How do I inspire creativity? Just like the Nike slogan, I “Just Do It”.

Write, draw, paint, read, dance like a fool…whatever it is that I want to do better, I do as often as I can.

Create experiences. Being out in the world inspires ideas. Travel is wonderful. I love to travel. But if traveling isn’t in your budget, just open your eyes to your own neighborhood. I love living in Brooklyn. I just walk out of my door and I’m hit with experiences. In one three-block walk to the subway I’ll see a nanny waiting on the corner with a little boy, his arms wrapped around her leg and his head resting on her thigh. The comfort between the two makes me think she’s cared for him since he was an infant. There are the dogs I recognize but always forget their names. There’s the Vietnam Vet with the prosthetic leg and a sign in his window commenting on the state of politics (it changes weekly). There’s the guy whose garden of ceramic animals grows by the day…and the “can man,” who collects a shopping cart full of bottles and cans—the sounds of him sorting them at night ring though my window. All of these things inspire creativity.

Once you’ve taken the time to experience, then create. And don’t be a critic. I’m my worst critic. So the only way I’m going to create is if I don’t stop and analyze it. If I do, then analyzing turns into criticizing and before I know it, pen is down and no more writing. I have to get my ideas out and not edit myself. First, I write it all down and walk away. Then I look at it later that day or later that week. If the idea still calls to me, then I start to edit. Sometimes that edit turns into a complete rewrite. And if I’m drawing, I draw with a Sharpie pen as often as possible so I can’t go back and erase. Often I’ll find those first lines with a Sharpie are so much better than the refined and cleaned up picture I end up with after reworking it a hundred times.

In a nutshell, to inspire creativity: pause, take it all in. Look, read, walk, socialize, experience life. Then don’t “try” to write, draw, create.

Just do it.

Write, draw, and create. As often as you can. Every day if possible. Do it for yourself. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t worry about what others will think or if it’ll sell. Just do it.

Diane Kredensor is thrilled to set her second OLLIE & MOON adventure in the city she calls home, where they make the best pizza pie in the whole world. FUHGEDDABOUDIT! Diane is an Emmy Award-winning artist for her work on such hit shows as Pinky and the Brain, Oswald, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and WordWorld, to name a few. She runs her own animation production studio and happily makes her home in Brooklyn, New York, with her family. Keep an eye out next summer for her third book in the series, OLLIE & MOON: ALOHA! 

Diane is represented by Jen Rofe of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Follow Ollie, Moon & Diane’s adventures on Twitter @OllieandMoon.

You can also follow their adventures when you win a signed OLLIE & MOON book! Just leave a comment to enter (one comment per person). A winner will be selected in one week. Good luck.