Thursday, April 4, 2013

Six Way to Inspire Creativity (and Break the Block)

Every time I want to paint, I follow the same routine.
Get my coffee.
Pull out my paints and brushes.
Put a pillow on the floor, start up some Florence and the machine, and sit.
And there are times I do this and I know exactly what I want but then there are times where I just have no idea. We've all been there. 
Here are some ways I beat those nasty no clue blues. I hope they help!

Get outside
And this could mean your backyard or it could mean exploring the city. When you see the same things everyday, you become immune to what creativity those items may spark. That's why, sometimes, just staying in my room isn't enough to inspire me. I have to go exploring! Vintage stores are so much fun because they're always full of surprises.
And even when you're on an intense budget (guilty!) it's still nice to look around.
So grab a magnifying glass and explore your front yard
Go to the park and watch the puppies play
Go to Starbucks and people watch

Because when you're inspired by something you never really took the time to see before, I promise it will be one of your best ideas yet. Speaking of best ideas:

Paint for yourself
Not everything you do will be a masterpiece. I have a giant pile in my closet of paintings that just didn't work for me. Here's the thing, when you create with the intention of showing others, it puts a lot of pressure on you. And pressure does not spark creativity. So paint (or dance or sew or knit or bake or...) like no ones watching! 

This thing that you're making, it's yours. And whether it turns out better than Mona Lisa or worse than kindergarten chicken scratch (which is actually one of my favorites. So cute!) it is your choice whether to show others. Don't let that pressure you.

Recreate your life (or what you want it to be)
You are interesting and dynamic and original. So it stands to reason that if you paint something out of life, that thing will be too!
Do you sew purses? My life right now is very much flowers and foxes. So I would maybe make a bright yellow purse with a fox embroidery.
Do you write? Start with a story of you and your brother having a one hour conversation starting at where to eat and somehow escalating to whether or not Charlie sheen could pull off a monocle.
And if nothing interesting pops into mind, what do you want to do that day?

Do you want to go to an old World War 2 exhibit at the museum? That could make for some creative jewelry ideas.
Do you wish your dreams of being an astronaut weren't crushed by NASA? That may make some great photography. 

Make Frida Kahlo (sort of)
 She is quoted to have said 
"I paint self portraits because I am the person that I know best." 

And I think that is incredibly beautiful. So work with what you offer! After all, no one knows you better and you know no one better than yourself.

And if all else fails...

Paint your favorite thing
I am a very nostalgic girl so my absolute favorite thing is pictures. I have stacks of old pictures, folders and folders in my computer of new ones. There’s nothing I love more. 

So I think of my favorite memories:
That time I went to California by myself and made new friends
That time I went to Disney with my family
Mine and my boyfriend’s very first day

And don’t stop writing! Remember, you’re the only one who HAS to see this. If you come up with gold, thats’s great! If it makes you giggle, that’s even better. I have notebooks filled with the most random things from peanut butter and jelly sandwich picnics to the aftermath of a Fallout and what I would do as the sole survivor. A lot of it is just for me but this is one hundred percent where I came up with this.

If all else fails and you can’t think of anything, take a deep breath, relax, and go do something else for a little while. When something sparks, I'm sure it will be great.

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  1. This post is great! I get hit with a double whammy sometimes, both writers block and artists block. It's terrible sometimes because I feel like I used up all of my creativity and then I have a moment of panic that I will never be able to replenish my reservoir of creativity. Of course that isn't true, we just need to find other methods of stretching our creativity. Thanks for this post.

    1. Hahah I get those same little panic attacks. Thanks for reading!