Today’s the day! Today you are going to create something new and amazing!
At Least that’s what you told yourself yesterday then found yourself sitting in front of a blank canvas or staring at your camera completely stumped. What can I do that I haven’t done already? The motivation is there.
The desire and ambition are there. But that other stubborn little thing called creativity seems to be taking a vacation day. The light bulb went out and you’re out of ideas. You’ve got creator’s block!
How many times have you found yourself in this situation? Far too many for me! Which is why I can say, I can help you jump start your creativity.
Some people say, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body. I can’t do it.”
Everybody has creativity in them. It just has to be enticed to come out. There are so many ways we can go about this. I can tell you sit back, relax, clear your mind, meditate, or take a walk to help you get in the mood. Of course all that helps, but let’s face it, most of us have such a busy life that it’s just too difficult to get away from our day to day stresses and distractions to fully commit ourselves to all of that. But all is not lost. It can still be done, even with your busy life!
These next 8 techniques to jump-start your creativity are what has helped me personally over the years. You don’t have to do it all the same. That is what makes us all different! Use these as a guide to help you when you are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.
1. Clean Up
Yup, that’s right. I’m telling you to clean! Research has proven that a clean work environment helps boost your creativity. If you already have a clean workspace, great! Now change it around a bit! Look at it from a different angle. When I worked in an office, I was constantly changing things around my desk. Almost every week! The constant change of environment always gave me a better sense of thought which led to being more productive and creative.
Also, did you know that colors have a huge impact in your mood? I think as Artists, we can all understand that since we are constantly looking at different colors. How do you feel when you look at something with green hues versus blue hues? There are a whole variety of colors that evoke different emotions! It’s amazing how the mind works! Green is said to help you be more productive through its association with nature. It’s calming and helps lighten the anxiety levels in the room. So how about adding a small plant to your desk or room? Blue is also said to be calming and has a tendency to help people think outside the box. It provokes more concentration to details which allows you to be more efficient. Maybe you have a picture frame or paper weight with blue tones. Find out more about how you can Improve your State of Mind with Colors in your Workspace.
Now that you have a clean and organized workspace, let your mind run wild with this next booster activity. Think of anything and everything here. When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing you do? Brush your teeth? Wash your face or take a shower? Whatever your routine, they are perfect opportunities for you to start daydreaming. Instead of worrying about day to day stresses, daydream! Think about the past, present and future.
What would you do if you won the lottery? What are some of your favorite things? It’s always good to daydream about nice things. Don’t stress yourself out thinking about bills or what meal your going to make for dinner (unless you love to cook). The point of this is to think of stress free things. It’s called a dayDREAM, not a nightmare. Where would you go if you were given a chance to travel the world right now? If money wasn’t an issue, what would you do to progress your artform? Let your mind wander. There is not limit here!
The act of daydreaming turns on the creative lightbulb in your head. It may not bring that award winning idea at that very moment, but it is scientifically proven to be linked to jump starting that creative nerve in your brain. So don’t let anybody tell you to get your head out of the clouds! Unless your attention is required at work or something else that is very important! Know when and where to do it.
3. Listen to Music
This one is a big one for me. I can’t do anything creative without my music! As I’m writing this blog, I’m currently listening to my “Need to Focus” playlist on Spotify. I have a playlist for everything!
I think it’s safe to say that we all know that different types of music bring out different kinds of emotions. When working out, most people will listen to fast paced, energetic music. When relaxing at home after a long day with a glass of wine, a more relaxed, unwinding kind of tune is in order.
Music is linked to helping get those creative juices flowing. In recent studies, it’s been proven that those individuals that listen to happy music while working tend to come up with more ideas and are more productive versus those that work in silence.
So put on those headphones or crank up the stereo! Have some fun and just jam out with yourself! I would love to know what kind of playlists you have for your creative activities! You can find a list of all my playlists here that I jump around in when I’m working. Maybe it’ll help bring some inspiration to you!
4. Create an Inspiration Board
This one is so much fun to do! Especially if you are familiar with Pinterest! With an inspiration board, you can take a few moments when you are feeling stuck and just browse at things that have made you think once before.
So how do you get an Inspiration Board started? Well, first, you have to decide whether you want a physical board or digital? Both work very well. For actual boards, you can go to your local office supplies store and pick up a cork board, then decorate it however you like. For digital, I personally have two methods Twitter and Pinterest. If I did have an actual board on my wall, it would probably look something like this one here pictured. You can use an entire wall if you wanted to or even use a notebook.
