I am currently battling an invasion of mucous monsters in my head and chest! Needless to say, it has definitely been restricting my motivation and creativity. So out of spite, I decided to inspire myself to write a post on just that… how to become inspired!
As an artist, when it comes time for me to create something in any medium (be it visual, digital, literary, or even performance), there is nothing more intimidating than staring at a blank canvas. On a day when I am really struggling, that notion alone can make me want to pack it in and find something else to do.
However, that blank canvas, screen, or notepad can also be incredibly liberating once inspiration hits. Getting the inspiration to hit, though, is another story. There is no right or wrong way to go about creating something, but it can sure feel like it when you are lacking that little extra bit of spark.
So, apart from repeatedly banging your head against a wall, here is a list I have compiled of various ways to go about getting inspired to create your next best piece of work.
Find something else to do
Sometimes, if you’ve been working for a long period of time, your mind can get a little bit muddled. Take a break and find something else to do for a while. Read a book, cook something, clean the house, spend time with your loved ones (children and animals are some of the least inhibited creatures out there! You might take a few pointers from them!), or even take a nap. You may find that idea you were searching for just from clearing your head and finding a new train of thought.
Find a change of scenery
No, you don’t have to pack up and get on a plane across the world (although that does sound like a great deal right about now!). Sometimes it only has to be a quick change to get those gears turning again. Go for a walk or a run around your neighbourhood, through a park, or to your favourite spot. You can go alone, or with a friend, but make sure to keep your eyes open. Some of the best art out there is that which you find in nature, so really take the time to appreciate it! If you’re an artist or photographer, take a look at all the different colours and lights, and how they appear together in real life. If you are an actor or a writer, take time to watch and study other people, and how they behave in and amongst each other and themselves. I promise you, in these ways, the outside world will be one of the greatest tools in your belt!
So maybe you aren’t in the mood to leave your house, or maybe you’ve done that, and you’re still struggling! That’s okay, because in the twenty-first century we have one of the greatest tools for visual inspiration right at our fingertips, in Pinterest! If you’re unfamiliar with it (although in the blogging world, that seems very unlikely), Pinterest is another type of social networking tool with a heavy emphasis on the visual component. You can collect and share images, articles, and other useful resources, and “pin” them onto a sort of digital bulletin board to read or view later, or all together at a glance. You can also create “secret” boards, if you want to be the only one able to view them. I am COMPLETELY addicted to this website. One really helpful thing I find myself doing often is creating “inspiration boards.” Particularly when I want to create something, I will search for images and things that inspire the mood, energy, or aesthetic that I want to capture in my work. Once I have gathered several images, I will look at them all at a glance. After doing this I will almost always feel at least a little more inspired, if not completely swept up in ideas.
You can follow me on Pinterest here!
Study the work of others
Take a look at some of the things other people are creating! Get a feel for what you like and don’t like, what works and what doesn’t. Of course, you’re not about to go stealing other people’s ideas or replicating someone else’s work completely, but studying trends and styles that others are pioneering can really help you to build on your own approach to creating.
Talk to a friend
Sometimes, our minds just can’t approach a certain way of thinking without being pushed in the right direction by someone else. If you have a friend or loved one whose opinions you trust, get together with them and bounce ideas off of each other. He or she might be able to point you in a new direction, give you new perspective on an idea you were formulating, or come up with something else which you can later build on in a new way. If you are an artist, it is great to surround yourself with like-minded people for this reason.
If those ideas aren’t going to come out on their own, we’re going to force them out! Grab a blank notepad, open a new document, whatever you need, and just write down or draw out every little thing that pops into your mind. This might be paragraphs and paragraphs, or it might be a stream of words that make absolutely no sense together.Don’t think twice about anything, just write whatever comes out! It doesn’t matter if it makes no sense yet, the idea is simply just to stop letting your brain inhibit itself. When you have plenty of material written down, step back and take a look at what you’ve got. Start re-arranging things and pairing things together in ways you wouldn’t normally have thought to do before. Chances are you’ll surprise yourself with what comes out, and this might be the first building block in formulating a new idea.
How do you inspire yourself when suffering from creator’s block?