You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. Having said that, all creative creatures have days (that can stretch into weeks or months), when they feel uncreative and uninspired – the visual concepts seem unreachable and all the ideas come to a standstill. Overcoming creative blocks is a challenge that takes will power- sometimes courage. The fear of potential failure after a hiatus can be quite daunting.
You stare at the blank canvas or page – a realm of possibilities that never failed to inspire you in the past and helped you unleash your imagination to a level where you could actually visualise every detail of your completed project. No matter how deep you dig, you just can’t seem to come up with creative ideas and feel totally stuck. Here are some strategies to help you find inspiration and get past the blocks.
- Visit art shows, art galleries, preferably alone. Viewing art at leisure, very often jump-starts the creative process. Browse art galleries online and view the works of your favourite artists to draw inspiration.
- A bunch of new art materials work wonders towards priming the pump of an artists creativity. Nothing can match the feeling of excitement an artist experiences while buying art materials. You can never own enough art supplies -there is always room for more. To quote a fellow artist, “If someone tells you that you have enough art supplies, stop talking to them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life”.
- Spend time in your studio. Rearrange and organise your shelves in a way that everything you need is accessible to you. The ‘setting up’ and ‘winding up’ can be quite tedious and can act as a deterrent for the creative process. Make your work-space attractive and inviting.
- Watch YouTube tutorials and podcast on art techniques. Be open and experimental – “cheat on your genre”, instead of getting stuck in a rut. If you are a landscape or cityscape artist, experiment by making a portrait in your signature style.
- Browsing through art magazines and art books can trigger off and inspiring idea and stimulate the creative juices. I know a lot of artists who maintain inspiration files of photographs that can be used as references. Make sure you have your reference photos handy at all times. Collect creative sites – Pinterest is, without doubt, the best inspiration site.
- Spend time outdoors. I once made a day trip to Old Delhi during a time when I was feeling jaded and creatively fatigued. I have always been fascinated by the architectural beauty of Old Delhi. As if on cue the sights, sound of the old city sparked off the different synapses of my brain and led to the creation of my painting titled “Nostalgia”.
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- Collaborate with other artists. Sometimes just spending time with other interesting and creative people can boost your creativity. Enthusiasm is infectious.
So try out different ways to find inspiration and see what works best for you – what works today may or may not work tomorrow. Keep your mind open to all possibilities.