Do you frequently go through periods of little to no creativity? Are you currently struggling with a lack of motivation to create art? Does a lack of inspiration to stop you from creating and moving forward with your artistic progress?
"Inspiration and work ethic, they ride right next to each other."
- Jack White
All artists are bound to go through some kind of creative block from time to time, no matter how talented or experienced he/she may be. This makes it essential for us to have a method in place to stay in our creative flow, especially if we're intending to live from our art!
We're only human and tend to get blocked both consciously and unconsciously at different moments in time. Our lives are made up of so many different parts that we have to tend to, including our mental and physical health, our family, career, social life.
In today's blog post, I will share what I personally do to stay as balanced and productive as possible. I'll also be sharing a fun and effective way to continue exercising your creativity and art skills when you are lacking inspiration or are bored with your current art routine.
In the video included here, you'll see me put this into action by doing something I had never done before, so make sure to check that out!
Make sure to grab your free download included in this post and put it to use!
Practical Life Tips to Get You Back Into the Flow of Creation
Before we actually get into the creative exercise, it is important to address our mental and physical state. I have personally found that, while it's extremely important to keep creating artwork on a continuous basis, it's also essential to take care of ourselves and keep life balanced as best as we can.
1. Clean and organize your working area
I don't consider myself a neat-freak by any means. However, I have to admit that once things start to get messy around me, it starts affecting me mentally. By staying organized, there's much more of a chance you'll feel like getting to work, and sometimes, it's all about showing up.
2. Get moving
Guys, I cannot stress the importance of physical exercise enough. Some of my best ideas come up when I'm jumping around or doing some sort of exercise routine! Not to mention, as artists/illustrators, we sit or hunch a lot of the time and it's absolutely IMPERATIVE to stay strong and keep our posture as best as we can. Exercise is able to give me mental clarity that nothing else can, and I owe my productivity and energy to taking care of myself physically.
3. Go be social or get out of your usual area
As artists, it can be easy to stay holed up in our studio. It's important to keep in mind that we get our inspiration through living experiences.
4. Set aside some "me time"
At times, we get SO incredibly busy keeping up with our lives that our physical health suffers. Stress, unpredidictability and adulting does not allow us the time to rest and breathe. When I was still working at my full-time job (AND giving painting classes after work), I rarely had time to make art for myself. I tried to make time after work and found that I got very easily frustrated with myself because I was already tired from having worked all day. I decided to work on my exercise and sleep during the week and reserved parts of my weekends to my own art.
If you're not resting enough, and taking care of yourself physically, you'll most likely have a short fuse
5. Start taking notes
I carry a small sketchbook or notebook everywhere I go. The reason I do this is because I like writing down ideas as they occur to me during the day. Even if I don't use those ideas immediately for a project, I many times go back to them when I don't have any ideas.
Check out my blog post titledWhy Sketchbooks are Essential Tools for Artists and a Few Usage Tips.
6. Get inspired by the other art genres
Literature (reading or writing yourself), movies/documentaries, music, even cooking!
7. Create a Pinterest board (or a folder on your desktop) to collect artwork that calls to you for your own reference/inspiration
Check mine out here! You can then go back to it in times of experimentation and pinpoint specific things you'd like to try out. You feel attracted to these artworks for a reason! Try to target and make notes of specific characteristics you like (maybe it's the colors the artist used, the line work, how effectively emotions are transmitted, etc.) and try to implement it in your own original artwork.
I really recommend you check out this blog post How to Effectively Use Other Artists' Work as Inspiration and a Great Method to Start Developing Your Own Artistic Style.
8. Ditch the perfectionist attitude
Many times, we keep ourselves from creating because we are afraid of wasting supplies and/or producing something that won't measure up to our expectations (or the expectations of others). I honestly believe that perfectionism is one of the worst mistakes an artist can do. It wasn't until I understood that creating art is more about the process than the end product that I started to make incredible improvement in my art! Not everything is supposed to be a masterpiece!
My Secret Tool for Staying Creatively Inspired and Challenged
An artist should never stop improving and developing. Thus, we should continuously explore and challenge ourselves. It is through experimentation with different techniques, supplies and/or subjects that we not only expand our abilities, but are able to learn about our personal likes dislikes and areas of improvement.
I've come a long way since the time I made the decision to get serious about my art and I really believe that the reason why I've been able to improve so drastically in such little time is due to the fact that I challenge myself on a regular basis , am willing to explore new media and tackle each project with a positive attitude.
Another extremely important factor to stay productive, especially if you create art for a living, is simply showing up and doing the work! Many times ideas develop as we are working, and other times we simply must push through.
Next, I will prove that there is absolutely no reason for you to get stagnant or bored with your artwork, because there are simply SO many things that you can do to explore and improve!
So what I've done here is I've broken down the four characteristic aspects that make up an art style: kind of subject, artistic medium, use of color and level of realism. Think about and try pinpointing which of these you particularly use normally, and try to think about your particular art style up until now. These are the most common, but if you use something that is not included here
What I'm going to challenge you to do now, is to push the boundaries of your art a little bit. Remember, in almost all aspects in life, growth happens outside of your comfort zone!
"Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too. If she doesn’t show up invited, eventually she just shows up."
What's the longest period of time you've gone through without creating art due to a lack of motivation/inspiration? Do you have any mechanisms set in place to help you stay productive? Let's share in the comments section below and help each other out!
Thanks so much for reading and see you very soon!
In this blog you'll find information and resources to help you improve your art skills. I also share tips and encouragement that will help you stay happy and productive as your journey progresses.
Feel free to send me an
email, leave a comment on the site and/or reach out on social media. I'd love to connect!
Hope you enjoy
and find this useful!
10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting with Watercolors
Why Sketchbooks are Essential Tools for Artists and a Few Usage Tips
Guide to Shading Techniques: Hatching, Cross-Hatching, Scribbling and Others
How to Effectively Use Other Artists' Work as Inspiration and a Great Method to Start Developing Your Own Artistic Style
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