photo tricks that can help you to create photos that are more out of the ordinary. Try some of the ones below to start.

How to Find My Creative Outlet?

Finding a creative outlet doesn’t have to be difficult. Take a look at the list above and try one or two of the activities – many don’t require any planning or equipment.

To find you creative outlet, you just need to try new things and eventually you will find something that you enjoy, and that you are good at.

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Follow Tim Daniels:

Hi, I'm Tim Daniels, photographer and photo trainer, founder of Lapse of the Shutter and creator of the totally free Lightroom Develop System. I've travelled to (probably) 30 countries over the last few years, taking photos and licensing them around the world, and creating lots of free photography learning resources. Read More ...

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