21 Creative Tips To Defeat Creative Block
"When you can't find yourself to have a creative thought. This often leads you to smack your head on a pillow until you find a good thought."
-Definition by Urban Dictionary
Omg yes, it’s the dreaded creative block. If you are struggling with this, don’t be ashamed. Every creative faces this monster at some point in their career if not multiple times. It’s all-good though. There are a variety of ways to overcome this common obstacle.
I think everyone has his or her own ways of overcoming this since we each are inspired differently. First, try to assess what may have led to your creative block. Is it discouragement from some type of rejection or failed attempt? Is it that you have been pumping out too much work and you've exhausted yourself. (If this were the case, then just taking a good bit of leisure time would probably do the trick). Or are you just physically, emotionally and mentally tired/burned out; which could even be health related (so getting various health evaluations if you can may be something to consider). Whatever the cause of your creative block, I have some tips that may help you:
- Taking a walk. Walking around and observing environments can always be inspirational. Make sure you also embrace the random events that may occur during your walking adventure.
- Listen to music. A lot of my fine art work is often inspired by music or specific songs. When you are stuck trying to create an idea or concept, illustrate a song.
- Clean up, organize and/or decorate your work space or home. Whether you work in an office environment, a co working space, or in the comforts of your home; a clutter-free environment will relieve you from being overwhelmed. You can also decorate with pictures, prints, figurines, etc. that inspire you.
- Learn a new trick, tip or technique. Once you learn something new, you will probably be excited to try it out on something.
- Practice a tutorial or walkthrough step by step. This is similar to learning a new trick, tip or technique; however, sometimes practicing a tutorial for something that you may already be familiar with can help you gain more confidence in creative workflow.
- Try a creative challenge or contest. Creative challenges and contests are great ways to get the creative juices flowing. These can be found all over the web on blogs, inspirational sites, and forums. They can also range in a variety of art forms from photography, Photoshop, drawing, writing and much more. If it’s a contest, you may get a cool prize or cash!
- Experiment. Be creative. Its totally fine if you completely screw up the experiment, that’s what experiments are for. As long as you don't harm yourself, anyone, your home or your expensive equipment!
- Watch speed art videos. I often post photo manipulation and speed retouch videos on this blog; but speed art videos range in multiple art subjects including drawing, painting, sculpture and even culinary art.
- Watch interviews and talks. TED talks are always inspirational for the common character challenges we face on a regular basis.
- Going to an art show, museum or gallery. Here you can be inspired by the work you see and also meet other artists.
- Start up conversations with artists you know. Try talking to artists you are affiliated with. If they are friends, they will probably know what to tell you to get your gears working.
- Connect with new artists. You can do this in a public environment or online. Try joining Meet up groups, Facebook groups, and forums.
- Read success stories. Find out what steps people took to get to where they are now.
- Read failure stories. Wondering how this would help? I think we all hit rock bottom at some point, whether it’s our fault or not. This includes some of the most successful people we know of today. Hearing how someone managed to pick up their broken pieces may inspire you to pick your own broken pieces.
- Watch television shows and movies. It’s depends on you what genre(s) inspire you. I often watch artistic television shows and movies. That’s most of my DVD, Blu-ray, Netflix, and Amazon Prime collection. I’m normally watching anime, sci-fi or fantasy stuff.
- Visit various inspirational websites. I mentioned finding challenges and contests on these sites earlier in this list. There are TONS of inspiration sites out there that share other artists’ work.
- Play video games. I understand everyone may not be a gamer, but I am a bit of one. Most of the games I play are Sci-fi and fantasy (Final Fantasy my favorites). Video game environmental and character designs can be very inspiring for all artistic mediums.
- Invest your time into something completely unrelated. Yes, you can be very random about this. Go to the mall, go to the aquarium, or even go partying/clubbing. Do whatever comes to your mind. If you do enough of this, you may end up missing your creative workflow and will be eager to get back to it. Remember, "Distance makes the heart grow fonder.”
- Eat healthy food or pleasure food. Either one has its own way of making you feel good. Healthier foods give you more energy. Pleasure foods can make you feel a little happy. Pick what works for you. However, if you’re eating heavy pleasure food, be careful. You don’t want to play around and end up with the itis. Then you won’t be getting any work done.
- Exercise. (especially if you just ate pleasure food) It has worked for me at times. I'm guessing since some studies have proven that exercise triggers dopamine release? .... I think that’s the happy chemical released in exercise. I don’t know, I'm no doctor; I'm just an artist lol).
- Recreate artwork. Sometimes recreating different artworks is a great way to get over the creative block. However, I am not recommending recreating specifically for claiming it as yours (unless your version is significantly different). You can share with others or keep to yourself. Just make sure when you share with others you are not infringing on anyone’s copyright, and make sure your reasoning for recreation is clear so your peers won't think you’re a copycat. It’s just that recreating work takes the strain of have to think up a good concept. It may also push you to explore new techniques and tricks, which will add up to influencing your creativity.
The main thing I would avoid is comparing yourself to others skill wise, career wise, and financial wise. This can only lead to you beating yourself up and that will land you in a creative prison. I hope these tips help you guys.
Now I want to know if any of you have struggled with the dreaded creative block and how you managed through it. What was your worst experience with creative block? Do you know what led to it? How did you overcome it? If you found this post helpful and want to share some tips and tricks of your own, please comment below or shoot me a message on my contact page! Make sure you share this post with your friends as well. Also, if you have practice work you want me to see, feel free to tag me to your posts on Facebook or Instagram. Thank you!