Updated: Jan 24
Back from a 2-week holiday break I was recharged but was out of my creative groove. Which got me thinking about what I do when I feel this way so I documented these simple but effective ways of what I do to keep my creativity thriving…
Give love to your Studio Space then create Organized Chaos
Super simple. Clean up, wipe down surfaces, take out the garbage, put out all art supplies and materials that have been out, switch up the artwork hanging, move your plants around and reorganize your desk.
Every time I feel I need a reset I go down this list of tasks and immediately feel refreshed. However, once I have finished that I go over my project list and pull out all the materials I need for those next few creations, and then some. I have found having all my materials out, even though chaotic, helps me with creative problem solving. I am more inclined to experiment and play when my art materials are an easy to grab distance. See exhibit A:
I am a huge Pinterest fan! Going through the site and pinning what inspires and draws my attention helps give me creative direction. There are lots of ways to make these, like
printing them out and collaging the pictures together, or using a digital platform like Canva or Photoshop to arrange the photos. When collecting images for inspiration I like to focus on: Composition, colour, texture as well as phrases that make me think and consider the inspiration at hand. I even throw in some of my own photos when doing this because I am constantly taking photos of what inspires me every day.
Change It Up
Mix new ideas with old ones, pulling from past work and adding a new spin helps create a level of comfort but also novelty when needed to get creativity flowing. Also, experiment with a completely new medium! Doing this has given me new perspectives and ideas when stuck creatively. If you work with acrylic paints go digital, if you love to use watercolour try oils, always painting abstract? Try sketching animals! Playing with a new medium will help you to grow, adapt, and creatively problem solve. And you never know when these transferable skills will come in handy in making new artworks!
I have taken time to carve out time to work on my digital drawing skills, once or twice a week I sit down to draw in Illustrator something I stopped doing about 7 years ago! Changing up style and medium has reminded me how accepting and kind we must be with ourselves- not everything is created as easily as we think it will be!
Here is a look at one of the pieces I have been working on:
As cliché as it sounds, a good walk has never failed me.
The fresh air and tactile feeling of being in nature is inspiring whether that be the forest, the beach or even a walk down the street to look at houses. There is so much to pull from. I take pictures of everything and anything that catches my eye, and sometimes even return home with pieces of nature like rocks or leaves. I also make sure I turn notifications off on my phone to limit distractions- only do this if it works for your life. There’s something about fresh air that clears the mind and stimulates creative juices.
Read, Read, Read!
Depending on my mood and in between layers of waiting for paint to dry I like to read. At least 10 minutes a day. I find reading shows you different perspectives and ideas or solves problems. Being an artist means you are a lifelong learner and what better way to learn than through taking some time to leaf through some books!
These are my current reads (at the moment all art related):
“Interactions of Colours” by Josef Albers
“Art and Visual Perception- A psychology of the creative eye” by Rudolf Arnheim
“Collected Interiors” by Phillip Mitchell
“Fantasia 200- Visions of Hope” by John Culhane & Roy E. Disney
Hopefully, these tips inspire you to think about creativity in different ways and try something novel! Let me know in the comments if these have worked for you!