Late last year I was feeling run down, I have been painting up a storm and then nothing.
Nada. Zip. Zilch
My creative well was dry, not even an ink spot to be seen. My paint water dried up and my brushes went stiff without any tlc.
I have been doing this close to five years now, so I know there are ebbs and flows with creativity, but I also know that a creative mind needs to be jumpstarted every now and then and I thought I would share some of the things that I do to stir the creative mojo!
I first shared these ideas a couple of years ago on my first blog – Listening to the Squeak, and last year when I was feeling empty I used some of these ideas to spark my creativity.
MY TOP 10 WAYS TO BEAT THE CREATIVITY BLUES
TAKE THE DAY OFF…
WHAT? Seriously take the day off.
Do not go near your work space or sketchbook. Shut the door, close the book and take the day off. But the most important part of this is to LET GO OF THE GUILT + WORRY.
Instead do something different, something you don’t normally do – go for a walk, read a book, visit a park with a coffee or watch a movie.
Stepping out of your routine + taking the day off can open yourself up to new inspiration.
- DOODLE, ZENTANGLES + MANDALAS…
These are such great ways of letting your mind wander, I find them almost meditative, and often once I have spent just ten minutes doing one of these, I am open to new ideas + solving problems that have been worrying me, and unblocking my creativity.
There are so many ‘how to’s‘ when you Google any of these terms + so many free template downloads you can fill in. This is one of my favourite inspiration busters.
3. VISIT THE LIBRARY…
or bookshop, or second hand book store or charity shops.
But instead of the how to books or art books, go to the children’s sections and look at the beautiful illustrations in their books.
I love doing this, and often drag my kids to the library under the guise of borrowing books for them, but I am actually choosing books whose illustrations sparked inspiration.
USING DIFFERENT MEDIUMS/ STYLES OR TOOLS…
The feel of a different tool, using a different medium or switching up my style will often open up different avenues and different ideas will pop up.
Sometimes, I draw sea horses, dragonflies or my little ponies for my girls to colour in. Anything to just keep my creative brain going.
Once I had a few photos of my family lying around, that I wasn’t going to use in frames, the quality wasn’t great, or they had printed wonky.So I glued a few in my sketchbook + found a permanent marker + my extremely cheap metallic gel pens + started to doodle over the photos.I ended up with some very cool ideas to then translate onto paper. (Bonus – It was super fun + my kids love looking at them!)
WEEKLY CHALLENGE SITES…
There are heaps of these around. These are websites which provide you a weekly prompt – usually just a word + it is up to you to create something based on around that word.
My favourite sites are Illustration Friday + 52 weeks illustration challenge – but feel free to share you favourites in the comments section for others to visit.
I often use these prompts, when I am struggling for ideas.
You can share your work with others on the sites, but quite often I don’t, I just spend a quick ten minutes sketching a picture.
There are so many courses out there, and if you a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I’ve done the LifeBook courses for the last four years.
I love these courses, the many different techniques + different styles of the artists teaching is so inspiring, but the best part of this is following a lesson plan, which if you are in mood you can just follow as is, or taylor to your imagination.
This makes art courses perfect for keeping creative with out having to think of inspiration.
The cost can be prohibitive, but you can find free art courses online – Tam Laporte’s Art, Heart + Healing was one that I did early on + was fantastic.
MAGAZINES + CATALOGUES…
You can usually find magazines everywhere, at your mums, your nans, the doctors surgery…
And every week, we receive half a dozen junk mail catalogues, so if I am running on empty, I will find a picture of a dress I like, a cute wall decal, a tea set – something + I use it as a basis of my sketch.
This little painting was made from a sketch I did using a photo from a magazine photoshoot.
PINTEREST [OR MY FAVOURITE TIME SUCK]…
I hesitated about suggesting this one, the site itself has caused some controversy, but I love using pinterest to spark my creativity.
But you have to be careful not to spend time mindlessly surfing or you can end up spending hours on there. (time suck!!)
Now I know there are hundreds of ways to jumpstart your creativity + I would love it if you shared your favourites, these are just a few of my GO TO’S when I am creatively frustrated or empty.
What are your favourite inspiration busters are? I would love it if you shared yours with us below.