It’s quite strange whenever I’m having one of those days feeling ambivalent regarding my art. Those are the days when in my heart I wanted to paint but my mind seems uncooperative and picking up my brush seems too much work as though the magic is all gone. A lot of artists call this as the ‘creative block’, which I believe happens to everyone without any exception (it’s only a matter of when). These are the moments when I feel stuck. And the challenge, of course, is how to get unstuck and be productive. I tried different strategies over the years and here are five of those that I found helpful:
1. Just pick up your brush
A lot of times all I need to do is start that very first brush stroke and the rest follows. It’s like a domino effect– you only need to do one thing that will jumpstart your creative process. This is particularly helpful when you have a deadline for a show (or a commission) and you won’t have time to procrastinate.
2. Review your workspace and reorganize if necessary
I normally work on multiple paintings and chaos is inevitable. I realized that one of the reasons why I couldn’t execute my process easily is because my workspace is not set up ergonomically. What I mean by this is my paint tubes could be scattered everywhere I may have trouble finding the color I wanted. I have limited space in my art room and when the space feels too tight it affects my ability to be totally free in creating the brushstrokes essential for my pieces. Little things could add up and I start telling myself that I couldn’t be “creative”.
3. Step away
Your creativity could be stifled if you have been working non-stop or procrastinating for too long. You need to break it and do something different to defibrillate your negative creative rhythm. Physically stepping away from your work either briefly to have a shower or going out for a walk in the beach can make a significant difference in developing new ideas or making you feel refreshed to be creative.
4. Perform your ritual if you have one
If you are like me who likes my cup of coffee and good breakfast before starting a painting session, then have your coffee and eat your breakfast. If meditation is what you do to go into the “creative zone” then meditate. Some artists have certain attire they need to wear, and some make sure they have brushed their teeth. It may be the only things that’s missing and needs to be done before you go deep in questioning what happened to your creative genius.
5. Write it down.
Journaling my thoughts and frustrations is quite cathartic for me. Sometimes the answers of those hard questions reveal themselves after I have written a few pages of reflection. Other times I just feel better after writing and feel free again to execute my passion.
How about you? What do you do to overcome your creative block?
This article was reblogged from Kris’s website. Click here to view the original post.