We’ve all been there! We’ve all been struck by a lack of inspiration and motivation within our creative practice. This loss of creative magic can often last longer than expected and we sometimes have to work within specific time frames which can lead to an urgency in needing the magic back.
We have collected from 8 artists their ultimate tip to give you 8 top tips to getting back into the creative swing.
“I keep a moleskin in my pocket and jot all my thoughts down” – Frank Mills, Artist
1. Keeping a notebook.
We often come up with weird and wonderful ideas but we also often forget them. Jotting down strange thoughts that pop into your head, drawing patterns you’ve seen or writing down text or phrases you’ve heard can always come in handy later. So when you are stuck for ideas you can refer to your trusty notebook to remember all that once inspired you.
“I get up early after a good sleep, and I wake my mind and body with some exercise” – Paul Chirnside, Visual Artist/Photographer
2. Stretch & exercise in the morning
Exercise has been proven to put you in a good mood as it releases dopamine in the brain, making you happy and more alert. It awakes the mind and gives you a fresh head to start thinking up some fresh ideas.
“I try and resort back to a childlike state and think as though I am seeing everything again for the first time” – Catherine Goodwin, Performance Artist
3. Go back to basics
Try reverting back to basic activities e.g. if you are an illustrator, try doing simple exercises such as drawing an object without taking the pen off the paper. Exercises like that can take you back to when you first discovered your passion for creativity and could thus re-ignite it. Try describing an experience or an object as though it is the first time you’ve ever seen it, those adjectives could start a foundation for an idea.
“I draw a tree” – Paul Chatenay, Illustrator
4. Create something random or Add something to existing work
Now this tip at first sounds a little obscure but what it does is give you something to build on. With Paul’s example of drawing a tree: he uses the tree as the object on paper that he has draw a scene to accommodate. So by forcing himself to work around this obstruction he has then managed to stimulate his brain into using it’s imagination to create a new image.
“I separated the room in which I work in from the rest of my house” – AK, Actor/Muscian
5. Separate where you work and sleep
Not all of us can afford a studio and not all of us need one, but when you are working in your living-room or designing on your laptop in bed you can become distracted which leads to procrastination, lack of ideas and to you feeling disappointed in your lack of productivity. Find a quiet area in your home which is clear of distractions, a corner to treat as a work station in which you wake up, get dressed for and attend on time.
“I try listening to music, reading poetry and looking up metaphors” – Myrto Williams, Visual Artist/Illustrator
6. Explore other mediums
Doing something away from your usual method might do the trick to forcing your brain to think differently. Teaching yourself to understand another form of artistic expression can stir you to think about new ways of working, unravel new methods and inspire you to take new and more artistic risks.
“I prepare as though I have an idea by laying out objects to use” – Gabrielle Cooper (me), Photographer/Artist
7. Preparation – Exploring your tools
Do you have a set of tools that you usually use? Or ones that you wish you used? Well… before you go to bed, lay them out as though you are prepping for a creative day ahead, then when you wake you have to use them! All of them! In someway, somehow, you have to create something using all the tools you laid out. In my case it is often a camera I’ve laid out that I have to use. I can either pick it up and shoot or study it, the way the film moves inside etc. and then I alter it such as manipulate the film. You could do the same with your tools.
“When these moments occur I travel. I don’t need a lot of things with me but ‘the essentials’. I have my laptop to scribble notes for the future, my ipod to remind me of who I am and a digital camera to remember what I see. ” – Christian Marsden, Ceramicist
Open a map, pick a spot and go. Take your ‘essentials’ e.g. notebook, laptop, and write, draw or note everything that inspires you. This point is a combination of points 2 and 7, it will not only help you get fresh air and a clear head but you are forced to create with limited tools, you explore what resources you have and your location.
I hope your creative mojo soon returns.