I've been experiencing creative block for a while now and I absolutely hate it.
For my readers who are not sure what that is:
Creative block is a period of time when an artist can't access their inspiration or can't bring themselves to create new work.
It's a VERY FRUSTRATING time.
Personally, it makes me feel like I need to be doing more; I'm probably a little too comfortable where I am creatively and need to expand my knowledge both visually and intellectually so I work towards that.
You'd think 'oh that means you get to do new fun things to build yourself' - Not in the beginning - When you're so used to doing the same thing for a while, trying anything different either feels wrong or inappropriate and its a scary thing when it comes to what you love to do! But I realized that pushing myself to do things differently really yields exceptional results.
Below are a few things I do when the period of creative block is upon me:
1. I READ A LOT
"I read everything!"
Novels, Self help books, Religious books, books on finance, Magazines, Fashion books, anything that could take my mind in a different direction. I realize during this period that my imagination needs a boost...and nothing helps better than creating your own mental representation of whatever you read! So I don't just skim through magazines I read the articles - you'd be surprised how a single sentence could move you to create something EXCEPTIONAL!
2. PICTURES PICTURES PICTURES
Visual art is a huge help during this time! Seeing different images whether online or in magazines puts me in a more visual space. So I get to physically play around with Images to wake my visual senses up from whatever slumber they've decided to take. I create multiple moodboards when I have the time, or mostly when I can get my body to feel like it
"NB: During my #creativeblock period, I DONT FEEL LIKE DOING ANYTHING CREATIVELY NEW!"
So it takes EXTRA effort to actually get myself working on something different.
I rip out pictures from magazines and also print out a few images from the internet just to physically move them and create something visually pleasing to my senses. It's both relaxing and a fun way to be inspired!
Whenever I get the opportunity to travel anywhere out of state or country during my #creativeblock period, I'm so grateful! Traveling and getting to experience and be in touch with a different environment does a lot for my exhausted brain. Honestly inspiration can come in seeing the most boring of things in that place, but once I get it I'm in a whole new world. My advice here is:
"Keep an open mind"
Be very open minded, especially when traveling in that moment doesn't involve going out of state or country, but going downtown, or visiting a museum you've never seen in your city. I'm usually so attentive and observant during this period because I feel I might miss the one thing that takes me out of the frustrating period. Sometimes I do get inspired by conscious observation, other times when I'm not paying particular attention to finding anything.
I'm personally a visual person, so seeing different places, items, colors, people, puts me in a better space to create effectively.
4. GET IN THE RIGHT COMPANY
"Meaningful conversations over cocktails YAYAYAYAAA!!!!"
I am honestly very grateful for the friends I have made over the years; they may all be different in many ways but they all have a passion and creative ways about them that is truly just refreshing. So when I'm in a period of #creativeblock I talk to my friends about their vision and what they are doing creatively, because believe it or not, their drive for excellence and passion to create rubs off on me! I recently had a conversation with one of my really close friends (who is an amazing illustrator) and she told me how she is planning to own a gallery soon as well as create different murals to tell her story and inspire others to strive for greatness - Now, sis has steps she's taking to make all this happen! she's not just saying what she hopes will happen, she's in the process of making it happen and listening to her talk with all that passion was all I needed to push myself!
"The company you keep during this period is crucial, because it can truly build or break you!"
My Christian Faith is an enormous help during this time tbh. I truly believe in the power of prayer, so praying to God to guide me to something inspiring really gives me peace when I wake up and start my day because I'm more hopeful and very much assured of the fact that I will find inspiration soon!
I don't just pray and stay in my room all day lol - I pray, then head out to allow myself to be led to that thing or those things that will take me out of my #creativeblock
6. CREATE CREATE CREATE
"Don't stop creating!"
I make a conscious effort to create something regularly if not daily. It may be a sketch, or a whole garment, but I try very hard to do something visually creative because art can't just take a break. Yes, it's important to relax and walk away from your craft to recharge but don't leave for days and weeks with that as an excuse - to be great at something you need to really go at it and practice and be better than you were days ago.
So during my period of #creativeblock I don't stop working on whatever I was working on before I began feeling away. I keep going as I look for new direction.
I really hope this post helps my fellow creatives out there. If you have other ideas on how to be creatively inspired during a period of creative block...Kindly join in the conversation and leave a comment below - just sign up, like and leave a comment