Create a More Creative You

Many perpetually left brain-reliant young professionals (YPs) may boldly label themselves “uncreative.” We don’t buy it; it’s possible that they have yet to explore their creative side to begin with. Not only will tapping into your creative side prove beneficial for business – no matter the industry – it also will offer an outlet from your otherwise fast-paced and consuming city life. Admittedly, being creative is tough at times, even for the “creative set” of YPs. You can, however, unleash that inner creativity by doing things you love to do, either by yourself, with friends or with your significant other (SO). Here are our Notable suggestions… 

Through Food
Becoming creative in the culinary realm involves more than checking out new restaurant openings weekly. The first step to culinary creativity is to take a cooking class in your city; it makes an enjoyable way to bond with coworkers and significant others in the process. In Montreal, Westmount’s Appetite for Books bookstore, for example, features an open demonstration kitchen at the back, with a bustle of classes and demonstrations constantly going on. Visiting chefs and authors run demos and classes are offered year round, providing an informative overview of the basics of cooking.

If you have the basics covered, experiment with food at home with the help of unique cookbooks and websites. Some of our favourites? Vegetables From an Italian Garden is one of the best cookbooks out right now, and all of the sections are separated by season; Mac + Cheese Cookbook, offers 50 different spins on the beloved basic comfort food; and lately, we’re loving the online recipe journal 101 Cookbooks. Even better, create your own cookbook with sites like Blurb, an online platform that lets you create a customized, illustrated bookstore-quality cookbook. Your best recipes – your mom’s favourites and your crafty signature dishes alike – are easily dropped into one of the site’s cookbook layouts, or get more creative and make your own layout featuring your illustrations, backgrounds, and photos.

Get those creative juices flowing with cocktails by experimenting with home mixology as well; for example, those found in books like The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks by Amy Stewart, or through cocktail-specific blogs like Cocktail Deeva.


Through Yoga
In Toronto, yoga lovers looking to enhance their creative thinking should check out Mara Raye’s creative and arts-based yoga sessions for established artists, budding artists and creatively curious YPs alike. Her “Yoga for Creativity” class is a four-week yoga intensive that is designed to awaken your inner creative vitality through things like breath, movement, meditation and writing, using the four creative chakras. Another popular favourite is Raye’s “Art School Yoga,” a four-week yoga session dedicated to cultivating artistic discipline through yoga practice, where participants commit to achieve artistic goals for the month and gain inspirations and insight from other artistically interested yogis. In Vancouver, writer/poet/yoga teacher JC Peters also teaches Creative Flow workshops, which incorporate the movement of yoga with writing from the body.

Through Art
Artist or not, now that you have your own walls to decorate, chances are you’re at least slightly curious with art. Tapping into your inner artist side doesn’t have to be as intimidating as you’d think. Attend approachable art events in your city, like AGO’s First Thursdays social events (Toronto) or the nationwide Art Battle live competitive painting events. Make a point to check out smaller, local galleries and exhibits, like Jessgo’s current Saturday Morning exhibit in Toronto. Participate in an art crawl in your city if you need some guidance. For inspiration, check out our artist profiles on Calgary’s Erik Olson or Toronto’s Matt Durant. Worried that art events may break your entry-level bank account? Most galleries and museums across the country offer times where admission is discounted, or even free. 

If you’re in Vancouver, hit Raw Canvas for a fusion of food, drinks, conversation and art. Seasoned artists and first time painters alike can purchase either a blank canvas or reusable shopping bag to custom design in a bohemian-feeling painting pit. They provide the paint, brushes and everything you’ll need for an experience that is far from your average night out. Designed to facilitate interaction, it makes a great first date choice (far more exciting than the typical job interview-esque option) and may just free your inner artist in the process.

Through Fitness
Break your workout boredom with an infusion of fun and creativity. Instead of your typical cardio or weight routine, switch it up with something like gymnastics, circus training or dance classes (stop it, you’re not too old). The Toronto School of Circus Arts, for example, offers programs and classes for all levels and ages. This means things like aerial arts, flying trapeze, trampoline and juggling, among others. Providing an experience far from the typical, they offer corporate team building programs as well. Find similar programs at the Calgary Circus Studio and Vancouver Circus School.

Ladies, get fit, recharge your sex drive, and rev up your sex life at the same time with KAMA Movement. Founded by a Toronto-based dancer Halyna Skrypnyk and physician Dr. Melissa Hershberg in 2009, the program has received worldwide attention and press from Cosmopolitan to Fox News, to name a few. Promising to unleash that “drama dance queen looking to come out and play,” KAMA Movement offers personal training, virtual training and videos for purchase. Not only does it enable women to empower their sexual core, they will feel and look their sexiest. It’s a win/win. 

Through Live Theatre, Music or Comedy
Experience creativity in the works for yourself by checking out a live performance. This is always engaging because it involves an exchange between the talent and the audience. In fact, watching people on stage always makes us want to do it ourselves through their contagious passion and creativity. Think of how many times you’ve left a concert or musical belting out the songs in the car ride home or when getting ready for work the next morning.

For mainstream, yet reliable and hilarious sketch comedy, we love Second City’s mainstage productions (always a great ice-breaking second or third date). For smaller, local theatre, there is no shortage of independent theatres across the country; you just have to source it out. Just over a year old, Toronto’s Sterling Studio Theatre, for example, is a 50-seater indie blackbox space and features some of the city’s finest actors and carefully selected productions. (Side note: the theatre is currently running a one-act playwriting contest, for all you writers out there). Think theatre or opera tickets are out of your price range? Toronto’s T.O.TIX is a central ticketing outlet that features half-price and discounted tickets on the day of performance. For a taste, you can even attend open working rehearsals at symphony or opera.

Of course, there are other ways to get creative as well: through travel, sex, photography, fashion or even throwing an event or party. The point is, why do mundane anything? In this climate, where we really have seen it all, creativity is key.