For us creatives, we rely on the fountain of ideas to keep us going. We need inspiration and beauty and that indescribable thing that charges us. Sometimes, though, the fountain dries up. We’re not a raging stream of ideas anymore, we’re a dried up parched desert.
I’ve been going through a bit of this lately. I want to create, but I’m just totally lacking inspiration. It’s the artist version of writer’s block. And it’s absolutely zero fun. But if you’re an artist, you know you have to create. It’s just in your DNA. So what to do when there’s just nothing there?
These are some of the things that have helped me push through when it’s hard to create. I’m still working through the end of this dry spell, an while I know it won’t be my last, it helps to know I’ve learned some strategies for next time.
Try a new medium
Sometimes, it’s your typical medium that’s stagnating you. If you’re a painter, try embroidery. If you’re a knitter, try sketching famous artworks. Get yourself a 40% off Michael’s coupon and buy new art supplies that you’ve never tried. A new medium is challenging and inspiring and will usually help you push through that dry spell.
Dive into Instagram feeds
You might just need a little creativity-envy to get yourself going. Find the people in your field that are pushing themselves and innovating. Allow yourself to soak it all in to be able to formulate your own ideas and spin. Please take note, however: it’s okay to be inspired by fellow creatives, but always always always give credit to them, and for the love of all that is good in this world, do not copy everything they do. Use it as inspiration, but you still have to be you.
Get out of the house
This can be as simple as a trip to Starbucks & Target, or a day trip to indie coffee shops and art museums. Getting yourself in a new environment, even for a little while, is always a good boost to creativity, or at least your attitude.
Make a creativity ritual
Sometimes, it’s a matter of tricking our brains into thinking we aren’t in a dry spell. One of the best ways you can do this is with a ritual. Always create in the same spot, with the same drink, the same album on repeat, and the same diffuser blend running. Habit is a powerful thing.
Or, switch it up
If your creativity ritual has been working for a long time but suddenly isn’t doing it for you anymore, switch it up. Turn everything on its head. Move to a new spot, pick an album you’ve never listened to before. Choose scents you don’t normally gravitate towards, and drink iced coffee instead of a latte.
Do some yoga
Or whatever exercise you like. I like yoga for creativity, because it pushes you, but not in a “all I can concentrate on is how heavy this weight is” kind of way. Your mind still has space to reflect and brainstorm. I actually keep a notebook nearby when I practice, because I tend to get loads of ideas during a flow!
Keep a journal
This can be any type of journal – it doesn’t have to be the typical middle school “my day play-by-play.” Or it can be, whatever floats your boat. You can art journal, write responses to your devotions, do stream-of-consciousness writing, or journal your yoga practice. Pick a gorgeous notebook and just do it.
Buy some magazines
Get whatever you find beautiful and inspiring. I tend to love fashion mags, but food magazines can be just as inspiring. Or splurge and get a gorgeous indie mag like Kinfolk or Collective Hub that begs to be left out on a coffee table. Sit down with a huge stack and some coffee and prepare to soak it all in. Pay attention to anything and everything that grabs you – even if it’s not normally “you.”
Push through it
Push. Through. The. Block. Don’t just give up and decide to only work when you feel like it. Working when you’re blocked tends to force you out of your comfort zone, which is sometimes exactly what you need. I for one can say a lot of my best ideas and favorite work has come from a time when I was pushing through a dry spell.
Tell me what you do
How do you get through the dry spells? Have any tricks for me to try? Please do let me know in the comments – I’ll take any and all advice! And please do let me know if any of these tips worked for you!