No one, and I mean NO ONE is immune to creative block. I don’t care what they say. Sure, it varies in form and degree, however everyone that lays claim to being a creative person, is a human being. Therefore, they are prone to creative fatigue, frustration, or blockage. The difference between you creatively constipated bunnies and them is what they do when they they’re feeling stuck. So let’s get started. Remember, a healthy creative practice develops methods that works best for it. So start with these, and let them take shape into your own mental laxative routine.
INSPIRATION OVERLOAD IS REAL
Many inspiring artists are used to having too little due to poverty or lack of resources. Buuuut, thanks to the Internet, inspiration overload is a real and serious condition – and I’m self diagnosed. I love the Internet and the endless bounty of resources it provides. However, all that imagery and information is paralyzing and dangerous to your practice. Shut it down. Filling your mind with so much stimulation that you can’t decide what to do or where do begin. Thats simply no good. When you see something you like, save it. This makes you more accountable and focused. Then, limit your Internet roaming, schedule your research sessions and log out of out social media several times a week while you work on projects. Don’t become so dependent on other’s work for inspiration that you become out of tune of your own.
HABITS DIE HARD
A lot of people always ask me how I’m so creative all of the time. Well let me let you in on a little secret. I’m not. Through making creativity a habit, you enable yourself to work through the kinks of your practice when it isn’t crucial. This way, when you really need to unearth a flow of mind blowing innovation, you’ll be prepared to draw on the habit of your creative practice. Creating a habit takes time, and dedication. The goal: to practice your work (no matter what that is) every single day. Don’t let working on your art be a special occasion. This will make you feel like you need to start from scratch every time you sit down to work. Make it a habit. In time, you’ll find that it’s easier to create than not, because habits die hard.
FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT
Set time aside to improvise on a regular basis. Improvising is an opportunity to work on something that may or may not lead to something fantastic. Best of all, it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad. This is your chance to make a mess, try new materials and mediums, and mess up. It’s FUN! If you come up with something truly extraordinary, excellent. Keep it and revisit it later. If not, laugh it off, and revisit it later anyways.
SHAKE IT UP
Switch mediums. If you’re a painter, go take photographs. If you’re a singer, do some writing. If you’re a business woman, take a stab at painting. You get my point. Many of us sometimes feel as though we have to stick to one medium and that’s it. Although this is how mastery is born, it’s also a great way to get stuck. Switching it up helps you to approach concepts, themes, and projects with a different perspective, and that is where the magic happens. Plus, you never know, you may have a natural talent that you’ve yet to discover. I can proudly call myself an illustrator, graphic designer, writer, musician, photographer, and video maker, and it’s not because I’m a prodigy (the list of things I’m not is just as long), but because I’m not afraid to try new things and leave my comfort zone.
CHANGE OF SCENERY
I love working in my studio. It’s comfortable and feels like home. However, all of my materials are mobile because I understand that getting too comfortable can have an impact on my work. In the digital age, everything is handed to us. Why not go looking for inspiration. It’s everywhere! Hit up a new cafe on you’re way to work. Grab a camera and go for a walk. Carry around a voice recorder everywhere you go. Eat lunch outside and people watch. Write down every human interaction that you see. Do your homework at the local library instead of at home. Change it up. The most exciting inspirations happen in the most unexpected places.
KEEP YOUR KIT WITH YOU
Never be unprepared. A smart phone is the most handy record keeping device and most of us have hardly tapping into their potential. You have a camera, an audio recorder, and a notepad, all in your pocket. Adobe Capture and Evernote are both great ways to take and keep photos and notes. I never leave my house without my artist toolkit.
Right now, in my bag I have a sketchbook and journal, a small set of watercolors, pens and pencils, my trusty Samsung Note4, and my Canon 7D and/or a small digital camera,. I’m always ready and always prepared to log inspiration or get creative, no matter where I am. This way when I get back to my studio, it’s like I never left.
So there you have it. Seven ways I keep my creative juices flowing. What do you do? I’d love to hear. Let me know in the comments below!