Have you really ever felt that your creativity has been stifled or even worst, lost? Maybe you feel like you have gone through all the ideas you will ever have and haven’t had a new one in days, weeks, or months. These are times were the creative person can really feel beaten down and without purpose. Creative people need outlets that best suit them, being music, art, writing, building, crafting, photography, sculpting, etc. If that outlet seems to be lost or at a block, then there is a sense of ‘limbo’ as I like to call. Basically, there is the want to create without the motivation or inspiration to come up with something. So what are you supposed to do about it?
This is a hard question to answer, to be very honest, because everyone is different and has different ways of motivation. So to give you one set of ‘rules’ to get you out of a slump would be an exercise in futility. But I can give you some of what I do for myself so maybe it can help you set up some ways to get out or, better yet, avoid the block you get from time to time.
- Thumbnails- there are certain things that I know I like; nature, water, my family, food, hiking, tea/coffee, fantasy genre, Final Fantasy franchise, birds, dolphins…..so when I feel like I have nothing new to draw, I create thumbnails of things I like on just some notebook paper. Sometimes it jogs some creative ideas, sometimes I toss the paper. But I got something done that day and it can feel like I got the bad ideas out of my head and a good idea or two can begin to blossom in my imagination.
- Things I am not good at- hands, feet, animals with lots of fur, wrinkles in clothing, cars; those are things I am not good at or at least not satisfied with drawing. I don’t practice them during my bout of creativity because they tend to make feel held back. But when I have times of ‘blah’ I practice these ‘blah’ things and one of two things happen, I figure out a new trick to getting better or I am reminded on why I steer clear of these categories. (If you are a person who can draw cars easily then a virtual high five for you because that is awesome!)
- Studies- We all have someone we admire or look up to for inspiration for our own work. Try doing some studies of their work. Start a piece like theirs and see if you can figure out how they got that. While you can’t adopt their own style as your own, you can use it to shape yours. One of the YouTube artists I follow uses markers and colored pencils for their pieces. I love mixed media, so when I don’t know what to draw I will look at their other pictures, try to draw something similar, and use a color palette similar to theirs. It helps me to try other styles and learn something new. I usually just have this in my sketchbook so I can look back at it for a reference.
- Talk about your slump- this is mostly why I am writing this blog post. I have no idea what to talk to you about this week, so I thought I would help myself get motivated by maybe helping you get motivated! While I was writing this, I actually did come up with a solution to one of my problems I am having so it did help me. But talking about not feeling up to your creativity can help, especially if the people around you genuinely want to help you and know you.
- Do it anyway- Oh, this is so much easier said than done. Simply because, what do you do if your brain just feels like it turned itself off? You find a way to climb over the block. Some people like to do something creative every day. Some don’t. One thing does not always work for another person. Personally, I am someone who likes to do something creative everyday, even if its not drawing. Luckily I have my kids who love creative time and will often ask me do help with their own projects. While these projects are still relatively simple compared to my own that I take on, its still being creative and really, there is nothing better, to me, than seeing my kids love something that made and tell me thank you for the help. That always makes me happy.
So while this information may not be new to you, I hope that it helps you not feel so alone. Not every great artist/creator has inspiration pouring from their ears. We are all humans and have struggles, so this kind of experience can be turned into something good with a little time and patience.
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