A CREATIVE BLOCK. As artists and designers we've all had them.......
But how do you get to be creative again? Follow a few of these simple steps to feel inspired again.
Take a break
It sounds simple doesn't it..... but its not always that easy is it?
Well actually stepping away from your home or workspace is really important. I know life gets in the way, but getting some fresh air, even just going for a brief walk outside does wonders for creativity. Nature is one of the most inspiring things. So many different colours, textures, patterns, sounds and even smells..... (fresh cut grass - I LOVE that so much). Take a camera to record images. Start to really look at things. Zoom in. If you live in a city that's no excuse. Try looking up for a change. A change of perspective is always useful. There are so many ideas in every environment. Best of all it's free. Treat yourself to some ME time every once in a while and quit feeling guilty. Feeling refreshed is important. Think of it as an investment. If you're feeling washed out and tired, you won't be creative anyway!
If you really can't get out try running a fragranced bubble bath and play some music. Meditation and yoga can also work, they are both really beneficial for me.
Plan some time for yourself. Even a few minutes can do wonders......
Make a mess
Designate an area where you can be untidy for a while and leave your work out. Whether it's a table in the corner of the dining room, an easel in the kitchen, a work bench in the spare bedroom or a shed. Just having your own space to work as the mood takes you is most important.
Be prepared to play
Think about how creatively free children are......
As adults we rarely play enough to be honest. To be more creative we need to enjoy ourselves and take risks. Take time to be in the moment and enjoy the process. Commit to exploring and having fun, without attachment to the outcome. Many adults fear what other people think of them and this prevents us from being our best selves. Forget what they think and simply be yourself.
It really doesn't matter if we make mistakes. At the end of the day we want to enjoy ourselves right? We can always buy another sketchbook or a new canvas. Permission granted....... Don't worry about what other people think. Have fun!
Often our mistakes are a record of learning. Out of a mistake comes knowledge. From knowledge comes understanding. Have you noticed how small children aren't even remotely interested in what they have made. They are forever moving on to the next activity. Schedule your play time now and enjoy making marks instead of worrying about the outcome. You never know you may surprise yourself.
Forget the blank page
That blank white canvas or perfect piece of shiny new silver can be quite intimidating.....
So begin to work over a piece of work you are already unhappy with, so that you can take risks. Nothing to lose, right? Next up try working on a different colour background from usual. That coloured ground will give a very interesting effect. Jewellers can create wonderful things from their scrap jar. If it doesn't work out there's nothing lost, because you were only playing. Besides it really is a fabulous feeing when you design something awesome out of scraps!
Change of scale
Get away from your usual routine.
Work really large. This can be pretty liberating. You may try working on a huge roll of paper in the garden. Have you seen how cheap wallpaper lining paper is? Or try really tiny...... Miniature things are so cute right?
Use a different media
Switch it up. You are sure to delight in using your old watercolour set. Try wetting the paper before flooding the page with yummy colours. Fun hey! Those gorgeous pastels you have unused in the box, you can open them and use them. Yes I know they look so beautiful and neat, but honestly you can always buy more if you use them up. Go on.... It's playtime x
Visit a gallery or sculpture trail, look at pictures in books or make an inspiring collection of images on Pinterest. I'd love you to follow me @howfinedesigns There are heaps of amazing things out there which can spark ideas. When your mind is stimulated it will want to create. Looking at other visual imagery is one of the best ways to inspire your own ideas. Next try making a brainstorm to start your own creative flow.
Neon by Tracey Emin
Enrol in a class or workshop
Go back to being a beginner for a while, perhaps try a new media. Remember the thrill of discovery when you were starting out! This is a great way re-engage and you will love to rekindle your creativity and reconnect with why you decided to be creative in the first place. You’ll also meet other like minded people. It's amazing how inspiring this can be in itself. Swap ideas and chat about what you're thinking. In my classes the chatter and laughter is my favourite thing! As soon as others see your work, they don’t notice the struggles you had to make it. Talking to people who are more distanced from you can be fabulous for your ego and will inspire you on your path to creative freedom.
DO NOT DISTURB
Its worth making sure other people know you should not be disturbed while you are busy creating. Let people know this is your time and you will be unavailable. Consider scheduling a regular day or evening for your creativity. Remember to turn off social media, phones and those pesky Facebook notifications while you are creating, as these are notorious for interrupting your flow. Try putting up a sign so people know you are busy being creative. People will soon get used to the idea.
Remember WHY you want to create things.......
If you can think back to why you started creative activities. It's likely that you enjoyed the activity and it made you feel good. That's what you should remember. Honestly just stop worrying about other people.
Even if you sell your work..... If you like what you make, that is so important. Don't try to second guess what other people would like. That's a slippery path. Other people are sure to like your creations too, you just need to find the right people. When YOU are CONFIDENT in your work because you have LOVED making it that really does show through.
Believe in yourself
Creativity NEVER gets used up you know.....
The more you use it the more you get. Great hey?
And DO have some FUN!
Pssssst Have you seen my Empowering Rings? You can order your own words too! Perfect for setting goals for your intentions for 2021
"Creativity is intelligence having Fun"
Images above unless credited are by me, Sally How and the lovely artists in my classes and workshops at Rossett Adult Education, Harrogate.
- Please do let me know if you've found any of these ideas useful.