Is Consumerism Killing our Creativity?

In a world where masses of information can be viewed at the touch of a button, and the promise that new levels of creativity will be unleashed with the purchase of a new product such as a new camera or laptop, there is no wonder why some of us can often be left feeling drained, fatigued and uninspired.


Overconsumption can drastically set us back from our creative purpose. It is the notion of minimalism that can combat this.


Photo by Frankie Cordoba on Unsplash


What is consumerism?

From a young age we have been taught from advertisements, media and even school education that we never have enough stuff to achieve our goals and to be fully content with our lives. Whether this is tangible things such as the newest computer to the intangible such as enough information to create a piece of work, this feeling of not quite having enough can often leave us feeling unconfident in our skills and abilities as we are constantly reaching for the next big thing.


This couldn't be further from the truth, as creativity and confidence is something that innately lies within us all. It's true that the chase and rush of buying something new can be thrilling and even euphoric but you have to ask yourself does this feeling always last and is the promise of this product bettering your life actually true?


"In the UK, People are spending an average of 4.8 hours a day on their mobile phones."

This statistic from the BBC is a stark reminder that the 5 hours a day that we give to our phones could instead be spent creating something beautiful.


In day to day life, It can be easy to resort to social media in hopes of finding inspiration and motivation to feel creative, however, this can instead lead into the trap of scrolling for hours and later still finding a blank page staring you in the face. The consequences of guilt and deflation can often have the effect of feeling even more unmotivated than before you had even started. This experience is universal, yet in truth creativity is innately within all of us and no promise of a new product or a few hours of scrolling can bring new levels of creativity to you.


How minimalism can help

Over the course of this week, I have been looking into how we can combat this issue. I came across the practise of minimalism, which is the act of reflection and making conscious actions and decisions which puts you first. It states that instead of chasing an idealised version of someone else's dream life, you instead cut back on the unnecessary things in your life and take actions that align with your personal aims and goals. This theory is a breath of fresh air within our society and has been proven to increase your levels of creativity.


"Minimalism creates space for you to excel in what you do."

Introducing minimalism into your life

With regards to all the information above, it might feel overwhelming to think about where to start. Here are some of my tips on how you can use minimalism to improve your creativity.


  • Cut back: if you are feeling burnt out or in a creative rut, why not take a step back from your usual routine and live a more minimal life? Cut back on chores and usual responsibilities of your life (if you can!) and give yourself time to rest and play. This can give your mind time to wonder freely with less pressure and responsibility.


  • Curate your space: consider your home or workspace as an art gallery. Go through the objects in your home and decided what you really need and what can be given away. Decluttering your home can create a sense of balance and give you a sense of peace knowing that everything has a place and a purpose, thus streamlining and giving your life a sense of ease.


  • Reflect on your routines: perhaps in the evenings instead of spending hours watching Netflix shows, you could take this time to take up a more creative practise such as knitting, yoga or even dance.


  • Become a book worm: to gain a real insight into minimalism and its benefits why not get an in depth guide into it. My recommendations are: A Guide To The Good Life, author William Irvine, As Little Design As Possible, author Dieter Rams and The Art of Thinking Clearly, author Rolf Dobelli.


Above all, the key thing is to have a balance and to find a routine and lifestyle that benefits you and your goals in life. So have a think, what time could you find today to repurpose and give to one of your creative practises?