Constantly staying create can be hard, especially is there is pressure or a deadline looming over your head. Luckily, there are may ways to help push creativity and to give you that boost of inspiration! Here are nine things that I have found help me in my times of artist block.
1. Surround yourself with inspiration
It is hard to be creative when nothing around inspires you. I find that I am often not spontaneously creative, and if I decide that I want to be, I have to do a little bit of digging around before I can come up with any ideas. To help myself, I like to keep a lot of things that spark my imagination at hand. I follow as many art magazines that I can find. They are filled with endless examples of creativity and are a great reference to look at, even if you are thinking of non visual ideas. A few of my favorite are Hi Fructose, My Modern Metropolis, and Juxtapoz. Another great place to find inspiration is sites such as Reddit, Tumblr, and Pinterest. These websites are great for showing a variety of art, always having new content available and for the last two, a pretty good form of organizing what you want to keep. I like to tag posts and save them for later so if I'm hitting artists block I can quickly click through and get an idea!
2. Get nice lighting
This is something that I have discovered form my own experiences; the better the lighting the better I work. Even though I find that I am most creative during the night, being in the dark not only dampens my mood, but it makes me tired and agitated. With good lamps on, and white light in the room, I feel like it is still the daytime and that promotes happy vibes. A happy artist is one who will never stop creating!
3. Listen to different music
Turns out, putting on your favorite jam to draw to will not help! Listening to music that you like can actually decrease productivity. Instead, try something to new to be less distracted, it will help you focus, and in the end, discover new music!
4. Keep an art diary
I find it extremely important to be constantly doodling, collaging, and overall producing art for myself. Whenever I need to do something a little creative and I am out of ideas I can always go back to my sketchbook. I might find inspiration from some words I wrote down, an image I drew, or even just a few colors that I put together on a page. No matter what you could get out of it, I find that getting anything from it is very important, especially if you are drawing a blank. Find a sketchbook or journal that gets you excited. Slowly collect art supplies you find in elementary schools like glue, watercolors, markers and even fabric! Get inspired and just wreck that book!
5. Produce work that you don't like
This is such an important concept, and yet, it is something that I (and I'm sure others) really struggle with. Not everything you think of or make will be perfect and beautiful. It's impossible to not fail, and when one does, it's something that not only needs to be expected, but embraced. So what, that photograph was way too bright? Now you can learn to change the shutter speed next time, and even use this photo as inspiration for others. Lets learn from our mistakes and use them to benefit ourselves for future projects.
6. Change your setting
Get out of the house! Go to a library, park, or even a coffee shop. Let the smells of the outdoors, old books, and caffeine stimulate your brain. Studies show that coffee shop chatter can actually help you focus, and that the color green promotes creativity (wow Starbucks you know your stuff)! I find that going somewhere to do a task not only pushes me to begin the project but to finish it faster while also doing a great job.
7. Take a break
Sometimes it is best to step away and take a break if you really are stuck. It can help to stop thinking because sometimes the problem is overthinking. One example can be found in my own experiences. I had a final film that was due and I was stressing over it because I had high expectations for myself. I was deliberating everything and could not come up with an idea, so my friends told me to take a break and go to the zoo with them. Turns out, when I went there I actually saw some great shots to take and got an idea! Another great idea is to take a nap. Studies show that naps between 1-3pm can stimulate better brain function, resulting in more creativity!
8. Experiment with it
It is always important to step outside of the box every once in a while and create your own rules. Experimenting will make you produce things that you don't like, maybe even things you hate, but, it will also make you produce masterpieces! Trying new things will show you what you do and don't like, and give you inspiration to keep moving forward with new ideas. Even art that you hate that can give you ideas to create something you love!
9. Do it
It's important to remember that if you are out if ideas, just start. If you are writing an essay, start writing words. Get to the conclusion first, or maybe from a random point in your thesis. Don't even write about the essay topic! If it is art related just start doodling. Even if you draw 200 circles again and again on a page you may find an interesting shape in the lines and get a brilliant idea! In the end, let's all take Shia LaBeouf's great advice and just do it.