Creative Side Projects

Creative Side Projects

My business once was my creative side project. Since becoming full time self-employed, I’ve been wanting to take on a few side projects unrelated to my work. Creative side projects are a labour of love with no risk and no pressure. I don’t even have to be good at it, I just want to try new things and find productive distractions that support my creativity.

I always come up with my best ideas when I’m concentrating on something else. Creative side projects can relieve stress, help boost creativity, provide new ways of thinking, solve problems, and challenge our creativity. I’m hoping they can also help with pesky burn-out.

Although I would consider blogging and vlogging creative hobbies, they have become linked to my business in a lot of ways. My creative side projects will be different - less rigid with more room for failure. I want to create things in the moment with much less thought and structure.

My Creative Side Projects

Drawing + Paper Cutting
These two are cheating a little bit. They are both creative side projects and help me out with my business. I’ve had a few ideas about mixing product photography with simple illustrations and paper cut-outs, so far the results have been pretty exciting. I’m hoping to develop these ideas by investing a little time into this creative side project and hopefully it will flourish into something bigger.

I bought a loom and started stockpiling yarn so long ago now it’s getting silly. I really want to play around with this format - something I’m a complete novice at - and just create some simple woven hangings for the apartment and studio.

I suffer from a panic disorder and have sleep paralysis plus I often struggle to unwind and relax. I bought a colouring-in book to take my mind off of work and hopefully relieve any stress or anxiety. This is a completely fun, silly activity that I can indulge in for a few minutes every day.

A few things to bear in mind:

Make the time to create
Set aside a little time extra week for a creative side project and do it purely for fun. The goal behind creative side projects isn’t to become an expert or even become good at something, it’s simply for the enjoyment.

Focus on now
It’s important to focus on the task at hand rather than the finished product. The aim isn’t to create a perfectly crafted final piece or turn the craft into something profitable, it's not even about making something good - it’s all about the process.

Only carry on with a project if you enjoy it
It’s easy to assume you will enjoy particular creative side projects; if you find out you're not as into a project as you first imagined, stop doing it. Only invest in the creative side projects that inspire your creativity.

"Side projects are the opposite to the mantra of ‘Failing Fast’.
Side projects are all about ‘Succeeding Slowly’
- Hiut Denim Co