17 Creative Ways to Capture what Captivates You

Creativity can spark interest in our surroundings and allow us to make connections that we never thought would be possible. By using the applicable knowledge we have at our disposal, we can make daily connections that affect our views, inciting emotions ranging from anger and frustration to more flattering ones, such as happiness and joy.


Audrey Hepburn with her cat from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Silkscreen by Andy Warhol.

Creativity, coming to terms with those things that we are passionate about, can easily be nurtured. Whether it is painting or writing or working out how to make sustainable renewable energy sources available at a cost effective prices without advertisers and monopolies trying to affect the market, chances are, we’ve all had to take a creative approach on how to look at things around us, on a very frequent level.

Sometimes we are moved, and other times, the monotony of the spectacle becomes difficult to grasp.

Of course, we should all be out at museums and visiting the bohemian neighborhoods of the towns that we happen to occupy, but whether we perceive art as something cookie cutter and consumable, or something defying definition, art allows us to create connections and find ways to see that may have not even existed before us.

Take Andy Warhol’s pop art, which makes silkscreens accessible to the audiences. Or Seurat’s pointillism which was influenced by mathematical perceptions of light, or the ceramics in the architectural overtures of Gaudi, which account for the revival of a largely overlooked form of artisanship until he showed up on the Barcelona architectural scene- each age and decade of artistic output is influenced by thinkers engaging with theories of light and science as a means of propagating art, and redefining the boundaries through paying astute attention to that which is close to them.

In the internet age, where there is such a volume of material constantly thrown our way, creatively documenting that which we encounter helps us to create a chronicle of our lives in a way that is understandable, and provides a means of engaging passionately with our surroundings. We are captivated by what we encounter, but we often do not know how to chronicle it usefully for ourselves. Hence, here are some tips to start getting organized.

1. Collect quotes about things that move you.

“The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. It eliminates the vice of procrastination, the sin of postponement, failed communications, failed communions. This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters. meetings, introductions, which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked.- Anais Nin, May, 1946.”


2. Rearrange familiar quotes to create poems.

changing the world

3. Read anything and everything you can find. Whether it is a newspaper article on beekeeping or the origins of the Bauhaus movement, educate yourself on everything that has preceded you that previous generations have marveled over. You will find a wealth of information and connections between them that you did not even realize existed. This will inform your own understandings and outputs positively.

4. Collect shells and interesting shapes and colors, such as sea glass and orange rocks.

Shells, close up

5. Rearrange your findings into various words. Get creative about your formulations.

Hope Shells

6. Dry some lavender. Arrange words underneath the lavender.

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7. Keep your mind open to the fact that you do not know all the answers but that it is okay, because some of the questions have not even been formed yet.

8. Make collages out of scrap paper and old magazines.

love at first sight

9. Press leaves into old books, which you can later turn into artistic arrangements.

Dried Leave assemblage
Dried Leaves assemblage

10. Take a walk into unknown neighborhoods in your area and look up interesting architecture enclaves that you find. Record your findings.

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Hundertwasser House in Vienna, Austria


11. Marvel at the way that abstractions can receive words to describe them.


The spice market in Istanbul


12. Keep a journal and record the changing landscape around you. Attempt to note which authors and poets you are reminded of, and which of your senses are aroused by what you see around you. This can provide you with many memories of days that you would otherwise have forgotten in the long run:

There is a child playing foosball with a waiter. The child is grinning, shouting, laughing joyfully and it seems he is winning against the older boy, who looks barely 18. I saw the older boy waiter smoking marijuana. It is good that the child was not here earlier.

He laughs so gleefully when the ball is dropped onto the foosball table, this little boy. He cannot be older than seven. He is barefoot. I believe a family owns this bar, which is called “Majestic,” next to a resort of the same name. 

The woman who owns the bar came over to me and said smoking is allowed when there are no kids. On reflection I wonder if she meant kids or guests, because I could not understand. The little kid is wearing a faded green t-shirt, oblivious to the pot habits of the waiter he is playing with. I have not seen a child with so much exuberant euphoria in a very long time. It is truly overwhelming in a delightful way. (Khlong Nin Beach, Koh Lanta).

walking trails in Phi Phi

13. If you play a musical instrument, practice. If you don’t, why not pick one up? Even if you are not going to be a concert pianist, perhaps you could play some small concertos with friends and family. There is no such thing as a little practice in staying proactive and creative.

14. Take photographs of whatever inspires you. Find out who created the pieces.


Casa Battlo, Ceiling. Gaudi’s Barcelona


15. Find out what others did to stay creative. Whether this leads you on a road through all of Susan Sontag’s letters, or that of Ernest Hemingway or Jack Kerouac, chances are that you will come away learning a thing or two about what inspired great thinkers, and how they used to make connections across science, mathematics, literature and photography, regardless of whatever it was that they were supposed to be experts in.

16. Find beauty in juxtapositions. Collect patterns and differentiate between them.

17. Take the time to avoid the places where all the tourists are. Chances are, they are overtaken by shops and the “old” feel of the neighborhoods have been replaced by Gucci and Prada. Instead, take the side streets if you’re in Venice, venture into Exarhia and Glyfada and not just Monosteraki if you’re in Athens, and note that life is quite moving, and unmoved, outside the quarters of the Sultanehmet in Turkey. Happy roaming around and capturing the stories that captivate you.


Inspiration can come from anywhere. It really is all about making the connections.


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