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We all have a bit of magic in us, our own special brand of something wonderful. I want to encourage each of you to find whatever is within you and to trust it, to work toward it and to be faithful to it until it has landed solid within you, and you can recognize it on the page and see it for real.

So, how do we make room for this magic? When I get stuck and overwhelmed by the oodles of art images and trends I see, I look up and say, “Mati, show the world . . . your magic.” Show the world what no one else has that is uniquely you. This is not easy, mind you, but it helps to start from this place and eliminate some of the creative clutter and doubt.

I share this with you as an invitation, with the hope that it might help you out of a creative rut. It’s challenging to slow down, listen closely, and strive for original ideas and own your magic. I think it takes lots of practice and heaps of encouragement.

So, what are the ways you show the world your magic? Here are some ideas to tap into your best and most unique creative self.

1. Make Possibility Lists
Instead of a to-do list, make Possiblitiy Lists when you’re stuck. Write big messy colorful lists of possibilities on butcher paper and add to it over time. See if you can push yourself to come up with as many creative possibilities as possible!

2. Embrace Your Quirks
What makes you, you? If you’re drawing a blank, survey your friends. Ask them to describe you in 5 words.

3. Draw Everyday and Everything
Exercise your creative muscles by making a habit of drawing! Draw your food, your dates, or songs from the radio. Draw with your non-dominant hand. Draw blindfolded. Draw collaborative drawings with your kids, partners and pals.

4. Practice Gratitude
Draw your gratitude. Write thank you cards. Pay it forward. Mentor others whenever possible. This keeps the cycle of goodness going.

5. Go Outside!
When in doubt, take a walk. Move your body. Bring flowers and ferns from outside into inside.

6. Make Time for Yourself
Make a space in your home for creativity. Perhaps set up a special chair, candle, notebook for reflection. Give yourself just 15 minutes if that’s all you can spare. Show up for yourself and take care of yourself. Schedule in quietness.

7. Life Hack
Chunk out your time so you are not constantly multi-tasking. Schedule this time into your calendar. Write your Most Important Things (MITs) down the night before or first thing in the morning when you are fresh.

8. Make Time for Daring Adventures
Go on creative missions! Invite a daring person to tea, a person that slightly intimidates you and you admire.

9. Hero Worship
Create a list of people you admire. A few creative heroes that come to mind for me are:  Julia Cameron, Twyla Tharp, Keri Smith, and Maira Kalman.

10. Treat Life as an Ongoing Experiment
Make it up and make it happen. Begin each day anew, as a fresh start. Forgive the past.

11. Write Love Notes Everywhere
Write on your mirror with dry erase marker. Write yourself love notes. I do this before I start a painting to wipe away critics.

12. Get Offline
Go on an Internet diet. Get a good night’s rest or take a power nap if you can! Meditate. Try downloading a meditiation app. Stop comparing your insides to other people’s outsides!

(This article was featured in the etsy blog. Story by Julie Schneider. Photos by leslie sophia lindell.)