Overcoming creative block
Being an artist can be pretty amazing. You get all these wonderful ideas and spend the day daydreaming about them. The creative process is complicated. For you to do your best you need to be in the zone, feel good, inspired, and focused. However, sometimes when you sit down, you stare at the blank pages or your canvas – not knowing where to begin. It happens to all of us, however, it should not stop us from creating something new. In this post, I’d like to explore some ways to clear your mind and deal with that annoying creative block.
Sometimes we have just run ourselves a bit dry and need to refill ourselves with something fresh. Inspiration can be found in a variety of places. Listen to new music, engage in new experiences, and explore new environments.
Spend time in nature and take in the beauty of the world. Even reading a book can help to get your creative juices flowing. Try to avoid mobile devices, since that can lead to just mindless scrolling, more on that later.
And keeping a journal where you put down your impressions, ideas, and anything you find noteworthy, is great to help you lessen that feeling of not knowing where to start once you’re ready to work.
Energize Your Creativity
Creating visual art is usually a very sedentary “sport”. So moving around can change the environment you’re in and help clean your head. Whether it’s going for a walk, cleaning the house, or some other physical activity, you will definitely feel better and more energized once you return to your desk.
Engaging in sports or physical activity can have a positive impact on your overall well-being, reduce stress, increase energy levels, and improve mood which in turn can have a positive impact on your creative mind.
Change Your Surroundings
Do you ever daydream about your perfect studio or creative corner? Do something about it. Immerse yourself in things that make you inspired. If you love plants, put them in the same room, add little gnomes to the pots and dream up a fantasy land for yourself to live in. Put up some fairy lights or paintings.
Or do the opposite, take out the things that don’t belong. Change where your desk stands and find a new perspective that way. Or maybe even change your personal style, put on a hat, or try new exciting outfits.
Doodle. Doodling can be very fun. And freeing. If you don’t feel ready to commit to a bigger piece, letting yourself draw little circles, lines, shapes, or anything else, can give you the freedom to not be afraid of the blank pages. Experimenting with different mediums and techniques and art styles can be very useful in crushing creative block.
Do something completely different than you normally would and see where it takes you. It’s part of the journey. Perfect is the enemy of good. Don’t hold yourself back and allow yourself to fail. Don’t worry about your art being perfect, create and let yourself go with the flow. As Bob Ross would say “There are no mistakes, only happy little accidents”.
Restrict Your Resources
Sometimes when given too many choices it is hard to pick or stick with one of them. Especially with digital tools. Endless possibilities for brushes, fonts, and colors. Neverending Tumblr, Pinterest, or Instagram feeds for inspiration can get overwhelming pretty easily and might drive your focus away from the task since you keep scrolling and scrolling.
Try to give yourself some constraints. Pick a limited color palette or try a monochrome style, set a timer for your session, take inspiration from life, or put yourself on a deadline for your projects. They work like magic.
We sometimes wait for the right moments to come, however, we can motivate ourselves by starting and seeing the progress. In other words – action helps bring momentum and momentum helps to keep your motivation going.
Just do it! There is nothing holding you back but yourself. Set goals, if needed break large projects into smaller tasks, and don’t forget to celebrate your progress. If you wait until your motivation shows up, you might end up like this dude:
Let yourself be bored. It’s ok. Boredom is the best soil for creativity. Social media scrolling and other entertainment are an endless flood of stimuli. Put your phone down. Even video games can be a distraction if you spend all your time playing instead of using them as a cool-off from your work. Step away for a moment. Meditate, listen to music, and go outside.
Imagination runs at full speed when there is seemingly nothing going on. That’s why some of the greatest ideas come to us in the shower, sitting by the beach, or right before falling asleep.
Artists’ Block is something we all know very well. But it does not have to ruin your day or stop your progress. Create in spite of it. Have fun, experiment, and do something new. Life can inspire us in many ways, so go out there and experience the world, and don’t be afraid to make “happy little accidents”. And maybe take a long shower.
Thanks for reading!
Disclosure: Some of the links within this post are affiliate links of which I receive a small compensation from sales of certain items.