I looked at my art supplies: pens, paints, iPad and plain old pencil. I just didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to be creative and relax but I was getting stressed trying to find something to create.
Here’s a few tips and tricks to get you out of the slump and into a creative groove.
1. Get a notebook: write down any inspirational quote or idea that comes to mind. I am creating what is known as a “Commonplace Book”. I thought it was just a notebook full of lovely quotes and thoughts. But David showed me that what I was doing has been done since the 17th century.
I write down quotes from books, tv shows, Bible verses and even comments on my instagram feed. Everyday people just like me have said things that touch my heart or makes me think. I always write down who said it, whether it’s an author, song lyric, poet or instagram handle. It is such a time saver to just grab my notebook (Commonplace Book) and start writing. It doesn’t matter what with but fountain pen makes it feel so smooth and personal.
2. The same as having a Commonplace Book; have a folder whether physical or digital to hold images that move and inspire you. I tend to have my inspiration sorted by medium. I use labels such as watercolor, lettering or physical. I know lots of artists tend sort their folders by subject like: nature, city or people. I like to narrow myself down to one theme before I start looking. If I don’t I just go down a rabbit hole and spent an hour looking at what I could instead of doing it. So pick a subject or medium and get creating.
3. Set a timer – otherwise known as the Pomodoro technique. The human body isn’t meant to work for long periods of time, it needs to move, to rest and to reset. You know the expression, “sleep on it” which essentially means walk away and try again with fresh eyes. The Pomodoro technique is setting a timer for 25-ish minutes, getting everything you possibly can done in that time and then taking a break.
The break is usually 5-10 minutes. You should use the break to get a drink, go to the bathroom or take a quick walk around the house. It’s highly recommended not to look at your phone or TV. People tend to get sucked in and have a harder time restarting because their mind is on something else. Setting a timer may not work for everyone, it might make you feel more anxious or worried. If it creates anxiety don’t do it. If you want to start with just 5-10 minute blocks go for it. I love seeing how much work I can get done in a specific set of time.
4. Try creating in a new environment – take your sketchbook to the park, take your laptop to the backyard picnic table, use that travel set of paints and brushes and travel to the beach or look in the mirror. Sometimes you just need a change of pace to open your mind to new ideas.
5. Listen to music – any kind of music. Write down the lyrics, paint the scene, draw how it makes you feel. Music is such an integral part of our society and ourselves. Music is what creates a mood and allows us to share a piece of us with the world.
Let me know down below if these techniques have worked for you. If these techniques are new to you, try one and see how it goes. As always if you have any to share please do. Happy Creating.