No matter what method you decide to use, always keep at it. Add anything you want to it. There are no rules, no boundaries! If you find a quote that inspired you to take some action, then put it on your board! It’s so convenient and easy to do. I think every artist should have some sort of inspiration board. You can check out this site to get more ideas on all the different kinds of boards you can make. I have to warn you though, you may want to do them all! I loved all of them!
5. Research and Learn
Now that you’ve set up your space, gotten in the mood with your music and looked over your inspiration board, it’s time to do some research. Did you find something in your board that got you so excited and just had to know how they did it? Now is the perfect time for you to do just that! Look at how others in your same art medium are doing things. Get inspired by what they have created and try to figure out how they did it. Then see if you can do it with your own spin and style.
I’m sure you all know the saying “Curiosity killed the cat.” But did you know that satisfaction brought it back? In other words, be curious and satisfy that curiosity. Read, watch youtube tutorials, talk to other experts. Figure it out and then do it. You’ll wake up your brain and introduce it to other things. Which leads me to my next point.
6. Get out of your Comfort Zone
Most artists have a niche. Whether it be Landscape photography or portraits, oil paintings or water color, we tend to get comfortable and stick with what we know. When we do that, you condition your mind to focus your creativity on the same thing over and over again. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you send a little shock to your brain which forces it to get more creative.
When I first started photography, I told myself all I wanted to shoot were landscapes. Boy am I glad I didn’t just stick to that! I was stuck in a rut and ran out of ideas of what to photograph. Needless to say, I also ran out of places to go to that weren’t already photographed by everybody around me. So I followed all my previous steps and found high speed photography and still life. I researched best ways to do both, found some amazing shots and tried replicating them to see if I could get the hang of it. Once I learned, I took things to the next level and put my own spin on things. The results were amazing!
For example, how many times have you seen the craft of melting crayons onto a canvas with a blow dryer in an artistic and creative way? That idea has been floating around Pinterest forever now. I personally have not tried that, but have always thought it looked pretty cool. So I took that idea and created my own thing as you can see pictured here. My creativity started running crazy after I started experimenting with this. Success! This lead me to falling in love with a different form of photography and craving more!
If you are a photographer, how about trying your hand at drawing or painting?
Take a step back from your camera for a moment and try doodling around and maybe it’ll spark you to draw something else. Who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy it more than photography. For those of you who simply just can’t draw, check out this Pencil Drawing Made Easy Course. It’s so much fun! Learn to Draw like a Master Artist with over 42 hours of easy to follow training videos. Want to skip the pencil drawing and go straight to painting? Try Online Art Lessons. You can choose classes in oil painting, watercolor painting, acrylic painting, pencil drawing, pastel drawing as well as pen & ink drawing. Remember, this is all about getting out of your comfort zone to help stimulate your mind and bring out the creativity that is in you.
7. Critique Others
Ok, so let’s be careful with this one. Don’t go off and start ranting on somebody’s work! What I want you to do here is take a look at some other works of arts created by your fellow artists and critique them to yourself. Can you find a different angle that would work better? Would you use different colors in the scene to bring out a different emotion? Whatever the critique, it forces you to think creatively of different ways that could work.
Again, don’t go off and crush somebody’s spirit with a critique if they aren’t looking for it! Use this as an exercise for yourself.
8. Blast to the Past
Did you have fun critiquing others? Well, get ready to do it to yourself now! I can’t tell you how many times this last exercise has resulted in new amazing pieces I never thought I actually had.
I want you to look back at your old work and see if there’s anything there you missed. If you are a photographer, look back at all those RAW unedited photos just sitting there taking up space on your computer. Is there something there you overlooked? Maybe there’s one you’ve already edited but have bigger and better ideas for it as you’ve expanded your knowledge and creativity over time.
No matter what kind of artform you love and produce, there’s always previous work you can look back at and give a full critique. Just as with the critiques on others, this will force you to bring your creativity to a different level. Who knows, you may just have a hidden masterpiece!
- Create a inviting workplace for yourself where you can daydream and listen to music.
- Find inspiration all around you and pin it to your board so you can look back on it when you are feeling blank.
- Always keep learning new and exciting things to do and try to get out of your comfort zone every once and awhile.
You never know what you may find that could turn out to be the turning point in your art career!
Get out there and Jump Start your Creativity!!